Project Burndown: Work. Flow.
Project Burndown is a SaaS based web application designed and developed by Expected Behavior to help manage your company’s projects, profitability, and work flow. Its unique in the project management world because it integrates with many of the other SaaS programs you’re likely already using for time tracking, billing, and task management–providing one, comprehensive tool for managing your work flow and profitability. You can manage your projects from quote to deliverable, but the real rock star is the real-time work-load graph that helps you forecast days, weeks, or months in advance. It’s awesome!
Project Burndown is in the Beta stage now, but it didn’t get there overnight. Last Fall, Expected Behavior contacted Miles Design about a new application they were developing internally for project management. As web and application developers, a lot of time goes into their day-to-day operation, and accurate quoting and management is key to their ability to deliver efficiently and on time. While there were several management programs on the market at the time, the guys at Expected Behavior wanted something that could communicate and integrate with the programs they were already using–providing an up-to-date dashboard view so they could work most efficiently.
We began with a series of kick-off meetings to learn more about their vision, goals, and objectives. When Expected Behavior approached us, they had the bare-bones workings of what the application could be, and they were looking to Miles Design to help them realize its potential–both visually and functionally.
From the initial kick-off meetings, we spent significant time mapping out the possible features, functions, and the structure of the software. We literally translated it into a working “map”–outlining every page, subpage, link, and button. It was a collaborative process with Expected Behavior–their philosophy as developers was very influential at this stage of the design process–which translates to the finished product. This stage was critical in laying the foundation for the stages to come.
Here’s a look at the Project Burndown “map”–it became our working site map and guide as we designed the functionality and structure of the software.
When we finished the mapping phase, we moved on to creating wireframes. Before we ever started on the visuals of Project Burndown, we were sure to translate all of the pages into detailed wireframes so that Expected Behavior could offer feedback to a more visual representation of the site without being distracted by the design elements. We were able to intercept potential problems and nail down exactly what needed to live on each page prior to starting on the visual design.
The actual design process went very smoothly for Project Burndown–the amount of time spent collaborating, planning, and mapping in the initial stages meant that there were very few surprises once we began on the visuals. Overall, we wanted Expected Behavior’s unique personality to influence the look and feel of the site, while at the same time, creating a streamlined and easy-to-use experience for users. Simple, bold shapes and colors help to distinguish the different levels and pages, and we made sure that everything from the search results to the form fields to the project listings were consistent in look, feel, and functionality. There’s a good deal of content, but we achieved a look that feels friendly, uncluttered, and simple to use.
After completing designs for all of the pages, functions, etc., we turned them over to Expected Behavior for development. Even though the initial design phase for Project Burndown is complete, we continue to collaborate with Expected Behavior as the software evolves and expands in functionality. And, stay tuned as they prepare for a public launch soon.
And now (insert drumroll) here are a few more samples of the finished design.
As mentioned, Project Burndown is currently available in beta format. If you’re interested in more information, email beta@expectedbehavior.
Tags: application, collaboration, design process, designing, mapping, Miles Design, profitability, project burndown, project management, projects, SaaS, software, UI, user experience, user interface, work flow