We’ve got lots of plans for facilities to add to agileBase – things our clients have asked us for, things that Lean theories promote and just great ideas we’ve dreamed up. However, we never wanted agileBase to become a dumping ground for features in the way so much hard to use software is, rather it’s a base on which your own applications are built. I’ve always liked the phrase
“Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing more to add, but when there’s nothing more to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
In that light, before making any additions we’re removing and demoting components from the user interface, to de-clutter it in order to allow new developments to add to the product without adding to the complexity. Before I go any further, don’t worry! Your favourite feature isn’t being removed, it’s still there but it may just be in a slightly more fitting place.
The most obvious example is the import and export functions. These are features that are used every now and again rather than every day. Rather than keeping big buttons for them in the toolbar, they are now links at the bottom of each report. This means that
a) they’re obviously relevant to the report that you’re looking at
b) visual complexity is reduced for the majority of users who never need to see them. They are discoverable but not in-your-face
They’re also only shown when necessary, for example the import link is only shown when you’re viewing a table.
You may also have noticed over the past few weeks the general style of the interface has got a lot cleaner – removing unnecessary row and icon colourings to focus on the content of your information.
Of course new features then have to be added in a way that maintains the simplicity and cleanliness of the interface. So what are they?
- Inclusion of user statistics in agileBase. At the moment you can download a spreadsheet of usage data from the dashboard but why not make the usage logs available as normal data tables in agileBase itself? To start this, we’re also going to make the access count for each row available in the row itself – very useful for gauging the popularity of individual items if they’re things like learning resources
- Forms development – to continue making forms easier to fill in
- Integration with great visualisations such as treemaps and Google Maps
- Offline access for mobile and tablet devices – to have your data accessible even when there’s no internet connection