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In-App Timer, Inline Editing, and More Coming Soon to WORK[etc] Online CRM

It's been a while since we last looked at how the updates to the web app is getting along. With most of the back-end redesigns done, we're now giving you another glimpse at what to expect when the next massive WORK[etc] update is finally rolled out.

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.

The new WORK[etc] header menu
  1. The “quick add” button allows you to rapidly create any type of object straight from the menu.
  2. A new, handy “Browse Contact By Letter” menu system
  3. We now allow Smartviews to be created and accessed from within each module menu area. The new Smartview tool allows you to place a Smartview for another user inside their menu and lock that down.
  4. Recent Activity” shows you a list of contacts that only you have worked with recently. The use case here is that contacts you have worked with recently are more likely to be contacts that you need to work with in the future.
  5. Created Recently” shows a list of all contacts recently created or imported across your organization.
  6. The “Tagged With” link allows you to quickly select a single Tag and view a list of all contacts with that tag applied.
  7. The “Customer Portal” link provides quick access to a list of all contacts who have the Self-Service Portal enabled.
  8. We’ve introduce a new view with “Email Bounced“. This is a full list of all contacts that have been sent an email from within your account, whose email was incorrect. The new “inline” editing allows an assistant to quick tab through the result and correct obvious mistakes.
  9. Incomplete Info” lists contacts with incomplete or missing fields for rapid correction.
  10. Sync Conflict Errors” is a refinement of our tool that allows you to manage duplicate contacts or conflicting contact records.

Inline Editing

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.

Inline Editing in WORK[etc]

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.

Discussions and TimesheetsYou can now easily access Discussions and Timesheets through their respective buttons on the bottom left. Whatever WORK[etc] page you’re on, they’ll be there. Hovering over each of the buttons will bring up a small footer menu.
Discussions and TimesheetsDiscussions still operate pretty much the same way; a red line above an entry means that a response has been requested. We just switched the scrolling to horizontal.
Discussions and TimesheetsYou can create a new timesheet by clicking on the blank “New Timesheet” space at the rightmost part. The blue “+” button (see image below) lets you add an activity to an existing timesheet. Tasks can be pinned in the Timesheet bar, which is perfect for recurring, multi-day tasks.
Discussions and TimesheetsYou can either manually add time or use the new stopwatch timer by clicking the “play” button.

Contact Pages

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.

Old and New Contact Page Comparison

Finally…

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.

Keep your eyes open for further updates as we move closer to the next release. For now, tell us what you think of the changes. Did we miss anything? Leave a comment and let us know.

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