We turned to Cacoo because we had run into limits in creating and sharing documents using desktop applications.
Mr. Sato: I am in charge of systems. Previously we were using major desktop applications when we made things like flowcharts, sequence diagrams, and system configuration diagrams. But when the number of people involved grew, we had problems with the applications that handled local files, problems such as it being difficult to share or update documents, updating taking up a lot of our time, or losing things when we updated files.
So I began looking around to see if there was anything available that would let us create and share documents in this way on the Web, and I happened across Cacoo. When I tried it out, I was pleased to find that it was more intuitive than other tools and that it can be used without any need for instruction.
At first I was just using it on my own, and I balked at the idea of using a personal account to do work. Later it became possible to use it at the company, so I was able to begin using [[[Cacoo]]] openly for work.
When we first started using it, it was mainly our systems and infrastructure people who used it. But since the time we realized that we could also use it in designing and other work, we have been using it more and more widely at our company.
The functions are simple, and it has every function you need, allowing you to concentrate and work more efficiently
Mr. Inour: I am in charge of design. I use Cacoo frequently to produce things like wireframes, before I produce actual designs. Naturally a designer could also use design-production tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, but if you start out creating a wireframe or something else in those applications, then it sometimes happens that your eye gets drawn to things like coloring and the expression of gradation, and you are no longer able to concentrate on thinking about the essential structure. Cacoo has a limited number of functions, and I value it for the fact that it makes sharing easy and offers a large number of templates.
Mr. Toda: Aside from wireframes, a director uses it when making figures — such as flow diagrams and site maps — that represent concepts and are necessary in the upstream process. What is nice about Cacoo is that it is easy to use it to make such figures.
Mr. Sato, Hashiba: In systems-related work, we also use Cacoo for things like screen transition diagrams. It offers a large number of stencils of people, making it easy to draft people by different categories, such as by role. With other tools, you often have to start out by searching for material, so I really like the way Cacoo has cute, easy-to-understand stencils already available.
Using collaborative editing in real time, Cacoo makes coordinated work among widely spaced sites efficient
Mr. Hashiba, Toda, Inoue and Sato: Thanks to Cacoo’s real-time collaborative editing function, the information sharing of our staff in other locations has become smooth. Previously we did our information sharing using paper-based documents, but when staff are far apart — such as in Tokyo and Ishikawa — and it is hard to meet up physically, then a time lag necessarily develops in the work.
With Cacoo, it is possible for a number of people to collaboratively edit the same figure in real time. So, by using it along with chat and video-conferencing tools, it is possible for people in different locations to come together instantly and share information, which helps make our work more efficient.
Mr. Inoue: Also, when our designers are discussing something together, it sometimes happens that they start out in chat, but along the way they sense a limit to their ability to communicate, so they end up shifting to Cacoo.
Recommended for departments that support Web production, for IT engineers, and for others
Mr. Hashiba: I would also recommend Cacoo to any and all IT engineers in this industry who, like us, are involved in Web production.
One thing I personally like about Cacoo is a function that was added recently, a table-creation function, which is convenient because it is often used in the figures that a director makes. Also, the linking function can be used to make screen transition diagrams, wireframes, and so on.
All in all, what I like is the fact that it is intuitive to use, and that the number of functions is just right, without either too few or too many functions.
Mr. Inoue: In addition, the stencils are categorized, so when first-time users just start out using Cacoo, they are able to use it right away. As for how it feels to use it, the feel of the snap when you arrange stencils or draw a line in Cacoo is much nicer than with other tools.