Evolution of the roster bar

April 8, 2014 Aulay Macaulay No Comments

The roster bar has come a long way over the last couple of years. Below we explore the last three major versions and each of their strengths and weaknesses.

The Original

old-roster-navigation

The first version of the roster bar which our existing clients will be extremely familiar with. While simple in design it lacked visual consistency and tools needed for major roster manipulation.

Strengths  
– Simple
– Thin

Weaknesses
– Lacking in powerful tools to make rostering easier
-No way to visualise different roster periods

The Powerhouse

newish-roster-navigation

With the powerhouse we introduced many useful new tools for visualising and populating your roster. Unfortunately for managers working of small screens, the wasted horizontal space translated into a top-heavy block of buttons that impacted on the amount of space reserved for the roster building (and isn’t that why we’re all here?!?).

Strengths 
– New functionality for looking at specific date ranges and customising the roster view
– New tools for bulk copying/moving and deleting shifts

Weaknesses
– Too many buttons
– Inefficient use of horizontal space leading to a waste of vertical space
– The all-important ‘Day view’ somewhat hidden within the date navigation

The Streamliner

roster-bar-new

The aim of the last version of the roster navigation for RosterPlus was to visually prioritise the most common tasks (switching between Day and Roster view, switching between Staff and Role view) as well as compacting everything vertically.

While we were working on it we turned the roster switcher to a searchable drop-down. The ability to put a date in this field will make finding old rosters extremely easy.

Strengths 
– Simplicity and thinness of ‘The Original’
– Extended functionality of ‘The Powerhouse’

Weaknesses
It is a piece of art and belongs in an art gallery

To learn more about using the roster bar, head to the Docs → Rostering → Work on roster support page.

 

Looking back at it now, the roster bar has followed the path most software ends up evolving: Simple → Powerful → Refined.

As developers we endeavour to skip directly to refined, but shortcuts can rarely be taken when it comes to truly understanding how people are interacting with your software.

Let us know what you think below and happy rostering!

 

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