Intuitive and fast — managing companies in Connections
After observing users enter and extract data from our customer relationship management tool, we learned we could make their lives easier with better design. The result is a completely redesigned Company Information page we’re excited to begin rolling out immediately.
4 Pages In 1
We’ve combined the functionality of 4 pages into 1 page that is actually less complicated than any of the single pages it absorbs. These 4 pages are: Company Information, Edit, Demographics, and Contacts.
Easy Data Entry
A convention we will be following with our 2017 redesign is: typing into a field, seeing real-time changes, and saving as soon as you exit the field — without a page refresh. This is much simpler than 1.) clicking to an edit page 2.) editing the field you’d like to edit 3.) clicking save and then 4.) refreshing or navigating back to the page you were on.
If you see a field with a light gray background, you will be able to type directly into that field and see and save your changes in real-time.
(If you only see text, and not an input field, you may not have the user role required to edit these fields, or they may not be editable.)
Editing Field Properties
Another new convention is that when you see a field label that is a link (styled with a bold blue font) you will be able to click this link and edit that field’s properties in a modal right there.
For example, to edit the properties of a Demographic, you previously had to go to Demographics, find the field on the table, and click edit. Then after you made your changes, you went back to the page you were on. (Each time waiting for a page load.)
Now you simply click the label of the Demographic whose properties you’d like to edit.
This works the same way elsewhere on the page; clicking a Contact’s name will bring up a modal for that contact where you can edit the contact’s information.
No More “Little Green Men”
We killed the “little green man” icon (all the little man icons, really) at the top of the page that some users selected to signify a certain Client Type. (Here, the Client Type is “Active.”)
Instead, we are using a more explicit color-coding system. Client Types are assigned a color (this is customizable) and a colored bar along with explicit text in the lower right will tell you exactly what type of client you are working on. (Here, the Client Type is “Inactive.”)
You don’t have to guess what the little man with a plus sign or the letter B on his belly means, and you no longer have to make these things mean something relevant to your organization.
Moved Tabs to the Sidebar
Instead of clicking on tabs to get to different areas in the CRM, you will find the tabs are now links in the sidebar. This is to provide a fully responsive page that you can look at on any device — if you’re on the road and need a client’s information, you can easily browse it on a smartphone.
Hiding Unused (Or Not-Often-Used) Fields
In order to keep the interface clean, we hide all blank fields and all fields that are empty or used rarely. If you need to see all the fields, there is a “Show all fields” checkbox at the top of each section.
Small Changes Add Up
We’ve made lots of other small decisions based on user feedback. Overall, we’re striving for simplicity and functionality. Because it’s a full redesign, you may have to look in a different place at first, but we’re hoping this CRM overhaul lets you do the job of managing your companies much faster over time.
If you have any suggestions or want to be included in testing our latest redesigns, you can email our User Experience Architect, Mike Ziethlow, at firstname.lastname@example.org.