Liisa's mock-up. Old Toggl reports interface
I was going through some old files in my computer and found this beautiful thing.

I know, it hurts my eyes as well! The sad thing is, I created this – the red arrows, lines and text, all gracefully put together in Paint. And when I did, I thought I’d done a really good job…

I’m so grateful that Krister and Alari didn’t let me put it up in the Toggl Knowledge Base at the time 🙂 I would like to think I’ve come a long way since then…

Growing up

I joined Toggl 3 years ago, almost to the day, in March 2011. I had recently completed my BA studies in humanities and done a stretch of voluntary work in South-East Asia. I was as far from computers, programming and software as any 21st century person can be. I thought I was pretty good at handling MS Word, I could do crazy big tables in MS Excel (but no macros!) and I could pull off a half-decent PowerPoint presentation when asked. Joining Toggl opened up a whole new world for me, though, a world that at the time I had no idea even existed. I knew there were “people who knew stuff about computers”, but things like usability, incremental launch, beta testing – they did not exist in my vocabulary.

So three years. I’ve learnt a lot since then, grown up with the growth and development of Toggl. Michail Gorbachev said this about politics, but I’m sure everyone agrees that it applies to all life, especially to the fast-evolving IT sector: “If you don’t move forward, sooner or later you start moving backward”. From the above image, it’s clear that Toggl has moved forward in the three years that I’ve been here, but exactly how much and in what direction? I’ll illustrate some of what I’ve seen here over the years.

Public web

Back in the starting days in 2007, Toggl web looked like this:

Toggl landing page, back in 2007, design.

The Toggl that I got to know when I first joined in 2011 was a whole lot different:

Toggl public web in 2010

But as everyone knows, this is Toggl today:

Toggl timer public web in 2013

None of this was accidental and none of it came easy, but it was fascinating for me to be in the process of this and learn about the importance of landing pages and what and how should be displayed there. I look at the whole web completely differently (meaning much more critically :P) now than I did three years ago. Less is definitely more and I think Toggl’s landing pages through time illustrate this perfectly.

Reports

You should see what was going on when you were logged in, though, and wanted to analyse your time tracking data!

The report you’ve seen already, from 2011, without the display of my fantastic tutorial-creating skills of the time:

Flash-back. 2011 Toggl reports page UI

In 2012, I found it bizarre that our developers were re-doing the whole reports area. It seemed to work perfectly fine, I thought. What was the point in spending all this time and energy, moving all the summaries from left to right (exactly what Facebook’s doing at the moment actually!)? Of course, what came out in the end did look pretty neat, really:

Flash-back. Old Toggl Reports design, UI.

When I look at Toggl reports today, though, I am so grateful that I didn’t share my thoughts on the changes back then, because now we’re really getting somewhere! Toggl in 2014 has been totally renewed:

Flas-back. New Toggl Reports UI. 2014

Desktop (and Mobile) apps

The designs for the desktop and mobile apps have been very similar through time, so I’ve just looked up some of the old desktop images.

In 2011, there were actually two, a ‘nano’ and a ‘classic’ desktop app, both native to the OS they were used on. Here’s an image of the nano app on Windows:

Flash-back. Old version of Toggl Desktop

In 2012, we moved to HTML5-based apps where you could basically create one frame and apply it to all devices – Mac, Windows, Android, iPhone.. At the time, we felt this was the way to move forward. This is what the first version to use this new ideology looked like:

Flash-back. Toggl Desktop version from 2012

Throughout 2013, everyone could use the next iteration of this HTML5-based app, with a slightly modified design:

Toggl Desktop design in 2012

Today, we have come the full circle and decided to go back to native apps. As the web has gone through immense visual changes, the design of the new apps will also be completely revamped to more closely resemble that of the new web. Mac users can already check out the new version, Windows app is currently being developed. The Android app is also available for beta testers, and iOS will be next in line.

Where next?

While Toggl looks perfect to me at the moment, I fully expect us to show the world a whole new concept for time tracking again in 2015. After all, you either move forward, or you get left behind. I’m looking forward to it!

What do you think of Toggl through its history?