One of the main issues I’m trying to solve with Cushion by exploring a modern version is an aspect of the app that was really poorly designed and actually devolved over time. It’s not visual, so it’s not immediately obvious, but as you start using the app more and more, it becomes increasingly apparent. The issue is the information architecture, or in more relatable terms, the number of clicks it takes to do what you need to do.
Cushion started very simple. It had one section with tabs for clients, projects, and invoices. As I added more sections, I also added more tabs for clients, projects, etc., in those sections. It made sense to me at the time because the table data for those items related to the section (project dates, durations, etc., for scheduling, and project estimates, incomes, etc. for budgeting). By having multiple subsections for common items, like clients and projects, instead of flipping it to make those the top-level nav, there would inevitably be confusion around getting to your list of clients and projects. It wasn’t exactly intuitive to think “Oh, I need to click on ‘scheduling’ first, then ’clients‘ to get to my list of clients.”
Now that I’m rethinking the overall structure, I’m starting with the list of clients and projects at the top-level before even getting into sections like scheduling or budgeting. This immediately makes so much more sense when you’re looking for a specific client or need to find a certain project because they’re in the top-level nav. Clients and projects are right there in the forefront—no digging.
As far as number of clicks, with the new approach, it’s technically zero. The list of clients, projects, and invoices are the first thing you see. I honestly don’t even have a top-level nav yet. At the moment, the entire app is essentially a dashboard for managing everything. I’ve put a ton of consideration into keeping the “depth” of Cushion incredibly shallow using a design approach that deserves an entire post to itself—and it’ll get it! But for now, I keep going back to one restriction—can I get to where I need to go with a single click?