A video call with a friend about marking projects as paid

The other day, a good friend of mine, who used to work out of our studio, DM’d me with a feature request for Cushion—to be able to mark an invoice as paid and project as completed in one fell swoop. This makes sense to me, thinking of folks who have a 1:1 invoices-to-project ratio, but I was curious to hear more, so we hopped on a video call.

I watched as they walked me through their process of marking invoices as paid and moving projects to the “Completed” list. As always, a lot of the friction they experienced was enlightening to me, but not surprising, since Cushion has a lot of ways to do the same thing. The especially interesting part was that they never used the “Invoices” section to easily mark invoices as paid via the context menus, but instead started in the “Budget” section, clicked into a project (which they referred to as an invoice), clicked the “Invoices” tab, then clicked into an invoice, and changed the “Status” dropdown to “Paid”. They would then go all the way back, and move the project to the “Completed” list.

Invoices summary

When asked, they said the only part of the “Invoices” section that they use is the “summary” (where it shows how much was paid this month and last month, along with how much was invoiced this month and how much is outstanding). They also mentioned that the “Budget” section is where they spend most of their time, and its graphs are the most valuable. Furthermore, if I were to move the invoices summary to the budget view, that would make everything much easier for them.

Since I’ve been feeling out various section-changes in the app, this was an incredibly useful insight. That said, I’m also not going to change everything based on one user’s feedback, but it’s still valuable. Part of my job is to ingest this feedback, and make the right decision with it, which often involves gathering more feedback to help me lean one way or another.

For now, I’m going to take these nuggets of information and imagine alternative ways to slice up the sections. Maybe it’s not “Budget” on one side and “Invoice” on the other, but rather parts of “Budget” mixed with parts of “Invoice”. And maybe it’s not all of “Budget” needing to live under one roof, but rather the project lists being separate from “Budget” altogether. As always, I have a lot to think about, but if you’d like to add your two cents, I’m all ears!