A new remote collaboration tool called Sococo uses the metaphor of the “office” even though all team members aren’t physically together. This is like a more literal “Webex” or “Gotomeeting.”

The intro video shows the scrum master convening a meeting in a meeting room and going around the circle, as you do in agile. Each individual is shown as a circle with headphones. Funny!


There’s a hot debate about the use of visual metaphors in design. Apple phones moved away from it recently. The “notes” feature is no longer like a legal yellow pad. The gist of the argument is metaphors both inform and constrain meaning. This means that by giving you the legal pad metaphor, you’ll take it quite literally… you won’t think it’s possible to paste a .jpg photo there because you can’t really do that on a legal pad. But you can on the mobile phone!

“[iOs] Notes is an abomination, but it is not an abomination because it leverages cultural meanings, or because it attempts to channel a physical analogue in its form. It is a poor interface because it is a clumsy and inelegant implementation that takes the metaphor of a notepad far too literally. A better effort would be to distill the idea of a “note” to its absolute essence, and to extend it with the unique capabilities afforded by a mobile touch screen device.” Adaptive Path article called “The Constraints and Opportunities of Metaphor”

On the plus side, Sococo is extremely easy to understand and learn given its strict interpretation of the office metaphor. On the minus side, digital tools have special powers that real conference rooms do. These are obscured by the metaphor.

“Can someone grab Jim for the meeting?” The screen grab on the right shows someone “getting Jim” to come to the meeting.

I’ll see you by the water cooler virtually in 5 minutes!