Winmore's current system of tasks is very structured and purposefully governed so users follow an organization’s best processes. However, our users expressed the need to assign and track ad-hoc and unstructured work. Because some tasks were lengthy and complex, breaking work down into smaller chunks would be beneficial. We decided to introduce a system of To-Do's to meet this need.
We explored and iterated upon many different aspects of this feature, including:
Where To-Do's would live
One of the exciting parts of designing To-Do's was exploring how we could harness its capability to enhance multiple pre-existing features. We decided to include it in Conversations (chat tool) so that users could create To-Do's as they communicated with each other. We wanted to include them in Tasks to help users break down their work into pieces. To-Do's can also be linked to specific Records, so there'd be a section for To-Do's as an app. Users use Home (personal productivity center) to keep track of all their work, so it would be the perfect place for users to manage all their To-Do's across the app.
How they would be created
We wanted the process of creating and To-Do to be quick and easy. We explored several ways a To-Do could be created, including clicking a button to display a new line item. To streamline the creation process, we decided upon users being able to quickly type out a To-Do, @ mention somebody, then hit `Enter` to create it.
How they would display
We decided to open To-Do's in a modal instead of expanding them in the page. This is because we had just introduced the pattern of modals for our redesign of Tasks, and wanted to use modals consistently throughout the app. We explored the possibility of dropdowns as well, but they didn't provide enough real estate.
Linking a To-Do to a Record
Creating a To-Do from a Record will automatically link it to the record; however, we needed to create the experience of linking a To-Do created elsewhere to a Record. We wanted users to search the exact Record they wanted to link to, but we were unable to do so due to engineering constraints. Instead, a user can first search for the Record Template and then the exact Record.
Sharing the To-Do with others
To make the process of sharing a To-Do with users as easy as possible, we incorporated an '@ mention' feature. @ mentioning another user will put the To-Do in that User's Home. Users can @ mention someone while creating their To-Do. For consistency, the visual styling is based on the pattern of our pre-existing '@ mention' feature in Conversations.
Within a To-Do, users can @ mention someone in the title. Additionally, they can use the special @ mention feature shown below to quickly select a user.
We had a period of about 2 weeks of internal QA testing which I spearheaded, and 2 weeks of external beta testing. I led 2 other people in testing for bugs and created a detailed spreadsheet for testing. This was the most formal and rigorous QA process our company had undergone. Internal testing allowed Engineering bugs to be found and fixed, and we shipped some minor usability improvements. During our beta testing with Customers, they requested the feature to assign an owner. Although we had thought about this idea before, we had not pursued it due to resource constraints and the desire to keep To-Do's as simple as possible. However, because Customers expressed their need for it, the feature shifted up in priority and we implemented the ability to assign an owner to the To-Do.
To-Do's in Home
Users can now create Action Items from a Conversation post.
Because of the rigorous level of QA and beta testing, Customer Success was more confident in the release of Action Items. Its formal release was met with positive feedback with very few bugs being reported.
Ideas for improvement & new features
If we get more time and resources, we would like to see the following improvements made: