Upcoming User Interface Improvements

Written September 4th, 2015 by
Categories: Development, Payroll, Product Release
Comments Off on Upcoming User Interface Improvements

It gives us great pleasure to announce that our upcoming payroll bundle release (version 5.02) will include the first of a series of user interface improvements designed to maximise productivity and streamline the core payroll process.

Ever since the release of NetSuite 2014.2 and the new uncluttered UI (user interface),  we have been working towards improving the user experience of running payroll.  The new NetSuite UI presented a clean and fresh interface but it was not without usability side effects most notably:

  • increased horizontal scrolling in sublists
  • increased vertical scrolling
  • challenges displaying data dense record information

As one of the leading SuiteApp developers and long time partner of NetSuite, we have been working closely with NetSuite suggesting UI enhancements and improvements, and providing feedback on complex use cases. We hope in the longer term this will enable us to offer a much richer and comprehensive User Interface.

In the meantime we have been reviewing every aspect of how our payroll process works, and working on ways to reduce the impact of the UI changes, as well as introducing our own improvements.

concept-ui

The screenshot above shows a concept of starting the payrun.

Release Highlights

The initial release focuses on minimizing the horizontal scrolling in the key steps of the payroll process, as well as standardising the navigation to be consistent across the steps. The key features are as follows:

Navigation

Across all steps we have removed the rollback button (previously labelled rollback or back depending on step). All rollback activity must now be initiated from the payroll record itself, ensuring no step is accidentally rolled back. To complement this we have added a “Return To Payrun” button to each step making it easier to quickly navigate to the payrun.

Form Totals

We have added new totals to various steps to display details of the selected lines and display key totals for the stage. Additional Total Fields have been added to:

  • enter variable (display selected lines, and selected amount)
  • enter one off (display total lines)
  • approve payslips (displays selected payslips, select gross pay and selected net pay)
  • pay payslips (display selected payslips, and selected net pay)

 Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 10.40.58 pm

The above screenshot highlights the selected payslips and select net pay totals on the pay payslip, especially useful when a limit exists on the EFT max payment.

Sublist Improvements

One of the biggest side affects of the new NetSuite UI was the increase in horizontal scrolling in sublists which severely impacts the usability. To help reduce the problem we have rationalised the columns displayed at each step by:

  • Removing fields that aren’t absolutely necessary
  • Decreasing the contents of the field using less space
  • Re-ordering fields so more important fields are displayed without scrolling

 Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 10.38.10 pm

The above screenshot highlights the combined view payslip links (saving space) and the removal of previous net and gross pay fields which are now visible as a tooltip on rolling over the net variance column.

Key sub list changes are as follows:

  • initialise – AU short tax scale (tooltip for full), superfund displays ref only (e.g ESF0001), click the employee name to view the record.
  • enter employee time – hide loading type column
  • approve payslips – move view links to left, hide previous payslip gross and net pay columns
During our User Acceptance Testing we have identified a couple of changes that may cause some anxiety so we thought we would highlight them upfront:

  • Wheres the Rollback Button? – we have removed rollback or confusing back actions from all steps Rollback is only available from the Pay run record itself
  • I can’t view Employee at Initialise Payrun? – to minimise the use of space we have removed the view employee link instead simply click on the employee name and the employee record will open in a new window

Whats Next?

Our intention is to make incremental improvements in each new release, targeting specific areas in discrete development sprints. Whilst we don’t typical publish our product road maps our immediate plans are to:

  • Introduce field groupings and other visual cues to the process steps, introducing progressive disclosure for optional field groups
  • Streamline the Pay Run and Pay Slip Record, make important information easier to access
  • Improve Alerts and Messaging, to remove the grey alert boxes

We look forward to bringing you more details in future releases, stay tuned…

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