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A statement from ClearBooks to their customers is needed over the new interface

Problem reported by Michael Vermaak 3 years ago

Just a quick message from a customer of yours. You might be aware of the issues we are having with the new layout. I hope you are looking into this as everyone I have spoken to who is a customer hates the new layout. It’s so bad a few of us would consider looking into alternative options for our accounting package. In all honesty, I’m not sure how this got past the design stage as the usability of it is horrendous and the old version was so much easier to use. I hope this is being seriously looked at but hearing that tweaks will be made won’t be enough. A whole rethink is needed.

All you need to do is look at your own forum to see how bad the situation is. Lot's of comments and posts complaining about an interface redesign roll out most of us never knew about. I would strongly urge you to send out an email to all of your customers explaining the situation and based on the comments you are getting scrap this new look and revert back to the old one giving you time to rethink it.

Something as big of a change as this needed proper testing by your customers and would have avoided this situation. I run a small business like a lot of your customers and I'm no accountant but I found ClearBooks easy to use. If I had come across it the way it currently looks I would have walked away and looked at something else. I wonder how many new customers are currently walking away?

13 Replies

Hi Michael - whilst I agree with you over the changes themselves I would point out that the new layouts (for invoice creation and listing) were in "Preview" for several weeks for, as you say, "proper testing by customers". I'd be interested to know how many here switched them on and fed back any comments.

It was and I have used that feature before but from talking to people I know who are customers and also talking to Clearbooks yesterday I don't think many people use it. I guess the issue is that many people won't turn on interface changes (or any new features) when we are hitting December and most businesses are at their peak.

I did suggest that they be more proactive in inviting customers to test which could potentially avoid this thing from happening and they said to me that it was something they will be talking about.

Hi Paul, I'm a relatively new-comer to Clearbooks and it's taken me until now to get to grips with many of the features. I wasn't aware there was a "Preview" option. Did that get emailed out to customers inviting them to try? If so, I'll hold my hands up and say I missed it. I don't recall any email though.

I'm having challenges today with the Purchase Order feature in particular. Whilst I can embrace change and learn new layouts, I cannot overcome system ERRORS. The biggest issue for me right now is that as soon as you save the PO to send to a supplier, (or rather now, I have to hit 'Print' and have it automatically download) - the PDF generates a QUOTE not a PURCHASE ORDER.

Thanks Michael & Natalie, I click on Preview every now and again to see what's around but hadn't realised that these two particular features had not been notified to users when they first went in there towards the end of October.

its worrying that so few seem to use the preview mode, and yet its the justification for so many changes that are made

I've always been a massive supporter of Clear Books, but something fundamental needs to change, as too many users are being badly affected by ill thought out changes - its only a matter of time until they look elsewhere

From where we are right now the next step for the team, aside from reacting quickly to current feedback, is to ensure that Preview features are highlighted more proactively. We have some ideas around that and will ensure that the next item to go in Preview is more visible so we capture wider customer feedback earlier.

@Michael please have a read of this blog post https://www.clearbooks.co.uk/2016/12/13/create-invoice-design-update/

Thank you for the update, Tim.

I'm guessing that yesterday and today you and the team at ClearBooks have been having many discussions regarding this matter. My issue is that a design choice has been made and you are heading down a path which for the invoice and bill creation just doesn't work.

The new layout doesn't flow that way the old one did and the amount of screen real estate taken up not just by white space (which you are fixing) but by boxes of a huge size. This means on smaller screens you have to constantly scroll. I have some bills which have 30+ items on and with the luxury of a 27" screen even I have to constantly scroll.

More than just tweaks need to be made and the only reason I keep going on about this along with your other customers is because it makes a huge difference to productivity. I know you're listening and today you've communicated with us which is great but that will mean nothing if we can't use this service as easily as we used to.

Again I would like to thank you and your team for listening and communicating and I look forward to seeing updates on this.

Well I was being nice until the CEO of ClearBooks dropped this bombshell

Quote Tim Fouracre "This style layout project is much bigger than the create invoice page and therefore we are not in a position to roll it back and won't be doing this."

I am sad to say that we have had enough. Its lack of integration with other systems is the main reason to be fair but this recent layout change is preposterous and has tipped us over.

Clearbooks, we are not here to preview your software for you. We have businesses to run. We trust you to make sensible thought out changes. All the recent layout changes (and there have been so many) have either done nothing or been a step backwards.

You raised a lot of money recently and I for one have seen nothing of value come from it. We need you to integrate!!

This is harsh I know but we spend a lot of time entering invoices and it cannot go backwards.

hi Phil

thanks for the update, could you please arrange for this to be turned off for all our clients - they've already been massively put out and I dont think that they should have to make this change personally or waste any more time on it

I do appreciate the 'old style' being made available, but I'm still very concerned by the statement that there still seems to be the notion that this will go in the future and then we'll all be back to square one with this

This is good news. It is a relief to see the old screen back.

Please do make the ability to go back permanent. Do bear in mind that every extra scroll, or button clicked slows us all down.

Thanks

Phil

Hi Tony and Phil

As further enhancements are made, we'll make them available via Preview, but we're also planning to invite interested customers and partners in to review the proposed changes BEFORE anything goes live. Suffice it to say, the objective is to minimise the amount of scrolling and clicking that's required to create an invoice.

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