Help For Independent Developers (LONG response)

Alan Young alansyoungiii at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 11:04:06 MST 2005


Some of these are just nits, but I wanted to put all of my .02 worth
in. :>  Please feel free to pick and choose. :]

Home (or Main) Page

  o Make the links consistent.  You have a text link to create a new
    client, but icons (or at least iconic) for 'Show Projects',
'Delete Client',
    'Edit Jobs' and 'Balance Box'.
  o The subproject icon (the clock next to the trash can) is not
intuitive.  I was a
    little surprised to see the project/job list appear when I clicked
on the clock.
  o The box around the Client name is annoying when I'm not trying to
edit it.  It
    makes me think I need to put something in there.  If you're going
to use AJAX you
    might as well hide the border, or change it to just plain text
unless its being
    edited.
  o I like to see percentages, so in the 'finished' column something
like "1/4 25%"
    would be nice.  I realize that's a simplistic view.  It would be
even better if the
    calculations took into account how much of each job was done, but
that's a little
    more complicated.
  o 'Add a new client' and 'Add a new job' need a 'Cancel' button.
  o You're popups are inconsistent.  The delete options are a
javascript alert while
    the balance box is a dhtml popup.

Edit Jobs Page

  o 'Add a new job' and 'Add note' needs a 'Cancel' button.  The way
you have it now is
    not intuitive.  I discovered accidentally that clicking the notes
button again
    would close the notes div.  Maybe change the 'Notes' button to
'Close Notes' when
    it's open.
  o Not really clear on what 'Sharing' is.  I'm guessing 'Who else is
working on this
    project/job'?  In any case, that's a candidate for a popup or a dropdown.
    Inconsistent links.  I was looking for a 'X' button or something. 
Didn't catch on
    to the 'Close Sharing' link for a little while.

Stopwatch Page

  o Too deep.  No matter how you get to it, it's a minimum of 3 clicks away.

Some random thoughts I had while testing:

variable rate/timeslice
changing rates means need to handle cost to client

I've used different time accounting methods for different clients,
some I want to charge by the minute, some by 15 minute chunks, some
hourly.  It'd be nice to be able to choose a time chunk (and a
rounding method) and use that for billing purposes.

Also, if I change the rate on a job I generally don't want to lose the
revenue I'd been planning on for the work I'd done so far (unless it
was my fault, e.g., I fat fingered on the input), so having the
*total* amount change would be an annoyance.  I'd have to create a new
task and call this one completed.  Which would be annoying.

links (especially unexpected--e.g. ledger link in balance column)

Links have been already covered by someone else, but I'd like to add
my two cents here.  Make links consistent.  And as small as possible
(or, perhaps, succint).  Like 'Add a new client' could be just an
iconic '+' in the header column.  It increases the learning curve a
little, but not that much with the way people are expecting programs
now.  Also, tool-tips can help a lot in this area.

inconsistent display (projects per client on one page, but must open
separate page for project tasks)

Personally, I'd rather have everything open in the same page.  Page
loads create a perception of time that isn't really there.  Even if I
have to wait for the data to come back, I perceive less time on gmail
than with other webmail clients, even when it sometimes actually takes
*longer* to load the data in gmail.

No notes for project (or job) or client

And no files either.  I would like to be able to create notes and
upload files for all levels (site, client, project/job and task).

Key shortcuts

I hate using the mouse.

'real time' timestamp display

This can get ugly if the user isn't careful, but it'd be some nice eye candy.

too difficult to get to stopwatch

That's the biggest issue for me ... if I have to spend more than a few
seconds/clicks to turn on and off a stopwatch I tend to not use it.

That's it for now, worth what you paid for it. :>
--
Alan



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