Hour reporting tool

3 Aug 2009 - 1:20am
4 years ago
13 replies
756 reads
Uidude
2009

Hello

I am designing an hour reporting tool for internal office use.
Employees will need to login and store their daily total hours worked
on a project. One developer can work on multiple projects and they
have to be visible all in one page. Users must be able to view for
the entire view, as some may input on a a daily basis, while some may
input on Friday for the whole week thereby totaling 40 hours per
week.

I currently have the following screen as a prototype, but ain't
happy as I am sure it needs a lot of changes. Please comment if you
see anything can be improved.

http://uidude.wordpress.com/files/2009/08/pmis.png

Thanking you

Comments

3 Aug 2009 - 3:06am
Fredrik Matheson
2005

A few questions:
• Can you add a project inside this view?
• What is the benefit of grouping projects?
• Why did you choose a standard calendar for navigating across weeks?
• Have you considered the input efficiency of text boxes versus drop-downs
for the hour entry fields?
• It's a good idea to have Day total beneath the hour fields. The week,
month and year total might benefit from a different placement.
• What are the items in the green "tabs"? A project or a person?
• What's the difference between save and submit?
• How do you add another project in this view? Can you?
• The day of the week can be found at the top of the column. Adding the date
as well would make the form easier to use.
• You should be able to make this design work with fewer colors. Right now,
there's a lot going on.
• Consider varying font sizes as well as weights
• Provide a clear path to completion for every day you work. Since a day is
represented as a column, you could place a button below the hour entry rows.
• Last but not least, put real text into your sketch. That'll make it easier
to comment on :-)

3 Aug 2009 - 3:32am
Uidude
2009

On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 1:36 PM, Fredrik
Matheson<fredrik.matheson at gmail.com> wrote:
> A few questions:
> • Can you add a project inside this view?
No. This is the developer's view. Developers can't add new projects on
their own. A project manager can add for which he gets options to add
new project and assign team members in his view.

> • What is the benefit of grouping projects?
I did not get what is grouped here, but the developer sees only those
projects that he works on - shown one below the other.
He could say work 2 hours on one project and 6 hours on another for a
day. He could also work 8 hours on just one project and have value
zero for other projects.

> • Why did you choose a standard calendar for navigating across weeks?
User gets the month view and on choosing a day from it, it detects the
week that particular day falls in and shows that week view.

> • Have you considered the input efficiency of text boxes versus drop-downs
> for the hour entry fields?
True, I did suggest that drop down is not going to be efficient. But
it was like a forced requirement from the product owner that he wanted
dropdown. If text fields were there, sometime users can mistype two
decimals, or leave spaces, etc. This was the debate :)

> • It's a good idea to have Day total beneath the hour fields. The week,
> month and year total might benefit from a different placement.
> • What are the items in the green "tabs"? A project or a person?
They are project names that are defined by the project manager from
his view. Sorry if it had confused you, as this is only a pixel by
pixel UI mockup :)

> • What's the difference between save and submit?
Save - Some users want to enter their hours on a daily basis. For
example, user enters hours for Wednesday and saves. The data only
saves into the database. It does not yet goes to the project manager.
Thursday and Friday and when all entries are complete the user clicks
on Submit to pass it to the project manager. However there are some
users who also sit and fillup the entries on a Friday evening.

Submit - Users will have to submit the report (to project manager)
only on Friday or end of week. Once submitted, they cannot change the
values.

> • How do you add another project in this view? Can you?
There is no way the developer can add or remove projects from his/her
view. It is defined by the project manger in his view (seperate UI
view). The attached UI is the end developer's view. Project manager
will be the reporting person for any developer here.

> • The day of the week can be found at the top of the column. Adding the date
> as well would make the form easier to use.
> • You should be able to make this design work with fewer colors. Right now,
> there's a lot going on.
> • Consider varying font sizes as well as weights
> • Provide a clear path to completion for every day you work. Since a day is
> represented as a column, you could place a button below the hour entry rows.
Can you also hint what that button should do?

> • Last but not least, put real text into your sketch. That'll make it easier
> to comment on :-)
Yes, this is the first iteration of all that are going to follow. Agreed :)

--
Shivan Kannan
★ uidude.com
★ uidude.wordpress.com
twitter at uidude

3 Aug 2009 - 4:09am
Fredrik Matheson
2005

> • Provide a clear path to completion for every day you work. Since a day
is
> represented as a column, you could place a button below the hour entry
rows.
Can you also hint what that button should do?
Of course :-) Lock the hours for that day.

3 Aug 2009 - 7:46am
Marco
2008

>
> I am designing an hour reporting tool for internal office use.
>

Slightly off topic
I also work for a company that uses its own home-grown application for hour
reporting, invoices, basic project managment, etc. The project managers are
responsible for verifying the reported hours of the team members.
Unfortunately, there is no simple way to do this. Our project managers have
to open each screen with the input of each project member, verify the hours,
double check with the budgeted hours (which is in another part of the
application), and change them accordingly. A lot of work!
It may be worthwhile to design and implement a screen where project managers
can quickly verify the hours that are entered by the project members. I
would save our project managers several hours per month and a lot of
frustration.

Marco

3 Aug 2009 - 11:10am
AlokJain
2006

Shivam,

From the design it seems like the tasks are pre-defined for the
developers/coming from planning software. I say this because you
display task status and deadline as well. I think this is good as the
focus is task based.

My main question would be, do you really need to capture how much
effort was spent on each day? What if you keep it simple that the
developers update the remaining hours against each task daily. This
would be much simpler and faster for people to fill in. It also brings
a focus towards task completion and not on what the person spends each
day.

Task | Estimated hours | Remaining hours | Deadline

From analysis standpoint, people care about status of tasks and then
from billing standpoint how many hours have been reported. This will
be able to provide you the same information.

If you make it too granular, then in my experience, people tend to
fill in incorrect details to make sure totals are correct. In this
spirit time capture should not be a way of managing the team but only
manage tasks.

Cheers
AJ

On Aug 2, 2009, at 11:20 PM, Shivan Kannan wrote:

> http://uidude.wordpress.com/files/2009/08/pmis.png

4 Aug 2009 - 12:10am
Uidude
2009

Hello Alok

Thank you for your suggestions.

On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 9:40 PM, Alok Jain<alok.ajain1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Shivam,
> From the design it seems like the tasks are pre-defined for the
> developers/coming from planning software. I say this because you display
> task status and deadline as well. I think this is good as the focus is task
> based.
> My main question would be, do you really need to capture how much effort was
> spent on each day?What if you keep it simple that the developers update the
> remaining hours against each task daily. This would be much simpler and
> faster for people to fill in. It also brings a focus towards task completion
> and not on what the person spends each day.
Fortunate or unfortunate, there is also a business owner view apart
from the project manager view. The business owner feels that he too
wants to see the hours spent by every worker so he gets something like
an upper hand over project manager. While project manager can
understand a team member's working capacity, the only focus of the
business owner would be the number of hours spent as he pays for every
hour :) He wanted so also because that he could ask explanations from
project manager when he thinks hours spent exceeds more than what
should have required :(

> Task | Estimated hours | Remaining hours |  Deadline
> From analysis standpoint, people care about status of tasks and then from
> billing standpoint how many hours have been reported. This will be able to
> provide you the same information.
> If you make it too granular, then in my experience, people tend to fill in
> incorrect details to make sure totals are correct. In this spirit time
> capture should not be a way of managing the team but only manage tasks.
What you say is true. Finally, it makes the developers more smarter :D

> Cheers
> AJ
>
>
>
>
> On Aug 2, 2009, at 11:20 PM, Shivan Kannan wrote:
>
> http://uidude.wordpress.com/files/2009/08/pmis.png
>

--
Shivan Kannan
★ uidude.com
★ uidude.wordpress.com
twitter at uidude

4 Aug 2009 - 3:32am
Håkan Reis
2006

Very of-topic but this really concerns me:

> "He wanted so also because that he could ask explanations from project
> manager when he thinks hours spent exceeds more than what should have
> required "

If he knows or think he knows what is required, then i don't put much trust
in his co-workers. He will always get budgeted and exact times filled in and
not actual time.

Not that it's something you can do much about in the UI...

Regards
---
Håkan Reis
User experience and .NET Consultant at Dotway AB
Øredev Program Committee
+46(768)510033

Our conference || http://oredev.org - It's going to be great in 2009
My company || http://dotway.se
My blog || http://blog.reis.se
My twitter || @haqwin

Mike Ditka <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mike_ditka.html> -
"If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn't have given us arms."

On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 07:10, Shivan Kannan <shivan.kannan at gmail.com> wrote:

> He wanted so also because that he could ask explanations from
> project manager when he thinks hours spent exceeds more than what
> should have required
>

4 Aug 2009 - 2:26pm
Juhan Sonin
2003

The data strategy has a big impact on the business, technical
implementation, and design of the time reporting service.
Is your service the gold source for the data? For the project UIDs?
For staff profiles?

We designed, engineered, and released StaffPlan, a work planning tool
for staff, project managers, and department managers (yes, it was a
matrixed organization). One quickly gets into the sticky business
rules of a company. Good examples of corporate time recording apps
business processes have an open data strategy where any staff member
can access the data. No data hiding or gated access.

Old screen comp:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/opendesigngroup/2476094003/
This service sat on top of the hourly collection tool (a
straight-forward form) which was required to be updated once a day.

If you have any questions, fire away.

-Juhan

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=44329

4 Aug 2009 - 2:49pm
dirtandrust
2008

Why reinvent the wheel when there are so many tools out there that do
this? Atlassian's Jira and Replicon work well together to manage
developer workflow.

Besides that, I like your design. It's clean, with good contrast and
actually uses color. Replicon doesn't use color all that well, with
just a dark navy blue for visual comfort. :)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=44329

2 Mar 2010 - 2:33am
Timesheet
2009

i m not sure if you are aware about various theme provided by replicon timesheet, but only admin has the right to change theme...

4 Aug 2009 - 2:52pm
dirtandrust
2008

The one gripe I have with Replicon that I hope your system addresses
is being able to carry work from previous weeks forward to the
current week.

Right now I have to start from scratch every week and it's a big
pain. I charge .5 hour just to fill in my timesheet because of this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=44329

2 Mar 2010 - 3:30am
Timesheet
2009

And in the latest version 8.11 of WTS they have an option called "Copy From" to do that..... not sure when it was intoduced though....

2 Mar 2010 - 2:30am
Timesheet
2009

if you need a demo of commonly used timesheet application you can try http://www.replicon.com/

It will provide you great insight about various functionality too..

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