Manager Navigation Feedback

My tabs all fit on one page. I would not use tab customisation. I proposed it only because @dalacor objected to the current list length and grouping.

The user interface would be more efficient for me it the tabs did not scroll at all so remained on the screen all the time. I can’t use the screen real estate below the tabs for anything else because of the window design, scrolling just impairs work efficiency.

However if the tabs did not scroll then a separate scrolling capability for them would need to be added for other uses where the tabs do not fit on the screen

I agree with @eko to support tab ordering, to have most used tabs at the top would be a good start. Maybe allow summery page a form default to organise these and have a button under the tabs like the expand button toggle the list to standard view?

Indeed the way forward and agree that the “muscle memory” is an important factor to consider when changing interfaces or giving flexibility to do so. However, it is also true that very infrequently used tabs such as folders, email, etc have an unnencessary presence but appear as one selects them in customize and there is no way to hide them until used.

Why I suggested the ability to re-order tabs is related to some level of irritation in the logic in which they are presented or why they are there. Some key considerations/issues:

  • Why is Settings a Tab, and Customize a link far below? These are essential components for the functionality of Manager and preferably should be listed in the top bar similar to Businesses, Users and Supports.

  • Reports is a tab almost at the bottom of the page while in essence it is kind of summary page with a whle lot of reporting options. As such it would be better at the top under the summary tab.

  • As Manager versions frequently change and when reporting issues in this forum ideally reference which version we use also this could be displayed in the top bar rather than at the bottom of the screen.

  • Inventory items when activated show up under tabs while non-inventory items only show in settings. This seems inconsistent. Related to this is the presence of Inventory Kits under Settings while there is no “activation” for this in Customize and not sure why this is not a tab while Production Order is a tab.

  • Why not only have a Inventory Items tab with Inventory Transfer and Inventory Write Off buttons next to the New Inventory Item Button?

  • Not sure why Journal Entries are not much hgher up where Receipt and Payments are listed.

  • Bank reconciliations tab could disappear and become a button next to the Import Bank Statements button under selected bank accounts.

  • Consider ordering the tabs in relation to the Balance Sheet and/or P&L. This is partially done (Bank and Cash Assets first) but then becomes confusing.

I stop here as I realize the list is getting longer while I just wanted to show some possible improvements that do not change the core functionality.

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@eko Mainy of the points that you have raised are very similar to my own arguments. I fail to see the logic in a tab for Bank reconciliations. Folders, Employees etc are also very rarely used.

Your suggestion of having inventory transfer and inventory write off buttons is essentially similar to what I am proposing. Having an inventory tab. You click that and then you have inventory, inventory transfer and inventory write off.

So you have actually made my point about the problem with the current tab structure. The difference in disagreement on how to resolve it.

My proposal does not change the core functionality, but also ensure consistency across all tabs.

My example gives you 8 Tabs:

Actually you will see less as not all tabs are used by every business anyway. I don’t use Time and Production for example.

Money - Bank Accounts, Cash Accounts, Receipts, Payments, Inter Account Transfers, Bank Reconciliations, Expense Claims, Payslips, Late Payment Fees and Journal Entries

Contacts - Customers, Suppliers, Employees, Emails

Some Name??” - Sales Quotes, Sales Orders, Sales Invoices, Purchase Quotes, Purchase Orders and Purchase Invoices

Inventory - Inventory Items, Inventory Transfers, Inventory Write-offs and Non-Inventory Items

Assets - Fixed Assets, Depreciate Entries, Intangible Assets, Amortisation Entries, Capital Accounts

Notes and Reports - Reports, Credit Notes, Delivery Notes, Debit Notes, Goods Receipts

Time and Production - Production Orders, Billable Time and Billable Expenses

Admin - Settings, Special Accounts, Folders, Attachments, History, Backup, Customize and Rename Company

This is probably not perfect as I am not sure that expense claims, payslips and late payment fees and journal entries really go into any of the above but you can see the general direction I am suggesting. I am sure that the developer could perfect my suggestion.

Virtually everything is intuitively allocated I think. So I doubt that there would be as much disagreement as one would think.

Also bear in mind if you don’t use Suppliers for example it won’t appear in the Contacts Tab. And the current tab restrictions and permissions can still be applied to my approach.

I believe that this is better than the current approach, whilst still retaining all current permissions and access rights and separation of current views as you will still see the exact same view clicking on supplier within contacts for example. So hopefully my request will be considered as it does achieve website best practice and simplifies things a lot.

@Patch I was thinking about your scrolling issue whilst I was writing my example Tabs down. Actually on reflection, while I am focused on the length of the Tabs, your point is very valid from a website best practice point of view.

When you are visiting a website you always want the menu options to be at the top or LHS and to be static while you scroll down the page. Manager does not adhere to this best practice as you have to scroll up to select a tab if you have scrolled down in payments or Journal Entries etc.

I believe that creating groups similar to what I have suggested and moving all of this up into a fixed header at the top will be far better as this will negate the need to scroll back up, make more effective use of the wasted space on top and also give more width to forms so you never had to scroll left or right. The tabs minimise is a nice feature but is actually fixing a symptom of a problem.

So my suggestion would two other separate issues as well as my own. Scrolling up to access tabs and left right scrolling within forms eliminating the need for a tabs mimise.

A mock up with

  1. Fixed tab bar with scrolling window content

  2. Removal of grey boarder around most of the window. Remaining white boarder could be reduced also

frames and scroll bars is not really a good way to design websites anymore - which Manager is (even though its in a wrapper for the desktop. Frames that scroll really went out in the 90’s.

I have made my suggestions in the post above yours as we replied at the same time.

This is what I wrote in the other thread which partly prompted the creation of this new thread.

To see why I favour this please read what I wrote and I will explain below.

"I think that the stage where the number of tabs becomes annoying is when the number of required activated tabs makes it necessary to scroll down the screen to access the tabs at the end of the list.

I would like to see grouping of tabs where selecting the group heading would temporarily expand to show a clickable list of the tabs in that group.

I would far rather click to expand a group than have to scroll the page.

Suggested Group headings would go something like this:

Cash and Banking
Accounts Receivable
Accounts payable
Fixed & Intangible assets
etc, etc

It may only need to group the tabs that fit appropriately into a group, with the more difficult to categorise remaining as standalone tabs."

Why I favour this:

  1. It could be implemented in phases
  2. The groups could contain tabs relative to each accounting module which will reinforce accounting principles for users with limited accounting background. (accounts payable separate from accounts receivable is a good example).
  3. It will delineate similar tabs and avoid inadvertently selecting the wrong tab.For example, Purchase invoice instead of sales invoice and vice versa which I seem to do on regular occasions.
  4. When you have many tabs and need to scroll it stuffs up your muscle memory as each time you scroll for a particular tab it invariable ends up in a different position than the last time. This suggestion will eliminate this.
  5. It does not require another main page frame to navigate to get to your destination. (as some other suggestions require).
  6. An expanded group could be quickly collapsed by another click if you select the wrong group.
  7. The existing customise screen would not need to change and if no tabs are selected in a group that group need not appear in the menu. Likewise, tabs need not appear in a group if not selected.

Tabs which could be left permanently expanded for simple businesses on large screens then collapsed for complex business on relatively small screens could work.

Simple business do loose vertical screen space with the approach as they would then have to also display tab group headers. Perhaps that could be minimised by just displaying a dividing line when expanded and header name when collapsed.

The problem is deciding the tabs groupings…

For example under my Money tab I have put payments and receipts, whereas you have two separate tabs that won’t contain anything other than payables and receivables.

Personally I can’t see any reason why to have these as tabs. They both relate to bank and cash accounts - which is why I proposed the Money Tab and put them in there. Secondly Account receivables and Account Payables is accounting terminology not as user friendly as just payments and receipts.

I agree it could be implemented in phases as some tabs and groups will be very easy, but others are a bit harder to place. I personally think mine is simple and non accountant friendly.

Anyway the developer can review this. I think that my suggestions will carry a lot of weight in this topic because it’s not just my opinion. Studies do show 7 to be the magic number and 3 clicks to get to your destination. In addition most websites have the menu items in a static header that does not disappear when you scroll down the page unlike Manager’s Tabs.

So all I am really advocating here is website design best practices as recommended by various different studies. I am not asking for major changes such as merging tabs - just moving the link where you click on most of the tabs to a different location and level. That should not affect user permissions, access rights, gui view etc.

These are not different names. They are entirely different things.

I rest my case! When I read the words account receivables I think of receipts! You have just proved my point. Account receivables does not translate well for non accounting people as in the meaning is not simple enough.

I am sorry but there is a clear difference. A receipt and payment are issued when an actual transaction is completed and ths funds received or paid. Accounts receivable and Accounts payable related to expected transactions some time in future. This can be explained to non-accounting people as it is part of accounting jargon that needs to be understood if a non accountant is to understand some of the financial statements.

Yes I just realised now what accounts receivables and payables because I look at them on my BS to see what is incoming and outgoing. But my point is that if even I having used Manager for years misunderstood what was being referred to initially means its not a good name for a tab.

Secondly I cannot see any reason why to have a tab for something like that. We don’t currently have a tab for that.

Last you will notice that Lubos has deliberately tried to create simple easy to understand names for all the tabs.

Anyway I have made my pitch to have this idea put forward. It will be his decision whether to go ahead or not and if so what names to use.

Sorry, I realize that you may refer to the proposed grouping of @AJD which I think was already disregarded. If anything I do not think that lots need to change or names. As mentioned some better ordering. Why is settings a tab, it is a business setup aid and should probably get a button next to backup and history. Same for Customize. The order of importance or frequency of use of each tab should be considered. Anyway I think that there is plenty of agreement and disagreement on this and I think we all made our points.

I was referring to @AJD options. I am not aware that his proposal has been discarded.

I agree, I don’t think a lot of names need to change, in fact very little needs to change. You are absolutely right - why is settings a tab and even worse why is non inventory items in settings when it works identically to inventory items. Why is history and backup situated somewhere else away from settings? I have moved all these into my Admin Tab as per my examples above. The only factor is that backup and history and customise are business specific, but I am sure that can be worked around.

The order of importance or frequency of the tab will be impossible to determine as every business will be different. Again I feel that changing the order is fixing the symptom of the problem. Too many tabs. Reducing tabs will solve nearly all issues - scrolling, hard to find etc.

I would prefer if the grouping were modular like so:

Cash and Bank which contains all bank and cash masters like bank and cash accounts and transactions like receipts, payments and transfers as well as other features like reconciliations.

Alternative names could be “Banking and Treasury” or even “Money”. But I don’t prefer money because everything else is measured in money

Sales which contains all Customer masters as well as transactions with customers such as Quotes, Orders, Invoices, Credit Notes, Billable Time and Billable Expenses.

Purchases which contains all Supplier masters as well as transactions such as Quotes, Orders, Invoices, Debit Notes.

Employees should contain all Employee master as well as their transactions like Payslips, Expense Claims and possibly Leaves in the future.

Inventory and Operations which contains Inventory Item masters as well as transactions like Receipts, Deliveries, Write-offs, Transfers and Production Orders.

The idea here is that delivery and goods receipt are rarely – if ever – issues by sales or purchasing staff. In fact it’s whoever in charge of the stores.

Capital Assets which includes Fixed Asset, Intangibles and Natural Resource masters as well as their transactions like Depreciation, Amortization and Depletion.

This can also be called “Assets” and can include investments in the futures.

Accounting and Finance is for accounting masters like Special Accounts, Capital Accounts and possibly Loans in the future as well as accounting transactions like Journal Entries as well as the Summary Tab.

Can also be simply called “Accounting” or “Finance”.

Utilities or Administration is for Settings, Emails, Folders and Attachments.

Reports shouldn’t be grouped with anything because it’s already a collection of collections of reports from all other modules.

My preferred order is very similar to @AJD’s order.


@Ealfardan I see what you have done. You have put Sales and Purchases whereas @AJD had Accounts Receivables (presumably for Sales) and Accounts Payables (presumably for purchases)

The problem with ajd’s list was the terminology. You have made it more intuitive. But I can see that you have both suggested the same thing effectively.

What I like about your approach is that it also is 8/9 tabs in total and secondly you have managed to modularise the tabs by division - sales dept, purchases dept. So actually, I think that your suggestions are better than mine with a couple of proviso’s

I like the name Money! I am going to get that one! :laughing: But I will concede Cash and Bank is accurate.

Secondly, the reason why I linked contacts to employees, suppliers and customers is because quite a lot of businesses have the same person as a supplier and customer. I agree with other posters that there needs to be one name and that name can have supplier, customer and employee ticked instead of duplicating names. So my expectation is that we won’t have employees, customers and suppliers, but just contacts that can be ticked for the above three categories. Having said that, I don’t want this implemented unless there is an easy way to filter this merged contacts list to see say just customers. This may never be implemented, but I know it was discussed. So how would you address this issue in your tab preference?

I agree that debit notes, credit notes, delivery notes, goods receipts - your allocation is more logical than mine was and again you have done it by department.

I concede your point about Reports - it’s already a collection of stuff.

I would name Capital Assets as just Assets. What is Natural resource masters??

I don’t think that Accounting and Finance is intuitive and I personally think that Capital accounts and Loans could go under Assets - maybe call it Assets and Liabilities. I would move Special Accounts into your utilities module which I have done in my Admin module. Once you have set it you, never need to go into it again. Again I would put Journals into your Utilities module.

I largely like and agree with your suggestion. It is better than mine as it breaks it down into company departments and allows more logical placement for things like late payment fees (which will go under Sales). But I would abandon the Accounting and Finance tab and move everything in there to Assets or Utilities.

I would call Utilities Admin or Administration as they are not really utilities.

Inventory and operations must have non-inventory items in it!

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@lubos Three of us (myself, @AJD and @Ealfardan) have now come up with a format that we largely agree on.

I think that Money, Sales, Purchases, Employees, Inventory and Operations, Assets - we are all in firm agreement with the items that go in as listed in @Ealfardan post. I think what he proposed is far better than my suggestion as it’s modular by company position eg sales dept. I had the right idea, but not sufficient understanding of accounting. He has also dumbed the names down for me :laughing:! AJD had the same approach but using terminology like accounts receivables is not user friendly.

The areas of disagreement are actually very trivial:

  1. about the need for the accounting and finance tab that @Ealfardan suggested. I think that everything in that tab should be moved to Assets and Administration. I think this tab is not intuitive and all the stuff can be moved to the other two tabs thus reducing one further tab.

  2. What to call Money/Cash and Bank as well as Admin/Administration/Utilities. I like money because it’s a fun name and will cover petty cash, bank accounts, cash accounts, bitcoin, reconciliations etc. I think Administration is the best name for the Admin/Utilities Tab.

  3. Whether suppliers, customers and employees will be merged into one contact list so as not to duplicate names when a company is both customer and supplier? The problems are obviously that one would see all contacts. So if contacts are merged, how would this work for the sales, purchases and employees tabs?

I know that you are not sold on the idea yet, but I am hoping that this will strengthen my case for this change given that three separate people agree on the first six tabs without argument. It is really the accounting and finance tab and Administration tab that needs more debate and consideration.

The areas of disagreement are actually small and I am really encouraged that this would solve the problems I have raised in this topic. Let us know what you think?