In talking with lots of folks, I have been using Calendly.com to help coordinate schedules. The back and forth of scheduling is a real pain and these systems make it much better. I tried three today. For language sake it can get confusing, here is a legend:
- Host = Person who has the subscription and whose calendar is being interrogated
- Visitor = Person who is scheduling time
This was the one I have been using for a while. It is solid, but the UX was always a little clunky and disappointing. The UI was poor on the host side and the visitor side. The graphic design was boring and the worst thing was that I could only get one kind of meeting (60 minutes) with my free subscription.
One of the things I wished Calendly had was a UI for the visitor that looked more like my google or outlook calendar. Enter Appoint.ly.
I was researching about ten of these different systems and most looked unacceptable for various reasons, chief of which was price. My price tag for this was FREE. Yes, I know that is asking alot of the world, but when I go to a company, I become a fan and then they get the sale. Freemium does work, just ask Slack. Anyway, Appoint.ly has the calendar scheduling that I was looking for.
The problems with Appoint.ly were numerous. One, the system was slow and crashed upon testing with a friend. This was a deal breaker, of course. But also, there was a bunch of terrible UI problems. For example, the system wasn’t automatically putting the meeting into my calendar. It took me many tries to realize this UI was the source.
Why isn’t this enabled by default? It’s turned on in every other system. You have to click Enable. (Ok Fine)
Notice the subtle changes? The text is darker and the drop down box is slightly darker. I didn’t think one had to do anything. I was wrong. You have to choose your calendar in the drop down. Also, you have to remember to click Save.
Is that a nice Save button? No, it is not.
- You have to manually repeat all of your availability of an event. You can’t bulk update an event rule.
- There is no default page with all of my meetings on it.
- The URL had this /s/ in the middle of it (https://appoint.ly/s/name) – Why? Every letter matters. Short is good.
- The appointment types editing link was unintuitive and unclear.
- Contact method is super unclear. What does it mean?
One last problem, the email they sent had microscopic fonts.
Anyway, there were lots of annoyances, so I dropped it.
CanUmeet is basically Calendly with a graphics overhaul. It clearly was inspired by Calendly from an information architecture and interaction design perspective. However, the details of the visuals and the animations are gorgeous. They did an excellent job of modernizing the look and feel.
From a functionality standpoint, it actually surpassed Calendly in two ways.
- More than one appointment type for the free version
- Embedded scheduler (I could actually put it on my blog)
The only problem I ran into was that my embedded widget was missing a meeting type. I can’t figure out why. It works well, looks great on mobile. What more can I ask for? Based on today’s research, I am switching to canUmeet. They have made a fan of me.
If you want to meet me for lunch, here is the secret link to schedule time with me.
(Hopefully, posting that isn’t a terrible idea)