The New Way


This is a behind-the-scenes blogpost about New Toggl, more from the viewpoint of why, not what.

Let me start off with an analogy. Let’s assume you want to build a house. As the finances are tight and it’s only for one person you start out by building a hut. It’s nice and cosy and sufficient for you. Then as the family grows you need to add more room. You build a second floor, add another bathroom, garage – and you’ll start noticing there are cracks in the foundation. And one day you’ll need to add another floor to it…

The same has been happening with Toggl. It started out as a hobby years ago and turned out as the best time tracking tool on the web. It has seen several major UI remakes, we have switched technologies along the way and the whole cloud computing concept has mightily evolved over the years. This left us in a situation where we couldn’t really make any big changes to how Toggl really works. It was like continuously scratching the itch, instead of taking a refreshing shower. And in the meantime the tablet revolution happened…

In the beginning of this year we finally decided to take the plunge. We feel the core functionality of Toggl had been settled over the years. What it desperately needed in fact, was a major push on usability, cleanliness and obviousness. We listed some main concepts of what the New Toggl should be:

  • It has to look and feel modern;
  • It has to be really fast;
  • It needs to be touch friendly from the start (tablets, anyone?);
  • It has to use new technologies to be able to scale and improve further.

So we started gathering feedback from our users to find out what kinds of issues they were facing with current Toggl. We have conducted more than 100 face-to-face meetings with actual users over the year, we have read through all the e-mails sent to support and gathered comments from Twitter and our Blog. So to summarize, here’s what was requested most frequently:

  • A more flexible way to manage teams;
  • More notifications;
  • More options for reports;
  • Better overview of how the team is doing;
  • Better Mobile version.

So yes, we have listened and the New Toggl is finally here. Development is progressing nicely. We are evaluating all the feedback constantly and there will be more updates in the coming weeks which we’ll announce in our Blog. And in the meantime please do use the New Toggl and send us your feedback – only this will make Toggl even better than it is now!

By On August 19, 2013

  1. At a glance it looks “a little” better. but usability is now a failure in my opinion. Usability was much better before.

    I agree that modern look != usability

  2. It seems that, in the interest of polishing up the old way of doing things, the new toggl has pushed aside core functionality. Specifically, the most important thing toggl does is work with dates and time. Having these items show up gray-on-gray, in tiny fonts off to the sacrificial side of the screen is like suggesting they are of auxiliary importance, not to mention more difficult to see and work with. I often spend an hour or so each week in the detailed report section collecting minutes from email send folders, phone logs and date-time stamped notes (evernote). That means I’m spending time looking at start-stop times, dates, activities, etc. The “old toggl” had a great format to service this activity. Now, it is not so simple, due to increased click-count, diverse locations of information, and the fact that data is covered when editing pop-up windows. It may be dazzling, but it is also frazzling. Hopefully with time, this will all iron itself out. Two lines of information per item would go a long way to improving and compacting the data. Important stuff on the first line, supporting stuff and buttons on the second, that sort of thing. Keep up the good work. It is powerful handy despite the longer yards.

  3. I wanted to second “Some notes”‘s comments about the UI not being responsive. The old UI worked even as narrow as about 680 pixels, but this new one doesn’t work at all even at 800px wide because the “start/stop” button isn’t visible on the screen anymore.

  4. Just some visual niggles:

    Can we keep some elements of the old Timer page? It’s so much easier to have a quick overview of this page in the old style. Having the project and client floated instead of in a tabular fashion forces the users eye to dot back and forth instead of up and down. Blue on white for links instead of black on grey was also a better colour choice.

    I do like the project pie/line (pline?) footer chart at the bottom of this timer section. It gives an instant confirmation that I’m spending most of my time on the thing I actually set out to do.

    Could you also consider add colour-coding on the report summary donut chart?

    Overall love the system, old and new.

  5. The building analogy is a bit misguided, perhaps?

    It seems to fetch reports and timeline related data even if I don’t have these enabled in the UI.

    No way to delete a running time entry?

    UI uses lots of mouse-overs but hovers are not available on a touch device?

    The UI is not really responsive either – can’t even log in with a smaller screen because the login button is out of screen. Same goes for start button.

  6. The “continue” link is much smaller and harder to click in the new version. This is the UI element that I use the most often, and in the new version it’s much harder to click on it.

    One bug that it looks like you might have already fixed in the new version is: when you click “continue” and then immediately edit the text field before the “continue” AJAX call returns from the server, your edits should be preserved. The original version of toggl worked in this fashion, and it was broken right around the time you upgraded to Go. I’m excited about the new version fixing this!

  7. Please add favorite texts. I mean, a list with frequenly typing names of activity.
    For example: clean email, skype meeting, meeting, control checkpoints…
    And i can edit this list, add and remove items.

  8. the modern look is the least important for me…. despite it being on top of the list. Perfect is different for everyone.. so you wont’ be able to make everyone happy… might be time to make more than one product instead of trying to please all.