Big Changes afoot at RescueTime

Tonight we pushed some of the biggest changes we’ve pushed to date. I’ll run through a quick bullet list and some of the reasoning behind the changes.

Part of the changes were UI changes– which can always be jarring to users. We ask that folks take a bit of time to digest, think hard about what they like (and don’t like) about the new stuff at RescueTime and drop us a line with their thoughts. One of the things that is amazing (and motivating) about RescueTime is that we are constantly buried in feedback (often positive, sometimes “constructive”). So keep it coming!

Change #1 – The calendar UI is radically changed. There are some big obvious wins here in that we introduced quick links to “today”, “this week”, and “this month”. We also introduced new glimpses into data that heretofore have been impossible– offering “this year” and “forever” links. We also now allow for quick toggling via the previous and next button, allowing users to click as fast as they want to shoot back or forth by a few weeks or a few months.

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The downside is that now, to see a proper calendar you need to click on the calendar link– so it’s a click away. This gives us more real estate, which is a good thing– but it might not be worth it to lose the sense of “context”. What do you think?

Change #2 We removed the lists on the dashboard, leaving more rooms for “broad-stroke” data. Our rationale here was that the list information was fairly redundant with the graphs (though the lists are slightly more scannable if you are looking at totals). The idea here is that the graphs can be a portal into other “reports” that offer greater detail, complete with list views. As we continue to add cool information to the dashboard, real estate will be at a premium. Do the lists need to exist on the dashboard?

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Change #3 Stacked Graphs! I am super excited about this one. On the dashboard, the “total time spent” graph (which used to be a line graph) now allows you to “slice” in 2 different tags, allowing you to see your total time spent, and how much your “work” time and “personal” time make up for of that time. Additionally, on all individual app and tag graphs, you see the time spent on that activity in the context of the total. Very cool!

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Change #4 – We moved the top graph to the bottom on the dashboard (you can see mine at the top of the screenshot for  change #3.  This was to yield real estate for user goals (which are hugely popular).  I’m madly in love with the stacking, however– so I miss seeing it.   What do you think?

Change #5 We added some cool new tag management features. This includes the ability to rename a tag, merge a tag into another tag, remove a tag from all entities, etc. Not earthshaking, but handy.

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These changes will be jarring for some… Mostly the new features are additions, but certain things were moved a click away for the sake of real estate. If you love the new features, shout out. If you miss something that existed (or was easier) in the old design, make some noise, too. We can’t accomodate everyone, but if we find out that some of the decisions we made resulted in universally grumpy users, we’ll make it right.

As always, feel free to comment here, head over to our GetSatisfaction Forum, or drop us a line on our contact form.



One Comment on “Big Changes afoot at RescueTime”

  1. nitrolinken says:

    I’m very excited over this, and I think it’s a rather good release. Keep up with the great work!