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TED: Sharing Ideas Better With Droplr


“When I’m working I just need to get something communicated or transferred or approved very quickly and Droplr fills that need for me.” Aaron Weyenberg, TED

TED has been energizing and inspiring audiences since 1984. From body language to creativity in schools to the mysteries of motivation, TED Talks explore new ideas and encourage new ways of thinking. TED distributes those talks through a network of websites, apps, and video channels. For Aaron Weyenberg, part of the tech team at TED, Droplr is a key part of maintaining and improving that network.

“I use Droplr throughout the day for sharing quick concepts and files,” says Weyenberg, UX developer at TED. “For me, Droplr is a time compressor for light communicative tasks.”

Weyenberg is a member of the TED tech team, the crew that continually tweaks the TED website and apps to make them easier to use. He works with front-end engineers and the editorial staff, building user-interface prototypes to solve usability issues. “We’re constantly testing and fiddling and changing things to make them better,” he says. “All those changes require a lot of communication between groups and with external contractors. That’s where Droplr comes in.”

The designer builds his prototypes using a combination of Ruby on Rails (the platform is built on) and Javascript libraries. They’re often quick sketches, basic functional concepts. “Typically I would have to put something up on a server and then give people access to it so they can play around,” says Weyenberg. “That takes time and there can be access problems. To get around that, I just do a screen capture video of what I’m working on using Droplr.”

To capture a screen video, Weyenberg simply clicks the Droplr icon in the menu bar, clicks the Screen Video button, selects the area of the screen he wants to capture, and hits Record. When he’s done, the video is automatically uploaded to Droplr and a link to it is copied to his clipboard.

Weyenberg can share the video quickly and easily with anyone to get feedback. “I’ll send videos off to project developers, engineers, or stakeholders just to see if I’m on the right track,” he says. “It’s much quicker to send a three-second video than it is to push something experimental to a staging environment. It saves me time every day.”

The UX developer also uses Droplr to send large files internally and externally to contractors and vendors. In those cases, Droplr’s compatibility is key. “TED doesn’t have a chat or communication platform that everybody agrees to use,” says Weyenberg. “Some use Skype, some use GChat, some of our staff aren’t on chat much at all, they primarily use email. Droplr is platform agnostic, so I can just upload a file and share the link.”

Droplr truly for quick, back-and-forth communication. “Droplr just runs in the background. It’s so easy for me to just grab a screen capture or file and share it,” says Weyenberg. “It saves me minutes throughout the day and those minutes add up to be really significant.”