Our team at Flexy Global likes to have all their tasks and projects out in the open, easy to coordinate and plan. Over time, we learned that clarity is most important to successfully complete a project.
Recently, we were asked to redesign a task management tool, the RAPID Platform. Although we all actively use a number of different productivity tools, our team had a list of questions to answer before moving forward:
How is the platform used?
- What problems does the platform have and why?
- What are the opportunities?
- What are the business’s objectives?
- And, what do we want to achieve?
This discovery stage brought us one step closer to understanding the project.
“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”
— Henry David Thoreau
It is hard to know what each employee is working on, when, or how. That is why a task management tool is important when it comes to efficiency. With a unified place where every employee or department can share their work plan, the workplace productivity will literally soar.
True, you can email a coworker, “Meeting at 14:00,” but what if your company has 500 employees and 100 active projects at the same time? With a task manager, it would be much easier to:
- Stay organized,
- Manage team work
- Organize workflow
- Prioritize tasks
- And meet deadlines
Our biggest wish was to increase users’ productivity rates. If a human’s potential is measured as a unit of 1, a person is likely to operate at 0.5: half of their potential. So, the question was, “how can we redesign a task manager to help people reach their full potential?”
As brainstorming usually works, our questions grew even bolder: “How can we multiply that potential?” It is also important to consider each person, and their potential, in a team.
But, basing a redesign on pure assumptions is risky because it can be a waste of precious time and resources.
Close client relationships are the foundations of a successful project. The better the communication, the more a design team will learn about their client, client’s needs, and the product. That is why our team was always in touch with the clients from the very beginning. Speaking of the start, it is time to introduce RAPID.
RAPID is an Australian productivity platform founded in 2017.
It is a tool worth considering for any company aiming to improve its internal communication and productivity. Coworkers can create tasks, change their completion statuses, inform others of upcoming meetings, and keep track of time.
Our client’s main request was to work on improving the platform’s UX components rather than the UI. The reason for this was that the platform was highly customizable to suit their clients’ individuality and needs.
The challenge was in understanding the full navigation plan and user flow. Particularly, when assessing the embedded forms, which are separate strings of tasks that can be transferred. This feature is present in no other productivity app!
Another pivot point was the platform’s task view. On one hand, it had a somewhat limiting categorization option: Overdue, Today, Upcoming, and Completed.
On the visual side, all tasks were originally shown in a stiff list. Users often rely on the way things are positioned or sectioned when using a product; so, our task was to find ways to guide RAPID’s clients and make their experience effortless.
Take a look at how our project flowed from Design Audit to submission in 5–6 weeks. Notice all the parallel work? The workflow might look linear but we had continuous communication and calls at every stage with the RAPID team, making the experience much more fruitful.
Research is needed no matter how straightforward a task may seem, and ours definitely needed some clarification. To get a full picture of the company and their product, we talked to every member of the RAPID team. All the interviews we held played a huge role because we got to know our client’s team better, their values, visions, and understood where to go from there.
We also assessed other productivity platforms that could share similar features with RAPID, like Monday.com, Asana, Trello, Clickup, and Microsoft tools. As you see in the chart, aside from looking at what each company could offer, we also took note of useful features they did not have.
These findings then helped us understand which of the platform’s flows needed redesigning and how to deal with these issues.
Here are some things we came up with:
- Improve internal communication
- Reduce time working with attachments
- Allow users to view attachments in Task View
- Make task information easily accessible
Having done the research, our team focused on redesigning the task manager’s UX. The user flow remained roughly the same, with some minor changes, so, our aim was to re-imagine the experience.
Designing one part of a platform does not mean that we must forget about all the other sections. By “other” we mean elements like designing a process. These processes include embedded forms that are also connected to the task manager. Simply put, there were sections that were located outside of the task manager but had a close connection to the tasks. That is why we kept these sections in the back of our minds as they directly affected the user flow.
It is important to have an active back-and-forth relationship with a client to gather feedback regularly. Otherwise, you might go off on a tangent and realize it too late. In our case, the work with RAPID’s team was divided among two distant continents, but, we worked around it and our teamwork remained very productive.
With the help of a product audit, our challenge became clear and we could look for possible solutions. Yet, our design team never rushes through a project; that is the point of an Improvement Stage! We got on a call with our client and presented the issues uncovered, how the competitors solved them, and our own solutions. Once all features were discussed and agreed on, we proceeded to the creative part.
As mentioned, the RAPID Platform had an interconnected user flow that, we felt, could do with more user friendly visualizations.
Aside from redesigning the platform’s Task View, we also added a Kanban, Timeline, Calendar, and List Views. Every person has their own preferences, that is why we chose a variety of formats. Now, each user can customize their work based on their own comfort, productivity, and taste.
As you can see, the Kanban View is very intuitive, consisting of task cards that users can create, drag, and drop. Another productivity platform that uses the same principle is Trello.
The cards can include a description, checklists, attachments, assignees, and even mark dependent tasks that should be completed first. While other competitors only accept attachments added to cards, our design allows attachment uploads to any tiny task. For example, a user can upload attachments to any subtask, and any checklist can be converted to a subtask. They can also add attachments in the comments section.
This view also has a whole range of new filters that will help users organize their tasks by its status or deadline. To make sure all information stays visible, minimized cards indicate a progress bar with the number of tasks, comments, and other elements remaining.
Another useful feature the client asked to include, and appears in almost all views, is the Timer. The stop-watch design makes it easier for users to allocate and manage their time; besides a business could also use the feature to see if it really does improve efficiency in the workflow.
This view is more like a calendar that shows the length of each task. It is a visually plain schedule that shows which tasks or projects need more time and when they must start or end.
Our clients were especially keen to work on the functionality of the platform, so, our team maximized its user-friendliness. The navigation is very easy as tasks can be dragged and dropped the same way as in the Kanban View. Each project can also be dragged from the sides to change individual task length.
No information was missed in designing the wireframes since users can still see all their task details on the left: a space-saving and organized solution.
No, this is not the same as the Timeline View but you are right if you see similarities! This page not only shows the daily tasks but can also zoom out and give the user a weekly or monthly overview. Thanks to the spacious layout, a person can easily view the dates, days of the weeks, time, and tasks on the palm of their hand. This is particularly helpful when you need to plan ahead.
The key word is ‘accessibility’ because this view allows you to:
- Control the view of individual and team tasks with just a toggle,
- Move tasks around with a drag and drop,
- See the number of minimized tasks,
- Identify newly added tasks,
- Filter tasks by status, assignee, and other options,
- And even see a monthly calendar while in a Day mode.
The List View goes beyond visual sectioning and provides a clear, hierarchical structure. Here, users can easily see all, new, and completed tasks and subtasks. You can clearly observe your progress during the day, week, or month in a list format and find motivation by filling the progress bar above.
Unlike the original task view, our designers opted for a more to-the-point layout. This view displays one task at a time, with all the elements organized in decreasing priority: from the task Title to its Description onto Checklists, Subtasks, Attachments, and Notes.
On the right hand side, a user can freely add additional information like relevant tags, assignees, due dates, estimates, etc., and leave direct comments.
Although the UI was less important to our clients, the wireframes would not be nearly as effective without our UI kit. For this project, our designers didn’t go far from client’s brand colors to suit their identity, but developed a daylight style to suit their purpose.
Starting from the clear sans serif font, the chosen button forms and icons, to the color coded features, the UI gives our RAPID redesign a wholesome image. To tell the truth, it plays a mighty role in shaping an intuitive UX.
This project truly put our minds and UX ideas to the test but everything was possible thanks to all the research, a clear focus, and our close teamwork with the RAPID team. In the end, we are proud to display a practical and intuitive design for a platform that builds clarity.
“Clarity Is The Key To Effective Leadership. What Are Your Goals?” — Brian Tracy
Thank you for reading and keep a look out for our upcoming project!