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On this blog we will cover stories from all around the Exact ecosystem.

Posts Tagged ‘usability’

Introducing a new menu style for Exact Online

Written by Robert Huberts on . Posted in Exact Online

At Exact Online we’re constantly trying to improve our solution and make it easier to use. As part of this effort we’ve created a new menu style. It has been available since May this year, so you might have seen it already.

This new style – ‘Tab’- is quite different from the original ‘Panel’ menu, so let’s look at its main properties and some of the ideas behind them.

  • New colors
    Instead of the panel menu’s bright red, we used more subdued blue and gray colors (no other colors are available either)
  • All menus in one place
    The panel menu offers three ways to access a certain menu or functionality – the toolbar (the top section with the icons),  the top menu (the drop down below the toolbar) and the left menu. They complicate setting up the menu and can lead to confusion.
    With the new style, the tabs in the top of the screen are the only navigation option. Move your mouse over the tabs to expand the menu and show the available menu options. They are organized into functional areas: Finance, Sales, Purchase, and Person. The tabs are displayed according to the modules in your license.
  • Direct access to important functions
    We also made certain functions directly available from the tab menu – like creating a financial entry or viewing all customers. We obviously can’t place every menu option on the tabs so there are links that will direct you to the full menus for each module.
  • Navigate with bread crumbs
    Just like for Hansel and Gretel, bread crumbs now show where you were coming from, allowing you to easily track back to an earlier page. They’re visible as links in the top left cornor of the screen.
  • General search available
    The panel menu offered serveral search boxes. In the tab menu, one general search field accomodates all data types found in Exact Online. Just type what you want to search for, hit enter, and all results matching your request will be shown

Want to give it a try? You can easily switch. Just go to your user settings and select the drop down ‘Menu style’ on the general tab. Change the value to ‘Tab menu’ and press save. That’s it! Changing back to the ‘Panel’ menu works the same way.

If you haven’t tried yet, here are a few extra handy tips:

  • The Home tab contains general menus like the user settings, your own user data and your account data, as well as access to the system menu.
  • The right side of the menu bar contains the ‘Log off’ link and help access
  • The ‘More’ links in the tabs lead to the full menu for the applicable module

We made the tab menu available to get feedback from you. So please do give it a try and tell us what you think. Your comments will help us to keep improving it and make using Exact Online easier for everyone.

Self Service gives you time off

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Aad ‘t Hart has recently published articles about Functions and Features versus the User Experience, Simplicity, web identity and more. In this blog I want to zoom in on Employee Self Service (ESS) facilities in a simplified version of Exact Synergy we are creating, and especially requesting a day off. By making Exact Synergy simpler we aim to make it more designed for specific goals, more modern and easier to use.

The ESS portal gives your employees access to their personal data in a secure and transparent environment. As an employee you can for instance enter or change your time off period, enter an expense claim or change the personal address. This undoubtedly leads to reduction of administrative costs.

In the new simplified version of Exact Synergy, that will be available as a beta version in product update 244, we particularly focus on ESS features. One of them is Time Off.

The screenshot above is the entry part of Time Off. As you can see the screen is truly focused on getting the task of asking time off done easily. Also the user is presented the information he or she naturally needs, for instance “What is my balance?” The entry fields are linked based on the choices the employee made so the employee can quickly fill in the request and ask for approval without being confronted with unnecessary fields that may be left blank.

Now you can ‘dream’ about how to spend your personal time while entering the request instead of the think about which procedures to follow to enter a time off request. And that makes a lot more fun…

If you have any questions regarding this post, please create a comment to this article.

Image credit for the header image: neloqua.

New product update for Exact Synergy Enterprise

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Today is an exciting day for us: product update 241 for Exact Synergy Enterprise is generally available as of now! The Synergy product management team has been working hard on understanding the way you work, how your processes are designed and how we can fulfil your needs. They have translated that insight in powerful new solutions. Our colleagues at product development for their part, did an excellent job to create the new functionality that lets you do your work in a more efficient and easier way. We are sure that every user of Exact Synergy Enterprise can benefit from this new product update.

First of all we introduce to you a totally renewed Synergy Office Integration. It provides you with new opportunities to access your workflow, planning, and nearly all other Exact Synergy Enterprise operations directly from Microsoft Outlook. We know that many, many users of Exact Synergy Enterprise also use Microsoft Outlook and these two products are now joined in one single interface.

Also, a new screen for creating requests has been implemented, already introduced to you earlier in this blog post. We asked your feedback and we got it! Thanks for all your suggestions and comments.

New search functionality in this product update enables you to search for terms with diacritics, as explained earlier in this blog post.Product update 241 also introduces support for both Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

Over the coming period of time we will highlight some of the new functionality in this product update on this blog. Please subscribe to our RSS-feeds or e-mail newsletters so we can keep you informed.

Feedback results: Come out, Come out, wherever you are!

Written by Robin den Buurman on . Posted in Exact Synergy

After publication of the blog “Saving time: Come out, Come out, wherever you are!” I got a lot of feedback on the article and functionality which could be divided into two groups. The ones that where extremely positive about the provided functionality and the ones that had some doubts and presented me with a more critical view on the feature. After examining the feedback and contacting some of you to discuss your views it was clear we missed out on the advanced user of Exact Synergy Enterprise with this feature. These users for example remember accounts by number, location and all sorts of other properties but never seem to view the card itself. Meaning it wouldn’t show up in the recently used view nor in the “my” view since they are not the manager of the account. This principle also applied to the other browsers we adjusted.

After the feedback round we concluded that we needed to react to these findings fast and update the functionality so we can support these advanced users in their daily work. In cooperation with you, our users, we decided to upgrade the functionality the following way:

  • Setting the default value of the find-in box to the “all” view.
  • Performing an immediate search after the find-in box is changed by the user; this will eliminate the need for an extra button click to get the documents in the selected view.
  • Retaining the last selected find-in value for every individual search browser and individual user.

We are confident that the made changes are satisfactory for all our types of users. The changes will be available upon general availability of product update 244.

Happy finding!

Thank you for the feedback! We highly appreciate it! 

Photographer: healingdream

User interface in Globe: customizable process flows

Written by Michiel van Rooijen on . Posted in Exact Globe

As an Exact Globe Product Manager I am investigating the current user interface and want to share some of the current options and challenges.

 In Exact Globe you have several options to make your own process flows in the main menu. Using these options helps to focus on the things that are most important or frequently used and to have a visual insight into the process you are performing.  The visual process flow of individual orders is widely used, the process flow in the menu is used less. What is the cause of this and can we improve the user experience here?

Maybe the most well known process flow in Exact Globe is the sales order process flow for a single order: 

 It gives you relevant information of the flow of the sales order in an intuitive way. This flow is shown standard in several entry and overview applications.

Exact Globe also offers the possibility to organize your work on the main menu level into flows that are relevant for your daily work.  The most well known of these is the role bar and it is mostly used in combination with the panel menu.  It is situated to the left of the main panel menu: 

 You can define several process flows, in the example you have the logistic flow, finance and reports. The main part of the menu is still the function based menu with the functional tabs and access to all menu paths per function.

Another way of working is the explorer menu where you have your complete functional menu to the left and can create process flows in the central part of the menu:

 Experience tells us that the possibilities to show process flows in Exact Globe are not widely used. The following are 4 statements that may explain why and possible enhancements to the user interface. I am very interested to hear from you if they are correct:

  1. What is often seen is that people use the default screens and settings. Could the user experience be improved when Exact offers standard role based or industry specific templates for these process flows?
  2. Another reason can be the limited flexibility in creating the process flows:  At the moment you can only add menu paths from either top to bottom or left to right.  Could the user experience be improved by the ability to show multiple flows grouped in one overview?
  3. An opportunity for process flows is the integration with Exact Synergy. When using Synergy and Exact Globe you often have processes that require both products. Wouldn’t it be great if you could see this flow from one screen?
  4. The advantage of showing the menu in a process flow is that you have instant visual insight into the specific process flows that you as a user are responsible for. Could the usability be improved if you had a direct insight into the KPI’s of this flow in the same screen?

 Of course I am also very interested in your experience with the current user interface and possible enhancements you see!