Author Topic: usability issues  (Read 8302 times)

SiliconMind

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usability issues
« on: September 24, 2008, 11:10:47 am »
After using opengoo for about two weeks now i have some usability issues to report. Mainly I'm using opengoo for task management so I'll focus on that:

1. Every time i go back to the task's main page i have to expand task tree AGAIN. This is very annoying and time consuming. For example: I expand a milestone and it's sub-tasks and want to quickly check certain task's details - so i click the task and get the task details page. great, but when i close task details i go back to the tasks/milestones tree which is totally collapsed. So i have to again expand a milestone that i was interested in. When you want to browse through lots of milestones and tasks this is heavily annoying AND time consuming process.

2. tagging interface could be improved. now when i want to tag an object i get suggestions as i type. great, but these suggestions aren't selectable nor clickable, so i have to write the whole tag anyway. take a look at drupal's way of doing auto suggestions for textboxes: http://api.drupal.org/api/function/ (take a look on left side of the page). It's just seamless and works great :)

3. Drag'n'drop reorganization of task tree would come in useful. now if i accidentally assign a sub-task to the wrong parent task, i have to click this new task details, then edit it, then click 'more' and then i can change it's parent and finally click on 'save changes'. that's hell lot of clicking :) again drupal has a great drag'n'drop interface for reorganizing items.

4. Object linking feature is great... but why you can't link to a sub-task? When you brows for objects to link (the "Select an object" dialog) and select tasks, only top level tasks are listed, but no sub-tasks. Also you can't filter objects in that dialog box. You can filter them by tags, you can filter them by workspaces but you can't filter by typing phrases (for example like you do in your normal mailbox to filter messages).

5. Sub-tasks are great. Really. Object linking is too. But sometimes it's not what one might need. Consider this: sometimes it happens that i have a two (or more) tasks, that require one sub-task to complete earlier. The problem is, that a sub-task can have only one parent. There is no way to solve this 'dependency issue' with current sub-task/object linking scheme.

6. I know it has been mentioned earlier... but i too think that graph for tasks is a must. There are some great charting libraries like Open Flash Chart: http://teethgrinder.co.uk/open-flash-chart-2/ i use it and it is just great. I know that flash might not be welcome :( but still graphs for the task management module are really needed.

There are also few other issues that i've found:
7. Admin does not have an access to the private worksapaces! Why? You can set permissions to allow normal users access other user's private workspaces but admin is THE ONLY user that does not have an access to other users private workspaces in any way!

8. I've created a user in my main company. Then i've created second company, changed the user's profile to set his company to the newly created one. Changes have been saved and this user's account just disappeared! There were no way i could find his account. It was not listed on users list in the administration panel. I had to access it directly via link: /index.php?c=user&a=card&id=4
« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 01:03:46 pm by SiliconMind »

cabeza

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 04:12:14 pm »
Hello SiliconMind,
what you wrote is amazing.
We know the tasks interface is far from perfect, and this is the kind of feedback that will really helps us improve a lot.
We will definitely consider all of it. We'll solve bugs for version 0.9, and add other features you mention in subsequent versions.
Thanks again.
Marcos
P.S. In our installation, we partially solve problem #5 by ordering tasks

SiliconMind

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 05:59:26 pm »
I'm glad i could help.

Can you be more specific on your solution to the problem #5?

cabeza

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 10:00:51 am »
About problem 5:
It really depends a lot on your specific problem. But thinking it twice, my suggested solution would be far from good.

A question about problem 8:
Could you give me more instructions on how to reproduce the situation? I have coded some prevention for the problem, but could not reproduce it.

Thanks a lot,
Marcos

conrado

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 11:18:04 am »
Hi SiliconMind.

Here's another salute to a great feedback. Most of it you'll be glad to see it addressed soon.

1. Absolutely. Very annoying. Will be fixed soon

2. I just checked about the "suggest box", as I call it. Damn! You can't select using the mouse! That is bad. With every drop-down I always use the arrow keys, which works in OpenGoo, so I didn't notice. We'll try to fix that soon. For now, use arrows and enter (tab key doesn't do the trick either  :( ).

3. Drag n drop is on the wish list. Eventually will make it. Lots of click, yes, that's bad. We'll keep on improving.

4. Notes taken on this. Might be a while till we add it.

5. Hum. Tasks dependencies. This is one we could open a thread for a debate. Having managed several - software - projects, with different tools that allowed dependencies, I have never really found a need for the software to record the dependencies. There were always few important dependencies. Always too obvious to take the time to be explicit ("don't put the roof before doing the walls"). Adding features for occasional uses could overload the interface, while dragging our time. How many people 'really' need to map dependencies on the tool? Is this Pareto? Or is it more like 5% of the use? Couldn't you do without dependencies?

6. We are ok with Flash, as long as we don't find a good Open Source alternative to do the trick. We can do graphs. Which one would you say is 'a must'?

7. Marcos is checking this (At least it is on his tasks list  :P )
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SiliconMind

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 12:43:32 pm »
Could you give me more instructions on how to reproduce the situation? I have coded some prevention for the problem, but could not reproduce it.

On a new installation i did this (all using "root" account):
1. Created four non-admin users - i don't think that exact number means anything ;)
2. Created some tasks.
3. Assigned all tasks to some users.
4. Created new client company.
5. Edited last created user (mine had ID 4) and changed the company he was assigned to to the newly created one.

When changes to the user account has been saved user with ID 4 was not displayed on users list. I've checked the newly created company details and it showed "1" in "users" column. There was no way to access user's account using GUI. I figured out that i'll go directly to the url "/index.php?c=user&a=card&id=4". The only way to get that user back to the users list was to change the company he was assigned to back to the main company. And that's it.

SiliconMind

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 01:31:39 pm »
This will be a long one too. Sorry ;)

2. I just checked about the "suggest box", as I call it. Damn! You can't select using the mouse! That is bad. With every drop-down I always use the arrow keys, which works in OpenGoo, so I didn't notice. We'll try to fix that soon. For now, use arrows and enter (tab key doesn't do the trick either  :( ).
I can confirm, that when using Firefox 3.0.1 you CAN NOT use arrow keys to select items from OpenGoo's "suggest box". Absolutely nothing happens when i hit "down" key.

4. Notes taken on this. Might be a while till we add it.
Well, unfortunately i have another one: It is impossible to LINK TO a file uploaded in Documents tab. None of the uploaded files are listed in "Select an object" dialog box. However you can LINK FROM a file. Unfortunately this still makes impossible to link sub-task with a file, because sub-tasks are not listed in the "Select an object" dialog box.
Bay saying LINK FROM i mean that you hit "Link object" label from a dialog showing some object details (like task, or comment or whatever).
By saying LINK TO i mean that you browse "Select an object" dialog box to find an object for linking.

5. Hum. Tasks dependencies. This is one we could open a thread for a debate. [...] Adding features for occasional uses could overload the interface, while dragging our time. How many people 'really' need to map dependencies on the tool? Is this Pareto? Or is it more like 5% of the use? Couldn't you do without dependencies?
You are absolutely right that this might seem to be a 'non issue'. What you say in software design is usually true. However task management is not only limited to it :) I understand that what i ask might be a bit complicated. For me a simple relation is needed: "starting task A and task B requires sub-task C to complete first". However task C can be a sub-task of A or B only (but not both of them). First of all it is needed to signal owners of task A and B that something else has to be done before they can start working on their tasks.

In fact to keep things simple: if only cross sub-task object linking would be possible AND the UI would show if linked task is required and completed that would be enough. For now even simple "completed/uncompleted" icon next to linked objects would be enough. Having notification for all dependent users that fire when sub-task C is completed would be nice too.
This is important for users working on their tasks but also for managers that control the work progress. If manager can't see that user user X is late because user Y is late with his job, then the manager will be mad at user X instead of user Y - who is the real source of the delay ;)

6. We are ok with Flash, as long as we don't find a good Open Source alternative to do the trick. We can do graphs. Which one would you say is 'a must'?
a chart showing users tasks and milestones across time axis would be very helpful. For example, this allows users to squeeze more tasks within shorter time period. This is possible only if they can see the big picture. This type of chart is also a great way to track efficiency if you can compare the amount of time that was predicted for a task and the real amount of time it took to complete the task. Clicking through all the tasks to write this down is a horrible, horrible thing :) When you see this on a graph - well, it all makes sense immediately :) You could probably think of few other things, but these are the first two that came to my mind when i started building task trees with OpenGoo.

cabeza

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 04:35:40 pm »
The problem seems to be that the interface is not clear enough.
To see the users of another company you should view the company card (URLs  like index.php?c=company&a=card&id=25 ) and at the botton of this view you will see "Users" box. When you click on it, it expands and users from that company are shown.
Does that solve your issue?
Thanks again for all of your feedback.
Marcos

SiliconMind

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 06:15:15 am »
cabeza, thanks for clarification. Indeed this works fine :|
I'm sorry for this.... but on second thought that makes me wonder... the current solution seems a bit counter intuitive. After all, 'users' always means users, right? No matter where they belong. But when you spread their accounts like this, managing them might be a real pain :(
It is good to see the list of each company's users, but in my opinion a good design also needs them listed in one obvious place, like the "users" menu :)

cabeza

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2008, 09:46:03 am »
I agree 100%.

conrado

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 10:19:43 am »
I can confirm, that when using Firefox 3.0.1 you CAN NOT use arrow keys to select items from OpenGoo's "suggest box". Absolutely nothing happens when i hit "down" key.

Could you specify the screen where this happens?
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Number8

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Re: usability issues
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 07:41:22 pm »
Regarding tasks:
--- Dependencies would be very helpful, particularly one task dependent on multiple other tasks.
-- Similarly, a task shouldn't be allowed to be completed unless all sub-tasks are completed.  (This could be 'overrideable'.) 
-- And, when all sub-tasks are complete, the parent task should be marked as complete.
-- On the Overview display, there is one flat list of tasks.  It would be nice to see the hierarchy/dependencies.

Looking forward to 1.0...