We have colour-coded sections of
the software to make areas more familiar to those who haven't used
those sections before. For example, all report selectors are
colour-coded green, so that in whatever screen a person is in, a
command button labelled in green is going to produce a
report. Similarly, set-up areas (to post new client details,
add or amend work-types, departments or rates) are coded in light
blue. More critical areas are coded red.
The background that we use is dark blue to provide a calming effect while giving the contrast required to clearly identify the various screen elements. The data-entry screens are coded yellow and are designed for speed of entry while providing useful information about entries already made.
For those unfamiliar with any of our programmes, there is help available at the 'touch of a button'. No need to go hunting for a manual only to find that someone else is using it...click on the help buttons available to get help on a particular form, report or operation.
else, you learn by doing, so we try to make
processes easier for the end user, with the knowledge that sometimes
people make mistakes and
need to correct them. We encourage people to check their
entries (because we can't do it
for them!) and we make it reasonably simple for a user to make a
correction to an entry; however, we try to ensure that the user doesn't
cause further problems when making 'corrections'. For
example, with Time Recording, we became aware that some administrators,
having invoiced work/expenses with an incorrect invoice reference,
could amend the invoice number in one place without amending the
associated records; so we amended the software to prevent this and
added a routine so that administrators could amend incorrect invoice
It is essential to have valid data, so data should be checked regularly. In addition to encouraging users to check their data in their database, we have added 'Check Data' routines that check for data anomalies. We also encourage their use regularly.
If you become one of our clients, please don't sit back hoping that we're going to add a particular feature; we're good, but none of our staff are telepathic! If you, as a client, want to see a particular feature added to either programme, then please let us know. We'd be most happy to discuss your ideas with you and will gladly make appropriate changes if we believe that they are of benefit to the vast majority of our clients.
If we become aware of an improvement, or added feature that will benefit our clients, then we'll do our best to make the appropriate changes, so that you can reap the benefits.
We won't necessarily make changes to the programme every year ("...if it ain't broke..."), and we do not make bespoke software, but if there is something that we can do that will be of real benefit to our clients then we'll certainly be ready to consider it.
One of our recent additions to Time Recording has been the result of client feedback.
We were asked to provide a facility for adding time or expenses in bulk, for example, if an employee were carry out the same task for a number of different clients and an equal amount of time (or expense) needed to be added for this specific group of clients.
We created a facility whereby, each member of staff could pick a group of clients for the work (and change the group mix next time around if required), and add a specified amount of time with a specific narrative (and work-type) and post them all together at the 'touch of a button'.