Building the Next Release of WORK[etc] CRM System

We're giving WORK[etc] a fresh makeover!  This is the first of many sneak previews of how we are building a better WORK[etc] and, with it, helping you to grow your business faster.

I’ve purposely been quiet so far this year on saying too much about our plans for the next release of the WORK[etc] CRM system. This is about to change. Starting with this post we’ll regularly be releasing sneak previews of what we’re working on, as we’re working on it.

New Menu System

The first big, big change is a new menu system.

Over the years we’ve grown out the work modules available as part of WORK[etc]. As we’ve added customers we’ve gained better insight into what is important and what eventually becomes basically invisible to the user over time.  Building on this, the new menu system will bring core tools such as projects, support, and sales right to the very front, with what is important to the actual user now only ever being one-click away.

Here is how it is looking:


Immediately you’ll notice that we’re updating WORK[etc]’s interface toward more of an iOS7 / Metro-inspired flat work space.  This will apply not only to the main menu, but to the entire web application.  If you’ve been using the new Customer Portal, then you already have a feel for the new style. 

Next up we’ve introduced a new section called “Messaging” which will enable a centralized view of all emails, discussions, notes, and email campaigns. Messaging items will still show underneath their attached project, support case, contact, or sales lead. This extra view, from within the menu, will help people who work across different divisions.

The new menu also introduces a color-coding system for each type of core activity and makes more of your frequently accessed activities available from within the menu itself.  For example, if you want to quickly view a list of People tagged with the custom tag “Priority 1 Client”, right now you have to go off and create a SmartList report.  With the new menu system, we introduce access to frequently used tags right into the menu system itself:


Want to see more of the new menu system? We’re currently previewing each of the main screens as a special challenge available to WORK[etc] Insiders.


You’ll notice from the design above that we now put Smartviews right at the front of every screen. Smartviews combine and replace our existing SmartList and Saved Filters concepts and bring the data that is important to you right up front. This tool is what really sets WORK[etc] apart from every other product in the market place.

The old SmartList tool allowed you to create a list of data items based on the entirety of your database. Saved Filters, on the other hand, allowed you to take a subset of data in an activity stream and show only those items for a certain employee or an activity type. Conceptually, both actions are identical. Not only did we confuse some people with what approach to use, we also (unintentionally) buried this powerful tool deep down in the old menu system.

In the example below you can see how an actual SmartView is now accessible from within the menu system. In this release we also make it possible to create a SmartView and publish it through to other people in your team (notice the little padlock icon to indicate a shared SmartView):


What Else Will This Release Include?

We’re still pulling together the final details, but this very first release is all about modernizing the User Interface and streamlining all its aspects, solving a few feature oversights, and then putting in place the foundations to release some of the bigger features we’ve had scoped out for a while now.

If you tweet, share, like (or whatever!) this post I’ll answer the questions I can right now, in the comments below.


Dan Fairbairn – Ocius Digital
Monday 19, May 2014 10:08 AM

Looking good so far, Metro design certainly suits it – and the client portal login at the moment looks great, so if that’s the direction then I’m happy 🙂

    Daniel Barnett
    Friday 23, May 2014 10:01 PM

    Hi Dan – that is definitely the direction, and then some!

Vrm Staff
Monday 19, May 2014 5:54 PM

Loving the new look. Its much cleaner looking!

Brittany McClure Thompson
Monday 19, May 2014 6:04 PM

The look is amazing! The colors are bright and attractive and the layout of the new tabs is familiar but fresh!

    Daniel Barnett
    Friday 23, May 2014 10:01 PM

    Thanks Brittany – we show all the menu’s side-by-side as a customer review challenge in Insiders – it looks really good and should set the tone for the rest of the revamp.

      Brittany McClure Thompson
      Friday 23, May 2014 10:14 PM

      Yes all your hard work does not go unnoticed! There is a reason I can honestly say Work Etc has changed my life! It truly has revolutionized the way I work, and I know I have you guys to thank! So keep up the good work! We are behind you all the way!

Ryan Powell
Monday 19, May 2014 7:17 PM

This is really exciting stuff Dan, This look is really going to keep us on the screen and really enjoy the experience of working inside the app. Keep up the good work!! I would love an easier way to make the forms match the modern styling of where the direction of the app is going. I really like what type form and even Squarespace does their forms.

    Daniel Barnett
    Friday 23, May 2014 10:00 PM

    Hi Ryan – absolutely forms will be getting a huge make-over in terms of design and embedding. Thank you for the tip on Squarespace, will check it out.

Tuesday 20, May 2014 12:19 PM

I’m looking forward to this one! The new look is going to be very enjoyable experience. By going with the flat look will it increase in overall performance do you think?

    Daniel Barnett
    Friday 23, May 2014 9:59 PM

    ” By going with the flat look will it increase in overall performance do you think?”

    Kind of, but not because of the flat design. More so because we’re now able to pull out a lot of server requests that become redundant or delay loading non-critical requests until after the core page info has loaded.

Friday 23, May 2014 4:36 PM

Nice enough new UI – but In my opinion, you need to stop worrying about interfaces and features and work on billing, invoicing and recurring charges. We bill 42 customers and it takes nearly a day to get it all done and out, because no batch processes exist.

No subtotaling available by type for invoices, no previous balance due, no statements – the entire backend is clunky and immature. Help us make money by saving time!

For the cost its OK product but should be much much better!

    Daniel Barnett
    Friday 23, May 2014 9:57 PM

    Hi Marc – agree 100% and this is on the roadmap shortly – with auto-direct debit possibly as a 5.1 or 5.2. The other issues, sub-totally, previous balance due can be small tweaks within the UI itself. Will you post to feature suggestions, with as much detail as possible (if you haven’t already). I’m midway through reviewing every single item in that forum and blocking relevant suggestions into project groups for development and release.

James Hartley
Saturday 24, May 2014 10:55 AM

Design wise its a breath of fresh air!
Amazing how an existing model starts to look dated without you realising it…

Arturo Garcia Cifre
Sunday 25, May 2014 7:04 AM

I like the Smart views integration, really is what use most from Work etc, is like customized menu with all the key information I want to see just a click away.

Monday 2, Jun 2014 7:36 AM

Hi Dan, Looks like more good stuff. Hopefully we won’t loose any Smart lists we have already created?

    Daniel Barnett
    Monday 2, Jun 2014 7:50 AM

    No – absolutely not. The plan is for the current system to stay in place and allow those Smartlists to be shared or shown in a particular menu. New customers’ wouldn’t see the current system though, only the new version.

Runy Calmera
Monday 2, Jun 2014 11:09 AM

With all my 40+ projects this new look is going to help me for sure. I hope you next take care of the iPhone design and make it more easier to key in to do’s. Please use the standard iPhone and IPad navigating conventions here.

    Daniel Barnett
    Monday 23, Jun 2014 3:14 PM

    Hi Runy – there’s a more recent blog post were we’ve even included a video of the new iOS design / preview of the iphone app.
Monday 2, Jun 2014 1:22 PM

Sorry if I missed it. When is the target release date?

Color Me Concerned
Monday 2, Jun 2014 1:39 PM

I do hope there will be performance enhancements – the “hardware upgrade” we got made things slower. Refreshing a list of 750 contacts, even logging in to the home page takes several seconds.

Thomas Lawler
Monday 2, Jun 2014 3:34 PM

Looking forward to the improvements and additions! The UI has a refreshing modern feel. Any idea on a release date? Thanks!

    Daniel Barnett
    Monday 23, Jun 2014 3:11 PM

    I hate sharing release dates as soooooo many variables, but sensibly I’m hoping for late September. BUT some of the improvements we’re making in version 5 are simultaneously being rolled back into the current version also.

Tony T
Wednesday 4, Jun 2014 9:01 PM

Can’t wait for the new release. I am digging the color contrast on the new menus, looks like it will be super easy to navigate.

Jonathan Hickman
Friday 6, Jun 2014 3:56 PM

I am worried about some of the changes, but I am very optimistic that the changes will be for the better.

    Daniel Barnett
    Monday 23, Jun 2014 3:14 PM

    Hi Jonthan – we’re working/aiming/hoping to be able to do roll this out as a backwards-compatible change and give everyone a whole lot of time to switch back and forth between version 4 and 5. But the data model is crazy complex so whilst we think we can do this, we’re yet to finish the proof of concept.

David Jones
Thursday 12, Jun 2014 4:20 AM

I’d like to play with this a little if there is a sandbox but I agree about changes being a scary thing for enterprise training.

    Daniel Barnett
    Monday 23, Jun 2014 3:12 PM

    Sandbox will be a few weeks away and only available to WORK[etc] Insiders.

Amy Jackson
Saturday 28, Jun 2014 5:02 PM

Our company has already benefitted greatly from Work[etc] and your dedicated team. I just love how much of an asset you have made user feedback and can definitely experience the results on a daily basis – thank you all! 🙂

John Belchamber
Sunday 13, Jul 2014 2:54 PM

Another giant leap forward on an already excellent business application guys…well done.
I’m looking for ward to having a good look around and making further improvements to ny business with WORKetc.

Andrew Redman
Thursday 17, Jul 2014 7:58 AM

Hi Dan

Thanks for the update and all the good work on usability enhancements.

It looks like Tasks (To Do List) has gone and now it’s just called Projects. Does that mean we’re going to get a combined Project > Task hierarchy? This would be awesome if it works as well as Wrike (which is widely acknowledged as being one of the best implementations of this for project management – though they’re missing many crucial things that are in WEtc).

Another good one to look at is Smartsheets, which has a brilliantly simple way of doing hierarchical tasks with Gantt.

Anyway, good luck amd I look forward to seeing the results.

Steven Kennedy
Monday 21, Jul 2014 2:01 PM

Thank you for never letting work etc get out of date. I think you are far about the best out there, everything you need is in work etc to run a successful business. I think I am going to love this new update, I can not wait to use it!

Cheryl Moore
Tuesday 22, Jul 2014 12:50 PM

We are new to WORK[etc], but I love all of the things that we can do now that we were unable to do with our previous system. I love the look of the new menus and can’t wait to get the update! We love what you guys have done already to help us manage our business. Keep things coming!

David McGarry
Tuesday 22, Jul 2014 2:00 PM

Hoping to see these new features and the fresh new look in September!

SmartViews looks good and the layout seems that it will work well. I worry at little that the new UI might take some time to get used to, but knowing that you guys only produce quality/ intuitive front-ends I’m sure we’ll be fine!

Wednesday 30, Jul 2014 11:13 PM

I absolutely love the new interface and the color-coding so to speak…menus seem much easier as well…may take a bit to get used to but overall a great upgrade to an already awesome CRM!

Thursday 7, Aug 2014 7:13 PM

This new interface looks awesome! Can’t wait to see and use this new interface.

John Webb
Saturday 16, Aug 2014 12:44 AM

Hi Dan,

Ok…when will have this?

William Mullane
Saturday 27, Sep 2014 12:03 AM

I like that the new look appears simple and user-friendly. Though I have grown to love how the current version of WORKetc works, it can LOOK intimidating to new users who are not familiar with the system. The new colorful warmer look can help allay fears.

I mentioned in a recent post that part of my job (and WORKetc’s) is to continue to sell the program within my organization. Your supreme customer service helps with this. So will the new user interface. Thanks

Wednesday 1, Oct 2014 6:57 PM

It’s seems as a great work. I hope you’ll redesign andorid app soon because I really miss worketc on cell phone. I use some another app for daily tasks because I need simple UI. I can’t wait new version

Robbie Crenshaw
Wednesday 8, Oct 2014 8:17 AM

I love the new look and color coordination that it has. makes things a lot more easier and makes us as a company more productive. keep up the good work!

Mieke van Son
Wednesday 22, Apr 2015 6:49 AM

How’s things coming along?

See all

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