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Clear Books Preview - a brand new way to try our latest features

News posted by Chris Storey 5 years ago

Today we’re releasing a brand new way to keep up to date with our newest features - Clear Books Preview.

What is Clear Books Preview?

Clear Books Preview is an area of your account where you can start using brand new features before they are available on general release.

Near the start of each month, we’ll release a set of new features into Clear Books Preview that all Clear Books customers can choose to turn on or off. There will be detailed information about the new features and also a feedback box to let us know your thoughts.

You will then have the remainder of the month to try these new features before they are given a full release, and the next batch of new features are added to Clear Books Preview.

Why have we created Clear Books Preview?

We wanted to improve the communication of new features, ensuring that you’re always aware of changes when they happen and are able to gradually get used to new features before they are given a full release.

What new features can I try this month?

For this first month of Clear Books Preview, we're just releasing one new feature:

[Additional expenses for time tracking](https://secure.clearbooks.co.uk/community/news/13657/additional-expenses-for-time-tracking )- Include additional expenses when using the time tracking tool, such as food or travel costs, and include all costs on a single invoice.

How do I access Clear Books Preview?

Visit preview.clearbooks.co.uk - you will be asked to sign in to your Clear Books account.

You can choose to configure features just for your account, or for the whole of your company using the tabs on the Preview page.

We'd love to hear your thoughts about our new way of releasing features!

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13 Replies

Great idea guys. The only thing I would say though is there should really be a direct link to preview.clearbooks.co.uk from the main dashboard - if ppl can see it they're more likely to use it, if the only reference to it is hidden away in the Community or on an email somewhere i'd have thought take-up will be quite slow.

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Agree with Kevin, it seems silly to have to have two bookmarks to use CB, Labs is in the More button, surely it makes sense for review to be there as well?

What does: "You can choose to configure features just for your account, or for the whole of your company using the tabs on the Preview page". my account is my company?

There's nothing in the Configure your features Tab. The explanations of these is confusing...to an old accountant.

Preview link now in "More" drop-down - thanks.

Next an "Accounting" ink in the Preview screen? It's a bit like saying here's a taxi to our new grammar school annex 10 miles away, but you'll have to walk back

Kevin's right Hemi this is RWUX (Real World)

Even on here, the Community, I have all the links back to accounting, payroll etc. Also, not everyone comes to the community so, if we can't get the top bar yet maybe a

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Sorry "Preview"

^^^ Agreed on both front. I'd presumed the plan was to merge Labs into this new feature.

Hi Paul/ Kevin

Thanks for your feedback.

We're currently working on adding a notification in the app for all users, as well as a permanent link to Preview in the navigation bar at the top (where you currently see Payroll, Labs etc)

Regarding the 'configure your features' tabs, I agree this could be clearer - it was a bit difficult to explain as we only have one feature released in this first month. In future months we will have several new features released and they will be split between the 2 tabs - those in the 'configure your features' tab will be changes that are more personal preference (such as the upcoming style changes to our navigation), whereas those that will be in the 'Configure company wide features' such as time tracking changes are features that, if turned on, need to be used by all employees for consistency reasons.

I hope this makes sense and please let me know if not - we'll also be adding a message to the empty 'configure your features' tab now to explain that there are no feature releases this month for that tab.

Thanks Chris - I really am confused still, at the moment, anything you can turn on or off, be it in Labs or Toggles apply to the Clear Books account, I'm trying to get my head around features that will be "personal" will these be like user permissions?

Hi Paul

The features in the 'Configure your features' tab will be things that, when turned on or off, affect only you, the individual user. No one else in your group will be affected.

For example, with our upcoming new navigation design, if you turn that on it will only be visible to you unless others in your group also turn it on in their account.

Hi all

Great feedback so far. We're very much in the early days with this new communication method, but expect us to improve it even further. Our old labs system will be disappearing soon, in favour of Preview. It will be our sole method of communicating changes we are making to the software.

Regarding the two types of features available in preview.

Sometimes we release features that you can enjoy on your own, without affecting collaboration with others in your organisation. For example we may release a new navigation system. This is something you can try out without your admin's permission.

On the other hand we may release something which needs to be enabled for everyone in your company. Lets say we add a whole new piece of data that you can save within Clear Books, and a report to go with it.

It makes no sense as a user feature - since it will be hidden from your colleagues until it is turned on. So these must apply to the whole organisation, and can only be toggled by an organisation admin

Thanks both - after rereading, and 3 glasses of wine, it makes sense, I think.

The way I read it was that features were planned to be released complete that would either be user specific or company specific, so you'd use the first tab to let people try out the first ones and the other tab to try out the others.

The way I now read it is that they will only be user or company specific whilst in Preview. Once released they will all be company specific.

You're welcome :)

To get back to your Dashboard in Accounting simply click the Clear Books logo in Preview. It's just like clicking the logo on a website which takes you back to the home page.

Pedantic I know but I tend to agree with Paul.

This:

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or this:

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...should really be visible across all apps in my opinion, it makes the user experience more fluid.

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