I’m very excited to announce that the Breeze Social web application is finally live and I can talk about it here.
In November 2010, I was asked by BlueTie, a local provider of collaboration tools for businesses, to work with them creating the user interface and user experience for a brand new type of social media management tool. I’ve always been active in and passionate about social media so this was a great opportunity for several reasons. First, from a design standpoint I had the opportunity to craft, from scratch, the entire experience surrounding how this application would look and work. Second, this was a service I’m passionate about and would use myself.
While there are already several applications and services that are capable of managing different account profiles over various platforms, Breeze Social has some key differences. It’s specifically designed for small to medium sized businesses who know they need to be participating in social media but aren’t necessarily sure how or where to get started.
From a design standpoint, applications like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are great for savvy users. I have columns where I can view my main timeline, lists, mentions, direct message, etc. All for several accounts. While that’s great for me, all that power and terminology can be overwhelming to someone new. What is a mention? How do I use lists? What is a retweet? A conscious decision was made from the beginning to avoid technobabble and use plain English. Businesses need to be able to see what people are saying to them and about them. So that’s how we labeled those sections. The other most important piece? Posting. From any page, type an update in a tumblr-style input and click ‘Say it!’. Breeze Social automatically formats your message accordingly for each of your social networks. Discrete options are available for scheduling, choosing networks, etc but it’s simple by default.
Another obstacle/objection to participating in social media is perceived time commitment. This is approached in two ways. First, finding quality content can be time consuming. Not knowing what to talk about is a reason why many social media efforts stall. Breeze Social is able to intelligently recommend relevant content based on both information gathered during the signup process and ongoing conversations. Unless you’re extremely focused, social media can also be very distracting. People spend hours each week in Facebook alone. With that in mind, Breeze Social has two “modes”. A Pressed for Time mode is pared down to just the essential functions: posting and responding to communication to or about you. Manageable in five minutes a day. A Stay Awhile mode offers more options: a main timeline for your connections, suggested topics and articles to post, extensive reports, etc.
While there are many other features and advantages (too many to get into here), those are the biggest differentiators. At some point soon, I hope to get a more in depth review published here. In the meantime, please check Breeze Social out.
Mike quickly dove into the subject matter and was an integral part of the process, lending ideas and insights at every turn. Next time we have a need, Mike’s my first call.-Shawn Ryan, Breeze Social product manager