A few months back we announced that we were working on the next release of the core WORK[etc] web application and its back-end services.
Since then, the work to date has largely been on the invisible back-end services. Activities such as redesigning the back-end database, refactoring code bases, and building widget libraries consume a lot of time and produces hundreds of thousands of code lines; in terms of tangible product suitable for non-developers there is very little actual output.
This is about to change. Development is over the hump and we’re now powering through, plugging everything together and producing shareable outcomes! This will be the first of regular updates as we power toward beta.
New Header Menu System
We introduced the new header menu concept with this post. Now that it is built and fully functional, lets go over some of the enhancements.
Inline Editing is a “one-click” method to change and update any data field. For example, let’s say you are scrolling through a list of contacts and you spot that there is a simple spelling mistake. With a single click you can edit that field and click-out which then saves the changes in near-real time, in the background.
If you’ve ever used instant messaging like Skype Chat, then the technology we’re utilizing is not dissimilar. We basically take the text snippet change (your “text” message to someone) and send just those few bytes of data back to the server (i.e. the person you’re chatting with).
This is applied throughout the application allowing around 80% and eventually 100% of all data to be modified with a single click.
Discussion Notifications / In-App Timer
We’ve redesigned how the discussion notifications work and also built into that area a stopwatch “on/off” timer to automatically record your timesheets as you work through your day.
We’ve also redesigned contact pages to make better use of the space and put the information you need to access right up front. Click on the image below for a closer look.
Its important to remind everyone that this release is focused on freshening up the user interface design, some user experience tweaks, and improving performance on large company accounts. Transitioning from the current version to this next release will be simple and painless as we’re intentionally keeping most of the actual functionality similar.
More involved feature changes will come early next year; to try and do everything at once would have resulted in a much longer time frame and, more importantly, the risk of introducing a steep learning curve for our customers. We want to avoid this at all cost and so are delivering on smoother release cycles.
Whilst near 100% of our resources is going into this build, we’re not quite ready to make public a firm delivery date, other than our aim is to be in beta release (through Insiders) by the start of December. In the meantime, we will shortly be announcing the beta program for our new iOS app.