Hive Tracks is in a constant development cycle of evaluation and update, responding to user feedback, technology changes, and market demands.
Using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), we have completed a comprehensive review of the software and are in a sequence of updates using the principles of TAM as a guide. What follows are a few of the recent changes categorized by TAM principles.
Ease of Use
Our ease of use changes focus by offering a simple, clean, mobile first user interface design and requiring the fewest number of clicks to get the most valuable data.
The immediate utility of Hive Tracks is found in the information it can deliver to beekeepers when they need it to make good management decisions. What information is most useful to individual beekeepers? What is most useful to the beekeeping community? What is the minimum amount of data each beekeeper should record to get the most value? Lining up these answers is an optimization problem that we are still working on, but the obvious place to start is to record when you visit a yard. If nothing else, this will help you be more regular in checking your bees and improve your beekeeping.Next is knowing what you did the last time you visited the bee yard and what you observed. Both of these bits of information are essential to knowing what follow-up actions are needed and what you expect to see on the next inspection, e.g., if there was a virgin queen on the last visit, you better come back soon and make sure she has mated and is laying well. Our current update brings these items front and center for the user along with the Healthy Colony Checklist as a quick and informative standard for colony health assessment and varroa mite load monitoring.
Anyone who has spent much time with honey bees enjoys being in the bees, so being able to extend that enjoyment outside the bee yard is a benefit of Hive Tracks. Looking at pictures taken during a yard visit, entering more detailed records and notes in the comfort of your home, and evaluating graphs showing trends in health and production are all ways to connect with your bees outside the bee yard. In addition, the community feature of Hive Tracks allows bee clubs and classes, beekeeping friends, and mentors and mentees to share hive information and compare it with others within the application. More social media and gamification ideas are in the works and will further extend the enjoyment options.
Below you'll find a preview of the upcoming redesign.
By: Joseph Cazier, Hive Tracks Chief Analytics Officer