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The New Harvest Timesheet

After months of hard work, we are thrilled to finally unveil the new Harvest Timesheet.

This new timesheet is a giant step forward from the previous version. The interface is redesigned from the ground up. We sweated over every pixel and interaction, down to the timer animation on the “Stop” button. The codebase has been rewritten from scratch, and the new timesheet now has a stronger and more reliable engine that will serve us well for years to come. We think you’re going to be pleased with the resulting product – a faster, simpler, smoother, and more powerful new Harvest Timesheet:

Chosen – Fast Project and Task Selection

Historically, the slowest part of tracking time in Harvest has been the process of finding the right project and task. By applying our homegrown Chosen plugin to the new timesheet, instead of scrolling through the dropdown menu to find your project or task, you can search quickly through the lists.

Week Navigation on Day View

Our research led us to realize that many folks using the day view would switch back and forth between days – to review or reference their previous entries. That process will be faster and easier with the new week navigation on the day view:

Switching between days in the week is instantaneous (you need to try this to believe it). The new week navigation is also a handy way to see your entire week’s progress at a glance.

Better Timestamps Support

Some customers prefer to track time with start and end times (versus with just the duration). We have tweaked the timesheet interface to better support that method. There is an extra column of start and end times, and all time entries are sorted chronologically, so you can see the day visually displayed as if it were a calendar.

For those who want to try out tracking time by timestamps, you can change your mode under Account Settings > Edit Preferences. It’s an account-wide setting (if you change it, everyone in the account will see the new setting).

Live Timesheet

The previous timesheet became “stale” if you left it open in your browser without refreshing. The new timesheet (both day and week view) is live – it refreshes itself every few seconds. This is especially useful for many customers who use our latest add-ons, such as the Mac App, the iPhone App, or the recent integration with Basecamp. Any updates you make outside of Harvest will automatically show up on your timesheet; there will be no need for you to refresh the page.

New Technology

Under the shiny new interface is a new, powerful and robust codebase. For us, as a web technology company, this is exciting stuff. The new technology made it possible to create a much faster and smoother experience, and our new code will make future improvements easier. We hope to share some of the nerdy details in the near future.

Credit goes to the Timesheet 2012 Team: Dee Zsombor, Matthew Lettini, Patrick Filler, Barry Hess, Ken Earley and Joschka Kintscher. Also to our designers Samara Stauss and Kim Ku for helping with user research and early interface prototypes. Lastly but not least, a big thank you to our beta testers for their valuable feedback!

We believe the new timesheet offers you a much faster and smoother experience, and we hope you enjoy it! As always, thank you for your continued support, and let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

Thoughts or questions about this post? Need some help?
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This was posted in New Features, Product News, Time Tracking.
  • Jason Still on October 3, 2012

    The .day-view-entry .end-time style has a position:absolute that is causing all those values to render over each other just under the Monday time value for me in FF 15.0.1. It looks fine in Chrome, though. Just a heads up.

  • @Jason – Thanks. We’ve caught that, and a fix will be deployed shortly.

  • Help! You’ve reordered all of the tasks in week view so they are alphabetically by project…but I need them ordered by client or i can’t find anything! Is there any way to actually order by project? I can’t see an option for that…

  • We have dozens of projects. The larger font and smaller scroll window makes it difficult to find the one I’m looking for. Can you add the option to lengthen the height of the selection box?

  • As Jason points out above, FF has some issues. I sent a bug report with a couple of fix options for you… then I come over here and saw you are already working on it.

    Thanks for the quick response time and a great product.

    —–
    @Chris, if you use greasemonkey you can adjust that with some CSS. I don’t know what type of business you are in, so I don’t know if that is a little more technical than you care to go. However, I used greasemonkey to fix some display issues like that in the old timesheet view. Just a thought.

  • Best Harvest update ever. Ability to use my keyboard to find projects and tasks is a huge timesaver. Thanks for all your hard work.

  • I recently switched to Start and End times. I notice that the older entries, before I switched, show a time on the left side, which is useful, but what time is that? The start time or the end time?

  • You now have to save your time sheet before submitting it. What purpose is this extra step? Also the projects from the previous week don’t carry over to the next week. Problematic if you work on multiple projects. Is there a fix for this?

  • @Sarah – We just reverted this change. Week view should be sorted by Client first again.

    @Chris – The Chosen selection for Project now has the ability to type what you’re looking for. It should hopefully be faster for you to find the project you’re looking for than with the mouse.

    @Jeremy – Glad you like it!

    @Sheri – When you switch your account to timestamps from duration, older entries have an end time but no start time, due to the difference in the way entries are saved on duration.

    @Reba – Thanks for letting us know. We’ll look into saving while submitting. Week view will carry over projects week-to-week, but it only carries over when you’re current week is empty. Wait until next week and you should see this feature.

  • I like the search, but I would much prefer that the add dialog be inline like it used to be. As it is now, I can’t see any of my already entered time because the popup is blocking it.

  • I second Ryan. The popups are very annoying and impractical.

  • Michael Loureiro on October 3, 2012

    The week view of the timesheet is not working properly on Internet Explorer. I am assuming most people are using other broswers, because saving and deleting time in the week view is not working at all.

  • Not sure if this exists, but a key stroke to invoke the [ + ]-action would be great. Then you would not need to touch the mouse.

  • @Janne – You can. Try hitting “n” (for ‘new’). It should open the form for you.

  • @Micahel – We will investigate this issue. Can you please write us at support@harvestapp.com describing your issue. Thanks.

  • Dear Harvest –

    I have enjoyed working with your app for a year now, and I have recommended it to everyone I work with.

    Until today.

    I hate the new interface, probably more so because it came without choice and without warning.

    I have dozens of clients and dozens of tasks, and the data entry is far slower. Maybe if I watch the videos I can get up to speed, but maybe I don’t feel like randomly being put at the top of a learning curve in the middle of a busy workday.

    Please, please let us work with the classic interface until we can warm up to the new one. Give us some choice, so we don’t export to CSV and take our timesheets elsewhere.

    Claudio

  • @Harvest – When I start a new timer right now, it starts at 1 hour, and climbs from there. It only adjusts if I edit the entry and hit update.

    @Claudio – While I too have some issues with the timesheet’s new interface, there was, for me atleast, a bubble message pinned to the top of the timesheet page for a week announcing this was coming this week.

  • These are great interface improvements for someone who has only a few clients and a handful of tasks. The new interface is awful for a power user: the user experience becomes one of crawling through a dark mansion with a flashlight.

    Here’s why:

    1) there’s no more direct manipulation of the note text fields in the interface. Something as simple as copying notes from one time entry to another are now impossible

    2) the modal popups keep you from being able to view multiple entries at once. It completely blocks you from having any context to your time entry

    3) the pulldown menus only show 10 items at a time. For someone who has 15 clients and 20 tasks, the interface forces you to scroll constantly

    4) the use of screen real estate is better suited to mobile than it is to the web. Oversize fonts means less entries are visible at once. That also means more scrolling and less context.

    5) legibility on the PC interface has taken a nosedive: the low-contrast, gray letterspaced type is not aliased on PC browser. Add gradients behind the text and it becomes remarkably difficult to read.

  • I think its great… keep up the good work. Unlike others here, I like innovation and the idea that a company actually takes time to update the functionality and design of their prodcut. I don’t understand how a person a can’t use it, esp. after watching the vidoe. BRAVO HARVEST!

  • Joseph Gratz on October 3, 2012

    Bug: where I started a timer on the iPhone app in a time zone other than my home timezone, the timer shows a NEGATIVE number of hours when I open it in my browser (where local computer time is also set to the non-home timezone).

    Seems like you’re using the local timezone or local time on one platform or the other.

  • WOW !! The new timesheet is brilliant ! Great overhaul ! Impressed….. Keep it up !

  • Love the selection of client and project by typing.
    Dislike how large the fonts are by default.
    Hate having to click the pencil to be able to edit notes after the fact in the popup. Annoyed by the hour bug (where a timer starts at an hour until I refresh) but I’m sure you’ll fix that.

  • There are elements to the new interface that are nice, however the popup obscuring the previous entrys was designed with out consideration for how users actully work. Really bad UX fellas, hope this improves, otherwise myself and by the looks of it others will be looking at requesting refunds.

  • I couldn’t agree with @Claudio more.
    For the power user (we have 30+ clients with multiple active projects per client) and we aggregate multiple time sheets using both day and week view, everything about the new interface is “dumbed down” to the point where it is now painful to use it.

    I don’t need to see the days of the week above the day view. But now I can’t even see the dates. I feel lost and at sea using this interface and the popup is aggravating. Showing the notes below instead of beside in the day view is a huge issue for us and simply the larger spacing and fonts are a big problem.

    I have used and loved Harvest for 4+ years now, written about your wonderful interface and your EXCELLENT customer service, but this is making me look immediately for a new time tracking solution. Please let us switch back if we want. This is NOT an improvement for power users.

  • The popups make me feel like I am jumping through hoops to do my timesheet rather than going down the line and quickly knocking out a list.

    Others have mentioned a lot of the practical challenges with the redesign (I also share these concerns) so I thought I would chime in on some of the underlying psychological issues that may be at play here.

  • Ugh….how do we put it back!

    The interface is much slower and seems to be a lot more clunky.

    It sorts the items based on their entry, not on their time of day like it used to.

    The start and end time don’t fix themselves to be times like it used to (you used to punch in 130a and it knew what you meant…now it doesnt).

    It automatically defaults a time to AM instead of intelligently figuring AM or PM based on the start/end time that is already populated….

    How can we switch it back!!

  • What happened to the copy / duplication feature? Yesterday all my projects carried forward from the previous day as they have since you put that feature in, but today I’m just staring at a blank timesheet with a silly quote on it. I don’t see an option for copying anywhere. Shawn Liu said in a reply on the 9/25 blog post:

    “Don – timesheet duplication will work with the new timesheet, and we will improve that feature soon following the official launch.”

    So, where is it?

  • had high marks for the product going in and there may be good structure reasons for the changes, but overall, not happy. not happy at all.

    modal windows are terrible — a modal for each and every task. this is poor interaction design. and seems to be a result of wanting to use a fancy new tool (Chosen) with dropdowns and selections, rather than remember to KISS.

    Again, lots to like about the product overall, but wanted to voice the grumbling heard round the office.

  • I agree completely with @Jessica and @Claudio and can’t add much more to the usability concerns. For a bit of perspective, it took a seeming forever to train everyone that works for me to enter their time daily and a large part of it is due to Harvest and it being incredibly user-friendly. Now, I totally understand that it takes some time for any user to get acquainted with a new UI, but the concerns of my team are in-line with lots of other feedback I’m hearing.

    We have 30+ projects to choose from and tons of tasks and it just became a nightmare to get everyone back on board with this. How about a “power-user” band-aid with inline editing and context of entries and a toggle for a smaller font to see a super long list of projects at once?

  • So far so good, looks slick I’ll give you that!

    One thing that needs to be added back in, as someone else mention is the auto-correction of time entries. It used to be super easy to type “4p” and “5p” and it would figure out what you meant (4:00 PM and 5:00 PM). To have to type that all out now makes me seem like I’m living LIKE AN ANIMAL!

    :)

  • I’m verry happy to see the updates happening again. But… what has changed? (I only use the weekview btw). The only eye catching thing I can see changed, is the new popup for new-row instead of inline dropboxes. Which now hides everything when I want to add a new row :)

    Nifty, but for me personally there is no obvious step forward and a (very small) step back? Sorry. Hope using it for some more will change my mind :)

  • Ahg, the new notes field is driving me crazy. I need to enter often long entries here (the old character limit was sometimes an issue), but now it’s impossible to resize the field or type into the day view without entering this pop up box. It’s very pretty, but could we have the option to have the old behavior back? Otherwise I really need to work in TextEdit and paste the contents back, which is just silly. Thanks

  • Thank you everyone for the feedback, comments, concerns, and praise. We appreciate it and take your comments *very* seriously, the good and the bad. At Harvest we strive to make a product that’s not only powerful but easy and simple to use. The new Timesheets is a big change to our core functionality. Please give it a chance, and we think you’ll find the super fast project and task selection extremely useful, as well as the other new features included in the release.

    Being a brand new Timesheet, we will continue what we always do at Harvest: take in all feedback, do customer research, and make it better.

    ——————–

    @Allan @Ben S – Please write into support@harvestapp.com (if you haven’t already) with your 1-hour issue. We believe we have a fix for this if you’re still seeing it, related to Timezones.

    @Joseph – You are also seeing the Timezones issue. Please let us know at support@harvestapp.com

    @Brian @Sam – We are fixing timestamp input to work like the old inputs. You will be notified when it launches soon.

    @Jimmy – Timesheet Duplication is still coming, very soon. You will be notified when it launches.

  • Hey guys, great job on the update. I dig the “n” keyboard command to log a new entry. I’m wondering if there are others but I’m not sure of where to find a full list. Please point me in the right direction if you have one.

  • I will also chime in with positive feedback: I also dig the ability to add and navigate easily with keyboard. So don’t get me wrong, I am fully in favor of keyboard entry, I just strongly discourage the use of modal dialogs unless absolutely necessary.

  • Losing the daily copy / duplication feature turns this app into a huge pain for me, let alone all the other ill-conceived UI adjustments. Any idea how long until the feature comes back? I’ve been asking you guys for a real copying feature (that every other time tracking system I’ve ever used has) for over 5 years now, “soon” is the only answer I ever get. I do software/web development for a living, I know that feature would not be difficult to implement.

    And speaking from experience, it seems like you guys are favoring form over function. It’s nice that your app looks “cool”, but if it doesn’t provide adequate functionality, or even basic things like not requiring a mouse to use, who cares what it looks like? My advice would be to listen to your users and concentrate on usability.

    Also, making a massive change of UI in the middle of the work week, one that leaves out previously existing features, and provides no back-out plan or ability for users to revert, is an extremely unprofessional way to do releases. One might expect (and frequently get) such things from an open source Java application that costs nothing, but one would and should expect more from a paid-for application.

  • @mike That’s about it for now – “n” to bring up the new timer form, and you can type and tab your way through to start the timer. We want to keep it simple!

    @jessica Thank you! Agree with modal dialogs, but we believe it offers a more consistent and focused experience to starting a timer or adding time. Give it some time – and we’ll improve it based on feedback.

    @jimmy Thanks for your feedback. Timesheet duplicate will be back before this week is over. I’m not sure how our copy feature is different from a “real” copy – please write us in support and we’d love to understand better.

    As for the “ill-conceived adjustments” you mentioned, the new timesheet is designed and built by our team over several months, based on a lot of user feedback and user research with our customers – with another few weeks of beta testing and feedback prior to the launch today. I can understand your frustration with us, and I hope you, as a fellow web developer, can appreciate the fact that building and maintaining a popular business application isn’t easy, and we cannot innovate without taking risks and at the same time please every customer. But we do try, and I believe that given some time, most of our customers will be very pleased with the new timesheet.

    I’d like to reiterate that we know we can do better. We are not happy with some of the bugs that came with the launch, and our team has been on top of every little issue. We have gotten a lot of positive responses on Twitter and via support, and we will continue to improve and evolve the new timesheet based on your feedback.

    Thanks again to everyone who took the time to leave a comment here. If you would like to have a more direct and personal conversation, please feel free to write us directly at support (at) harvestapp.com.

  • Harvest’s just give it a chance stance on this, is going to piss a lot of people off real quick. Seems like you are not listening to your customers, the people paying you. I love harvest and I love software and UX innovation. But what you have built has made the product hard to use for me and many many others. Please can you outline your refund policy, and how we can export our data. Very disappointed in how this was rolled out with no notice.

  • It seems like you are more concerned with having a UI that works on a tablet or mobile device than for people who need this as a serious tool. The confined, adjustable window is frustrating for time tracking, the large fonts waste space and the lack of contrast in the overall design is not ideal.

    Although I like seeing you guys always improving the service, I constantly feel, with each recent update, that we are not seeing the core functionality additions we want, versus constant reworking of things not broken.

  • Enjoying the new keyboard shortcuts now that I’ve grown accustomed to them!

    My only comment would be that it would make sense to put the “Time” field before the “Notes” field, as Notes is optional and may not be filled out at all, whereas you will always want to enter a time (in fact it is mandatory).

    It would reduce the amount of tabbing between fields required.

    Thanks guys! Keep it up!

  • @Matt/Shawn-

    Take a look at the comments you are receiving here from your paying customers. We all have a huge dependancy on Harvest. Yes, we received a pop up over the last week signaling a change was coming. This was a major change with no way to revert back or transition to the new look. We can change our colors for Breast Cancer Month – great — now how do I change my timesheets back so they are simple interfaces that aren’t made to look pretty —- they’re made to work. Simply work. That’s the resounding message you are hearing from your client base here. The other product we use – Zendesk – made a HUGE change in their interface. Guess what — you can toggle it on and off!

    Give us the ability to go back to the look and feel we are used to, and expand your product. Jeremy had it best — dump the goofy look and feel, and get it back to what made you successful – a quick, useful product.

  • To add, a couple things I think many of us would LOVE to see soon:

    -Sort/search on invoice pages/reports. Could we at least sort by column??

    -Added to that, when I generate an invoice report, in addition to timeframe and client, I would love to further filter by project there.

    -The ability to generate a statement

    -For power users, customizable templates via CSS. Or if you didn’t want to go that far, maybe at least a couple canned choices for layout.

    I would have loved to see something like these be implemented, as they add to the functionality, verses reworking time tracking that wasn’t really broken.

  • Interesting responses and reactions amongst the staff and quite a bit of explaining from me this morning ( i had seen the message banner last week) but most people dont read the little message banners so it was surprise for them.

    Have to say it certainly was not at the top of my list of stuff I wanted to see, I have submitted the things I really would like to see done which is about function, not presentation.

    But having got it, mostly quite happy with it and dont mind the week banner across the top as I work mostly in daily and this reminds me if I have not completed a day, without having to flick across to the weekly view.

    Adapting to the adding new job reasonably easily but as other that have commented, the popup is the only real downside. I cannot see what else I have entered while completing the popup, I am not a user of timers, so seeing what I have entered is important, particuarly if breaking time across task within a job. Cant see why the popup is needed, the method should work equally as well without.

    And the larger font is a irritant, I have to refocus continually to the larger type and the amount of information available in the given screeen real estate is not as great.

    Not about to dump Harvest right now – invested too much time in taking it onboard to do that, but would suggest that in the feedback there are some clear messages about deployment strategies for major changes to heeded next time around. Human beings are creatues of habit that is for sure.

  • Hey,

    nice update but what’s with the iPhone app are there any updates planned?
    I’ve got the feeling the app is not that important?

  • Dear Harvest,

    I like the new top row with the total amount of time per day. But otherwise, the new design seems to require a lot of space. And like @Jimmy, I’m missing time duplication a hell of a lot. I don’t get the point of launching a redesigning which is not feature complete (except if you want to kill some features). I’m using Harvest to track time efficiently. Now, I’m loosing my time creating recurring tasks again and again.

    Like some other says (@Brian, @Adrian …), I have more and more the feeling that you’re not really focusing on the features required by your users. Again, this is just a feeling from a long time user of Harvest and I really hope this is not the case…

  • Thank you for the new version. I think it’s a great job. But tu put a new entry in a lightbox, its good looking, but slow, not visual ( i cannot see other entries in the same project ) and small. The rest by the moment works fine

  • 1) If we work in week-view and click submit, why does the system revert to day-view automatically? If people work in one particular view they will want to remain in that view.
    2) Please make it possible again to submit time in advance (I am sure you run out of quotes from famous people anyway…). In our projects some people sometimes take a long time off and will want to complete and submit hours ‘on leave’ in advance to avoid getting ‘friendly reminders’ to fill in their timesheets. You now force project managers to interfere and complete other peoples’ timesheets for them in order to generate correct weekly or monthly reports.
    3) As so many other people have already observed: please go back to smaller font size. I’m sure you did not receive too many complaints up to now that the font was too small.
    4) In a large organisation like ours, pop-ups are switched off centrally for security reasons. So please no more pop-ups.

  • After this mandatory upgrade, I can’t add a row in Safari 6.0 – I can open the ‘Add new row’ dialog box but the ‘Save’ button does nothing.

  • Seems apt that Harvest’s time tracking page displays this message:

    “The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.”
    – Dante Alighieri

  • Love the new timecard. I hope the next update will include a similar approach to expense reporting :)

  • @Gorm Sorry that you feel that way, and I’m sorry that you didn’t see the in-app message previewing the new timesheet. Export is easy – go to your account settings, scroll to the bottom, click on Export. Please write us at support (at) harvestapp.com and we can help you with the refunds.

    @Jeremy We hear your feedback – thank you. I hope you can understand that Harvest has a lot of customers, and it’s nearly impossible for us to adding features that will please everyone. But we’ll keep trying. As for search – you cannot see it, but we have been (for weeks) trying and testing out a new engine on the Manage Projects page, and once that’s stable, will bring search to more places in Harvest. If you can, would you email us about the “generate a statement” request? That’s not clear to me.

    @Andrew Thanks for the feedback and glad you like the shortcuts!

    @Brian We are also getting a ton of feedback both on Twitter (public) and within support (private). Believe it or not, this is a small portion of the overall conversation we’re having with all the customers. We have gotten a lot of great feedback – all the way back from our early prototypes, to the beta testing period. That said, some of the constructive criticism here is great, and we’re taking it all in. You will see some improvements in the coming days and weeks.

    @Adrian Thanks for your kind words. If our user research wasn’t complete off, I believe many folks will benefit from the week navigation. It will come in really handy once you get used to it. Pop-up and large fonts – we will review them some more.

    @Florian Glad you ask. The new iPhone App is coming really soon – we’ve been in the final stages of QA and fixing small bugs.

    @Stephane Thanks for the feedback. Timesheet duplicate coming back before this week is over. As for features, we’re trying. Every feature we add, some folks will love it, some folks won’t. A lot of the hard work we put in – to make Harvest faster and more stable – unfortunately goes by without notice. There are a lot of updates coming up, and I hope you’ll find some of them useful.

    @Felipe Thanks for the kind words and feedback!

    @Henk 1) That should not happen – can you write us at support @ harvest app.com? 2) We’d also like to understand that request better. We have not made any changes to the submission functionality. 3) The current version isn’t actually that much bigger than the difference. I think once you get used to something, a small change may feel more magnified. That said, we will be tweaking the design. 4) The pop-up isn’t a windows pop-up and you shouldn’t be having any issues.

    @Claran Please write us in support and we can help you. Everything should work fine in Safari 6.

    @Gorm Ok.

    @Dan Thanks for the kind words and we hope so!

  • Hi! I don’t personally use the time tracking function in Harvest, but my employees do. One of them uses Harvest on his iPad and was complaining this morning of not being able to scroll through the list of tasks on the iPad. We have a pretty extensive list of tasks (so that we can export into Quickbooks) and many of them start with the same number because we use subcategories in QB. For example, we may have 15 different tasks that all start with 4000 (4000 Maintenance: 4001 Mowing would be a complete task name). So by typing in 4000, it only brings up the first few options and then he isn’t able to scroll to see the rest. Any suggestions on this type of situation? Thanks!

  • The timesheet change has completely slowed down everyone’s workflow here at the office. Why do the projects clear every day? We are dealing with a list of hundreds of active clients and jobs and to go through that list over again every day is a waste of time. Also, why are we selecting projects from a popup? Wouldn’t it make for better user experience if we could enter our time right next to our selection? On behalf of our agency, please give us back the ability to keep jobs in our list visible from day to day!

  • I used to be able to add and subtract minutes from my time by typing things such as “+ :15” or “-:30”. I used this a lot because I often forget to switch the timer to a different project when something comes up on the spur of the moment. I noticed I can still add and subtract full hours. If there is a new way to add and subtract minutes, please advise. If this functionality is gone, please bring it back. FYI – my biggest issue so far is the lack of carrying forward the previous day’s entries. I know others mentioned it and I know you said it will be back by the end of the week. However, I wanted to let you know about another user impacted by your decision to roll out this upgrade without one of the existing features I have come to depend on to save a considerable amount of time each day.

  • I don’t like that the tab stops for the Add New and Update time dialogs are different.

    New: client, project, notes, time, save
    Edit: client projects, notes, time, date picker, DELETE, save

    Why to I have to tab 3 times from time to save on the edit screen when it’s only 1 tab on the add new time screen? Kind of annoying.

  • It is hard to change core functionality for a product, especially a product as well used and loved as Harvest. But if you loved it before give your feedback and your trust. This is a caring, responsive company and half the posters on this blog are treating them like GoDaddy.

  • I DO NOT like the new format to input time. It’s taking me twice as long to enter timesheets. I do not like the pop-up window. Way too many mouse clicks are necessary. I can’t just type the name of the project, I can only type the first few letters and then have to click on a drop down menu to choose which case I want. So unhappy.

  • @Shawn Liu

    Thanks for the reply. Most of us understand that you can’t please everyone. To speak for myself, I know my frustration comes from seeing some pretty basic feature requests (some going back years) being ignored (from our perspective), while time is being spent on upgrades that it do not appear the community is really asking for. I also understand you have to combine the client-base’s ‘agenda’ with your own as a business.

    For example, the recent addition of automated late reminders was a very welcome addition. One people have asked for a while. Love it. Added new functionality. I know upgrades like that are more what I (and from reading) many others would rather see than UI changes at the moment. Just my two cents. Thanks for keeping engaged with us all.

  • I am constantly forgetting to switch tasks.. i come back to harvest, and what I currently do is stop/start, edit current, then edit previous, to get all the times to line up correctly. It would be nice if when you add a new task, if the start time intersects with a previous entry, to curtail the previous entry and start the new one, similar to how clicking start on an old entry stops current entry at current time and starts a new one.

  • Have to agree with Jessica and Claudio. Unfortunately, the change is radical enough that I may switch to another program. Been super pleased with Harvest up to now.

  • Hello, this is possible to come back to the old interface ??

    To slow…
    To “large” at the screen
    The “+” button is to high
    too many mouse click

    With about 20 items by day….it significantly increases the time to enter my jobs hours

    please add a “classic button view”

    Thanks !

  • Thank you for this update, but it looks very bad

    The Plus button is too large, and it is difficult to view the project, we have about 50 projects and entering hours within the new scroll menu is really a pain.

    You should come back to the old view or add a “classic view button” as Frederic Marchand said.

    Thanks

  • Since the launch of the new Harvest timesheet – the Harvest for Mac app is not working. I have tried to reinstall a few times – still not working properly.

    It launches, and when I hit “+” to bring up the entry selection window, nothing happens when I hit the button to bring up the menu.

  • To Shawn Liu:

    I have explained directly to you and others at Harvest over the years (and have the emails to prove it) what I mean by a “real” copy feature. I’m not sure why it’s so confusing, but let me explain it again:

    The copy feature you guys are doing (which is gone now) is just carrying forward the previous day’s entries to the current day. This is useful and I would recommend leaving that feature in place, but it’s fragile and if, for example, you open the new mobile interface to make any entry, you’ll lose the ability to carry forward from the previous day and will be required to enter everything again. (The new mobile web interface doesn’t copy anymore, I’ve given up on using any of your mobile UIs and just wait until I can get to a mouse and keyboard system to enter time now).

    The copy feature I’m asking for would work like every other time tracking system I’ve used (has anyone in your company seen other systems? If not, you should). It consists of a button on the timesheet that says “Copy Previous Entries” or something like that. When pressed, it would allow you to copy the Project / Task / Descriptions from a given previous time range, such as the previous day or week or month, or given number of days, whatever might be useful. This does not copy the TIME entered, just the unique Project / Task / Descriptions in the given time frame. It would work like your carry forward feature did, except one can choose the range to copy from. There are ways to make this more robust, but what I’ve just described would do nicely.

    The reason this would be useful to me is because I’m working on 10 to 20 different Project / Task / Description combinations at any given time. I may not work them all every day or even every week, but it would be nice to be able to just quickly pop in some time for any of them when I need to rather than try to remember which task or project it was and how I described it previously. The descriptions are important to my organization because of the way the billing works it’s how we tell our clients exactly what we were doing without having to break down the tasks to a ridiculous degree. I’m subcontracting through a company that uses Harvest and needs to break down the projects a certain way for the clients, I have no control over this, but I am required to describe what I’m doing for a given task to a certain level of detail.

    Shawn, I do understand what you’re going through with a new release and having to deal with frustrated and seemingly hostile users (like me), but a lot of your issues are self-inflicted here. As I’ve said and others have said here, it seems like you guys are playing around with the interface for no particular reason without addressing the many feature and usability requests of your users. And doing a new release that leaves out features from the previous system…why? If you knew you were going to have the copy feature done by the end of the week, why do a release without it? Why not wait a few days, or a week, until the feature set is complete? Nobody was clamoring for these UI changes, and the feedback on them here has been mostly negative, so I don’t understand this way of doing business.

  • @Ashleigh – You should be able to scroll the Project/Task lists on the iPad. We are also increasing the size of the list soon.

    @Ryan – Thanks for notifying us of the tab issue. We will get this fixed.

    @Linda – After you type your project or task you can just press Down on your keyboard and Enter to select. You do not need to use the mouse if you don’t want to.

    @Sunny – We are aware of the start time issue and looking into it. It should work like the old timestamps and we’ll get that fixed soon.

    @Laurent – We are increasing the size of the project list soon. You should also take advantage of the new input box that lets you search your large list of projects, which you can then select via the arrow keys and Enter on your keyboard.

    @Dawn – We have not heard of this issue yet. Please write us at support@harvestapp.com so we can fix it.

    @Natalia @Jeff @Jeremy & Others – We are working on an implementation for Day View Timesheet Duplication that we hope to have out this week. We will continue to iterate and make this feature better, like the rest of Timesheets, as we go. We appreciate the explanation on how you want this feature to work. If you have more comments on the feature please direct them to support@harvestapp.com. Thanks!

  • I admit that I want to like the new timesheet, but the UI is poor. Modal windows hide the content and the large type makes me sad. Please don’t break the best parts of Harvest – ease of use and UI simplicity.

  • Robert Watson on October 4, 2012

    Brilliant! – love it

  • Owen Thomas on October 5, 2012

    Still no response to the many requests to include the old interface as an option?

    And I don’t understand why I have to be a time traveller to start a timer on a previous day, I could do it on the old interface and I wasn’t a time traveller. Or wait, do I find out I am a time traveller in the future? Please advise.

    Please see standard practice across the industry for rolling out a new interface for a web service. An opt-in public beta is done by all the best services for a reason, and new and old interfaces should run side-by-side for at least a year to allow clients time to transition their workflow and train their staff.

  • Dialogs instead of the excellent inline editing seems like a step back. I see no benefit in using a modal dialog that blocks all other elements.

    The overall look and feel however feels more modern but as a daily user this update did not benefit the time i spend in Harvest.

  • The new time sheet sucks!
    Don’t fix what isn’t broken!

  • The lack of inline editing has definitely hurt the usability for the way I use harvest at least. I don’t see any reason not to have it.

    Also, maybe I am in the minority, but I think harvest should have a responsive layout so the interface can still be used when the browser window is resized smaller (ie. very narrow and short). As it is now, the interface requires at least half of my screen width simply to interact with and use. All I need is the basic time tracking capabilities and that should be able to fit in a very small part of the screen.

  • I love the new timesheet. We have a large number of clients, and inputing is way faster with this new version. This is a major step forward from a UX standpoint.

  • Still making an attempt to get use to the changes to the UI, but I have to agree that the pop-up just to add a new entry (day or week view) is annoying.

    And the font, it is too large especially in the day view. In the day view the stop/start timer button is too big, the + button is ginormous! Give us the ability to choose “small”, “medium” or “large” fonts.

    The 7-day view across the top in the day view is a nice touch – I actually like that change – save me from going back to the week view to see a summary of how many hours I have tracked each day and for the current week. However, one suggestion, put the date next to the M T W Th F S S as well in that line in the day view – it will make better.

    I am not sure I like the font used for the drop down of the clients/projects. I currently have 8 active client. The client names are in this light grey font…difficult to read. I have clients where I have 15 projects under it….the drop down list is becoming difficult to navigate (this was a problem with the original UI as well) – not sure the best way to solve this problem without using some sort of dynamic list control but it can be done.

    Seriously…lose the pop-up…bring back the ability to inline edit/add tasks to the timesheet right in that view just like in the old UI, I think it would help a lot. In the week view, the “add item” button…add another one to the top of the view so I don’t have to scroll so far down when I have 10 item entries – given the new font sizes I am having to do a lot more scrolling down!!!

    Over all, I don’t mind the cleaner look, but some of the small things in terms of navigability and usage that everyone else had also pointed out can add up despite your best intentions. Scale things down a bit so it doesn’t take up so much real estate and have so much “white” space.

    I also agree with someone else’s comment questioning why you didn’t give us the option to switch to the new UI when we are ready to, and the ability to toggle back and forth…even Gmail and Yahoo mail allowed that. Don’t make the mistakes other companies have made in this SaaS space where UI changes were forced down everyone’s throat at the cut over date determined by management. And remember one thing… your users come in all age groups…some of us are in our 40s 50s and 60s…changes to UI can sometimes get a bit confusing when we’ve already developed “muscle memory” for the old UI.

  • One more thing I forgot to add to my original post – before you make any more drastic UI changes you have to think through the fact that most of us HATE entering timesheet data. You have to make it as efficient as possible for the user, fewest mouse clicks is key. It is an administrative function that most of us who bill by the hour do not like to do and wasting time doing it is a bad thing.

  • Advantages:
    1) Bigger input fields

    2) Auto completion and ability type out projects (power user interaction)

    3) Like being able to jump to a particular day from the week view using the top “day links”

    Fundamental Usability Flaws:
    4) When adding a “New Row”, the default selected project is some outdated project that I haven’t worked on for months. Why not default to a recent popular project I am working on? What about the fundamental interaction rule of “recognition over recall”. Why not also show the last 3 projects worked on to be selected from a list?

    5) When I enter a time value in the week mode and then try to switch to day mode, I get asked “leave page” or “stay on page”. The product does not AUTOSAVE!!! So if I do not click “save” and click “leave page”, my time gets lost. Why not autosave every now and then as well on page leave? Basic UI rule: respect what the user has done (“Undo’s” over “Prompts”). Prompting is the 90’s and implies the user is stupid. Imagine asking a person “are you sure you want to exit the building” each time someone tries to leave. :)

    6) Notes are invisible and dug in so deep. Why not show which entries have notes on the week view (as little icons + tooltips + allow fast access to notes). Otherwise I need to search for notes day by day. Poor usability! Here are all the actions needed to edit a note from a week view:
    – from week view switch to day view
    – flip between days to find note
    – edit note

    7) Direct manipulation is another pattern used for easier use. Ex: make the actual note in the day view clickable to be editable inline. The current overlay/popup that appears for editing a note has a different position than the actual note and introduces more elements and noise. It requires users to think more than just turning an actual note into a textarea in the same position it was in.

    Overall, I think you still have lots of opportunity to increase the usability of this (if you did 4-7) :).

    Keep it up!

    Jakub
    ps. Hire me and I’ll help you draw up a couple of UI concepts

  • Please can you tell me why you removed the ability to start timers in the past? As a freelancer I will regularly choose my working hours to fit around my busy family life and may work extra hours one evening, sometimes I make up time at the weekend. However, I typically invoice my clients and supply the time sheets with those invoices based on a Monday – Friday 8 hour working day. So for example I may work a number of hours on Sunday but would like to record the time against the Monday for invoicing purposes. I found the timer function really useful for this but now you have removed the ability for me to do this. I will now have to find another way of timing my work, which is a real pain and I see this as an unnecessary reduction in the Harvest functionality which limits its appeal to me.

    From a logical point of view, it makes no sense for you not to be able to use timers on past days but still have the ability to edit the time recorded on past days by typing it in. What does it matter to Harvest if it is timed or just typed in – you are still editing past information.
    Also if you try to start a timer in the past it says “Unless you are a time traveler you can’t start timers in the past”, but it lets you start timers in the future. Well technically speaking you would also have to be a time traveler to start timers in the future as well, so it doesn’t make sense to have the past and future behave differently!!!!

    I loved my Harvest software before you did this change – it was absolutely perfect as it was!!! Please put it back?

  • Sorry, correction on the above – it doesn’t let you start timers in the future either but the message still says “Unless you are a time traveler you can’t start timers in the past” when you try to start timers on future days.

  • Seriously?? I sometimes operate the same as Jo above described. I hadn’t come across this issue yet (but would have eventually). One more strike, Harvest. Just put it back already, but leave the week view across the top. I think everyone can agree on that one being a plus.

  • OK I guess I’ll have to jump in and be negative nancy on that one @Jeremy.
    I actually really dislike the week view across the top on the day. It looks the same as the week view and I don’t know what day I’m in. I find it disorienting and a bad compromise somewhere between day and week. I miss almost everything the way it was before.

  • @Jessica
    I think they could fix that easily by having the day highlighted with a contrasting color (like maybe orange) rather than a marginally different grey that hardly stands out.

  • @Jeremy Yeah, that would help, but I still find the weekdays being laid out horizontally across the top to be a strong psychological suggestion that I am in a Week View. I just don’t need to see them when I’m in day view, I need to see what day and date it is and a big left and right arrow to quickly move between days. But I recognize I may be in the minority.

  • To the Harvest Team:

    Thank you for restoring the copy feature. It still baffles me why you launched without it.

    I’m also noticing some of the many issues other people are mentioning here. On a positive note, while I can see why some people are having problems with the weekdays listed at the top of the day view, I like being able to see my weekly totals and have easy access to the days now, and the previous arrow way appears to still be available. Maybe you can make the new weekdays optional for those who don’t like it, as you should for many features.

    Tabbing/Select issues: I notice that “active” objects (that will currently be selected when pressing Enter) are highlighted in blue and tabbing changes the highlight…but it’s not consistent. For example, tabbing through the arrow and day buttons, the tab apparently stops on “Today” and “Day” but doesn’t highlight them, and they are not available to select…the tabbing shouldn’t stop on non-selectable items. And where does the highlight go when tabbing off of the Week button? Is it hitting all the days across the top? None of them get highlighted.

    Some other issues; the modal dialogs are not an improvement, hiding the screen while entering time makes it less functional. Also, when I went to submit my time last week, I like to do it from the Day view which used to give me a list of all the time entered for the week for confirmation, now it doesn’t show anything, just asks for confirmation. Please restore the confirmation list.

    Oh, and those quotes on the empty sheet are very irritating. Maybe that’s just me, but using these time sheets is an obligation, nobody likes to enter time, nobody wants to do it. Seeing those quotes is just…I’m not saying I would invent a time machine to find those people and punch them, but if I did it would be your fault. Give me the option to shut those off and there won’t be a time machine punch-fest on your conscience (some of those people would probably deserve it, though).

  • You have to be kidding me guys…..now with the new UI’s emphasis on quick entry and being able to type in the name of a client or project — the ability to search that field by client is disabled? We list all of our clients, and call the project the same for all 200+ of them……another change without any alert!! Is no one listening to the user gripes on here?

    And still….no way to revert back to the previous UI…..

  • Found a workaround for anyone who likes to work late at night but ISN’T A TIME TRAVELLER.

    1. Curse at Harvest as it moves you to the next day to start your timer, but go with it.

    2. Sleep, or don’t sleep because you’re so stressed about Harvest.

    3. When you start the next day’s work, edit the date of last night’s late session to the previous day.

    Joking aside, it does the job, even if it a massive joke that we have to do this and swallow it as a UI improvement.

  • Hey guys, for faster support with your issues, it’s best to write us directly at support (at) harvestapp.com. As you can imagine, we’ve been busy answering a lot of customer response – good, bad, feedback, etc. It’s difficult for us to diagnose problems on the blog, nor is it conducive for thoughtful exchange.

    We’ll try to get back to each of these comments one-by-one, but that might take me a while. Quickly to the latest comments:

    @Brian Sorry about losing client search – we pushed out some fixes to the new dropdowns (Chosen) and inadvertently broke client search. By the way, with the previous UI, you cannot do any search at all (this is a new feature that came with the new timesheet).

    @jo and @jeremy – editing running timer is working again (we wrote you back a couple of hours ago, @jo), and improved logic to parse different time input – which we will explain soon on this blog.

    @jimmy – each design decision has its flip side, as you can imagine. We didn’t just remove the confirmation because we felt like it, nor did we just decided to add the modal on a whim. We’ve had a lot of user feedback on different interaction and research, and hope to explain some of these things on our blog. Or, feel free to write us and we can carry on the conversation.

    @jakub – as a ux designer, I’m sure you can understand that, 1) there’s never a lack of design ideas and we’ve probably heard of or considered the things you’ve mentioned, 2) every little design change has its many flaws (including inline editing). As for auto-save – we’ve had it the first day we launched and we still have it. It saves at a short interval.

    Thanks again for all the feedback, folks. Please write us at support (at) harvestapp.com if you’d like a quick response or troubleshoot. It’s also a much easier way to carry on a meaningful conversation. It’s not easy for us to keep track and answer directly to a question here via blog comments. Thanks.

  • Hi Owen, sorry that you feel this way. For many folks, believe it or not, this has been a ux improvement. A timer is used to track work as you are working – which usually happens at the moment, now, today (and the majority of our customers work within 9-6).

    Our customers’ gripe was that it made little sense to have a timer button for a day two weeks ago (or two weeks in the future). And it was causing accidents – say, you’re reviewing an old timesheet, do something else, come back, thinking you’re on today – and start a timer on the wrong day.

    That said, we neglected people who work past midnight and we’ll figure out ways to improve it for you. We really didn’t mean this to piss you off, and hope we don’t stress you out too much!

  • Thanks Shawn, appreciate the response, that makes sense.

    Any solution that allows for nightowls and prevents accidents would be much appreciated by this minority.

  • “nor did we just decided to add the modal on a whim”

    So what was the reasoning behind this change? What is better with the modal compared to the previous inline edit according to you and your focus groups? Please elaborate on this, so that the many of us who thinks the modal is a disaster at least can understand what caused this change.

  • I think the nice thing about using the blog for feedback is that it’s public and therefore issues aren’t just individual but when customers feel a similar way it becomes apparent to all openly (ex: inline editing).

    @Shawn Here is more social proof comparing inline editing vs modals on stackexchange with top votes and a sound argument going for inline: http://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/6559/inline-editing-or-modal-popup I don’t believe these are just alternative ideas, nor do I believe in UI relativism. Some ideas are better than others. :) Inline editing is like good engineering because it has less parts. Popups and modal are an easy way out and more sloppy as they add more pieces with a higher UI complexity and higher cognitive strain.

    As for autosaving, sure it works with intervals and that’s great. My point however was that there is still a case when a user enters time and doesn’t wait a few seconds but switches the mode right away and therefore the data is lost. (Undo’s are superior to prompts)

    Perhaps another general point is that the switch from week to day shows very much similar data and has similar functionality, yet different views are used for display. From a UI perspective that increases cognitive workload again as users have to relearn a new screen, yet there isn’t much value in a second view as it is very similar in functionality (with the added benefit of notes that shouldn’t be hidden in the first place, and a bit more detail).

    I understand software development is difficult and harvest is a good product, but embrace people’s negative feedback a bit more (while being less defensive) as these customers care about your product. They are picking out cases that you missed which could improve it even more.

    Cheers,
    Jakub

  • @Jeremy or anyone else wanting CSS/Template adjustments…

    “-For power users, customizable templates via CSS. Or if you didn’t want to go that far, maybe at least a couple canned choices for layout.”

    I use Greasemonkey in firefox to change the entire look and feel with basic CSS. Just wanted to mention that for anyone that may not be aware and “really, really” want to brute force a different look and feel.

  • I agree with @Jakub. I think the blog is a great forum for users to come together and see the community problems with the “upgraded” UI (especially inline editing), rather than it appearing as an individual problem. Before I knew there was a blog going on, I even wrote to Harvest support, but that wasn’t exactly helpful.

    Harvest Response: “Sorry for the frustration. I’ll pass your thoughts onto our design team.”

    There’s no comfort in that answer (not that it was offensive). But for a time I was unknowing of how many others were frustrated at the same things I was. Only after my continued frustration with the upgrade did I try to find more information about it and see the community feedback. I was gladdened to see I wasn’t alone, and I’m quite sure there are MANY others who are just as frustrated but haven’t voiced it yet.

    I just want to go back to the way things were. I even wrote to Harvest in the past speaking accolades about how much I enjoyed their service. As of the last update, the reverse is true. I can’t stop cursing Harvest whenever I have to jump on the new interface. It’s a constant frustration and has quickly conditioned me to feel irritable when I jump on the site. :(

  • The feature to carry the previous day’s tasks to a new day worked for me for a day or two. However, the past 2 days I have been greeted with an empy timesheet. Is anyone else having the same issue?

  • @jakub Sorry – I didn’t mean to sound defensive. We take every comment to heart, and we will never take any of our customer for granted. That’s the truth – that’s how we get to where we are today (what little success we have) and how hope to operate in the future: by listening to our customers, improve our product, work hard, and have some fun while we’re doing it.

    @BellyHo and @jakub Our team (including myself) are trying very hard to answer to all the direct support tickets coming in. Our design team (including myself) are reading your comments and figuring out ways to improve… sorry for not writing you back extensively, but we are a company of 25 people – our entire timesheet team, from designers to developers, are actually answer each ticket (yes, we talk to our customers directly). We are, at the same time, trying to improve the product. I know it’s hard to see, but there has been already a lot of little improvements pushed out.

    Perhaps like you pointed out, @BellyHO, there are a ton of customers completely frustrated with the new UI and need to vent here. I hope you can also consider the possibility that many customers actually benefit and enjoy the new UI, and they are happily using Harvest right now (which is what we noticed from user and beta testing).

    I am, again, very sorry for your frustration. We are listening. We are working hard. And that’s really all I can say right now.

  • @jeff – I’m going to email you directly to troubleshoot. Sit tight.

  • Hey Jimmy, I know we owe you some answers, and I’d like to write you directly to understand the usability issues some more (and let you vent at me directly!). I’m having trouble emailing you though… if you’d like, please write me at shawn (at) getharvest.com.

    That applies to everyone – if you want to talk to me directly, or yell at me, even – I’d love to hear from you. Or if you prefer, please feel free to add more comments here. It might take longer for us to get back to you though.

  • Robert W Sturtcman on October 11, 2012

    The new design is terrible. What was so bad with the way Harvest worked before? I can’t even run timers on days other than the current calendar date? I work late and it just stops at midnight and won’t even roll over automatically? Really disappointed at how much more restrictive and clunky the whole experience is. Give me classic mode or I’ll be unsubscribing.

  • Robert W Sturtcman on October 11, 2012

    “I would have loved to see something like these be implemented, as they add to the functionality, verses reworking time tracking that wasn’t really broken.”

    Seriously! Thank you, Jeremy.

  • Robert W Sturtcman on October 11, 2012

    “OK I guess I’ll have to jump in and be negative nancy on that one @Jeremy.
    I actually really dislike the week view across the top on the day. It looks the same as the week view and I don’t know what day I’m in. I find it disorienting and a bad compromise somewhere between day and week. I miss almost everything the way it was before.” -Jessica

    Amen.

  • H Cabarcas on October 11, 2012

    I feel like the changes are in a way a step backward. Not being able to see more of my lists is a bummer. I have a ton of projects and this current system slows me down. Could I say the experience is dumbed down?!

    Also, what happened to being able to re-start timers for past days. I used that feature all the time when I wanted related items logged together in one line item! Now I can’t do that.

  • Hi @robert, thanks for the feedback. Allowing timers on previous days is actually an oversight on our part, and has caused more pain than good in the past – where people can accidentally start a timer on the wrong day (say, you’re reviewing an old timesheet, go do something, come back and forget you’re not on today, then click on a timer). We have gotten a handful of complaints about working past midnight, and we’re going to improve the timesheet for that work flow.

    @Cabarcas I believe you’re talking about the new Chosen dropdowns. I’m sorry that’s gotten in your way – that’s actually solving one of the most requested feature in Harvest, to be able to search for a project or task. So far, the response has been great. I’d like to understand how it can slow you down – will get in touch directly!

  • @ Shawn

    It would be an improvement to allow for people to use timers past midnight, but I would still very much like the functionality to use timers on any day I want, including past days, for the required flexibility as mentioned in my previous post.

    I do understand that allowing timers to be started on previous days could be a pain for some users, but by doing a blanket restriction on this you are causing pain for me, and a number of other users based on the comments above.

    Would it not be possible to implement one of the following solutions:

    1) If you try to start a timer on a past/future day it provides a warning “You are trying to start a timer on a past/previous day, are you sure you want to continue?”

    OR

    2) Have a tick box in the account settings that says “Allow timers to be used on past/future days”

    That would allow for all your customers to work in the way that suits their business needs rather than be forced to work in a way that doesn’t suit their requirements.

  • Hi Jo, sorry – I wasn’t clear. We ARE working on a fix, much like how you described. It’s coming soon, and we’ll email you (and 5 others) once it’s ready! Thanks again for your suggestion, and sorry for the trouble this has caused you!!

  • @ Shawn

    Super!

    Thanks for listening and quick response

  • As a multi-year Harvest customer I echo the extreme disappointment of the UI/UX changes. Harvest was a wonderful, transparent tool before this change — it never got in our way, time entry was fast, non-modal, and very very flexible. We’ve used Harvest every single workday for the last two years. It’s one of those very few products that so easily enlists its customers as evangelists. I even found myself poking around the interface every now and then hoping to find some cool new added feature, but it was laughingly always a fruitless effort. The Harvest team showed admirable discipline in limiting unnecessary changes, shunning feature creep and making sure the tool stayed focused, reliable and out of our way.

    It’s so sad then to see a new design rolled out that is really a pretty disastrous experience for, I imagine, anyone other than tablet users. Everything on the timesheet is now more complicated and noisier in presentation, bewilderingly modal (really in 2012?), so large in the scale of design I have to sit further back from the screen to properly focus on the elements, information density is a fraction of what it used to be, it takes more clicks or button presses to do pretty much everything, and fundamental features are obfuscated (like being able to see the previous entry while starting the next one; reminds me of the nighttime baby monitor camera we bought that was designed with a super-bright backlit power button that could illuminate a small township — did anyone actually try this for its intended use before it got rolled out?!) Unexpectedly Harvest as a tool is now a far more visible part of our workflow than ever before as it’s frequently sitting in our way of getting things done efficiently. Rather ironic for a time tracking service.

    Sure there are some nice additions. Type “N” for a new entry. Great. Seeing all your hours for the week in the day view. Awesome. But those features could have been added to the old, successful and user-loved design in a few engineering weeks of work rather than starting over and unnecessarily redesigning the entire user experience.

    Joel Spolsky wrote a poignant column way back in 2000 — “Things You Should Never Do” (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html) — that I’ve kept in mind for every development project I’ve ever worked on in the 20+ years I’ve been designing software. Whenever a team boasts about “rewriting the entire code base from scratch” it is, more often than not, a huge red flag and clear sign the engineering team’s needs (to do something cool, to not be bored, to “just clean up” a crusty or NIH architecture) were allowed to eclipse those of the customer. It’s the final salvo of all too many companies who lost sight of why they were successful to begin with.

    Look, we’ll adapt to even a crappy user experience if we have to and Harvest — as a whole — is currently still worth the subscription to us. But my great fear is someone else is running the product dev ship at Harvest these days and this rather naive, ill-conceived and poorly user-tested design direction will steamroll the other product features as well. And that’s when we will, very sadly, say goodbye to Harvest.

  • Sorry, but the new UI really is a step backwards. Feels clumsy and it takes me way more time to accomplish simple time tracking than before. Nevertheless it is still better than many others.

  • Don’t fix it, if it ain’t broke! I really liked the previous UI – was quick and efficient use of space.

    Each entry in the new UI takes up way too much space and the popups(!!) are awful :)

    Hope Harvest can add a ‘Theme’ option, so that we have an option of UI.

  • In looking for true love it is important that you take advantage of the online dating world. In this busy world that we live in today most people are using dating sites more and more to find their true love. You should never settle on just one site, because you never know when your a keeper may be using another dating site.

  • Will this app allow me to log hours after midnight for the next day?

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