I think that your idea has tremendous merit in terms of removing the current top menu tabs which are almost never used by the vast majority of people. Its is retail space that is being wasted. In addition, where the company name and Backup is located is another row of wasted retail space.
What I would recommend is replacing the tabs with buttons for Summary Page, Reports, Settings, Customize and Prferences.
That would accomplish the following:
- Reduce the number of Items on the LHS
- Only the modules where all the data is entered is on the LHS. Settings and Reports and so on, would naturally work together on the top row as you don’t enter data there. So it separates the modules from the default things like Reports and Summary Page.
- Also Reports and Settings don’t get used frequently and its logical to separate frequently used items from the infrequent ones.
- Moving the Summary Page to the top will help users get back to the Summary Page quickly, without having to scroll up all the time.
- It would mean that virtually everything that is always visible - the top row and the LHS section are populated with links that people use quite frequently.
Some other changes that I would make
I would move About Manager, Guides, Preferences, Backup and Forums into the Settings Tab and I would move the Company Name on the Second Row - where it says backup - and put the company name in the top Row.
I would move non-inventory items and inventory kits into the LHS section as it should be in the same area as inventory items and more importantly it reduces the number of clicks to get there.
I would move Customize into the Settings Section and I would rename customize as modules.
I would move backup to settings and rename that “export business” as one should use this to export your data to another computer, not as a backup system. You should have a proper automated backup regime that backsup your data to a NAS or cloud storage.
I would move the recurring payslips button into the payslips module and the same for the recurring sales invoices so settings can then only ever be used for actual settings for the program.
I would rename Cash Accounts as Money Accounts as it really is the best name for it and is more intuitive for many users who don’t equate cash with bank accounts.
I understand the point that Lubos made about the top row containing links that are pertinent to all businesses within Manager, but Summary Page, Reports, Settings, Customize and Preferences are all settings that are present in every business and some of them like Customize and Preferences can actually go in Settings. So I think that this would work well as we would have defaults like Summary Page on the top and have all the modules (that are selected in customize) on the LHS.
What do other people think?