We’ve been experimenting.
Over the last year as we've seen more and more teams using Aphex we've been constantly asking ourselves: “How can we help teams save more time and move even faster?". The releases of Planner V4 (Sept 2019) and V5 (March 2020) attempted to pack in hundreds of new features while maintaining the simplicity of your core experience. This is easier said than done, with every new feature bringing a risk of increased complexity. So, we experimented. We experimented with many concepts new to planning and construction software: planning modes and new ways to interact with your plans. Many of our experiments paid off… and some didn’t.
Since April we met with and heard from hundreds of users, learning how they use Aphex Planner to make their jobs easier. But, more importantly, we found out where users have pain points in their workflows and where behaviour deviated from our predictions. After a lot of thought (& 🍺) and some more experimenting we designed this update to Aphex Planner to directly address our most common user requests!
Tasks and Sub-tasks
Teams need two levels of work. Why? Whether you're importing your master schedule or planning from first principles, having the ability to breakdown work into smaller pieces without re-sequencing the rest of the plan is really useful.
But, not every bit of work requires two levels. The answer? We've renamed Groups to Tasks and Tasks to Subtasks 🤦♂️ … 'Groups' was a confusing concept for users. Tasks and Subtasks both represent units of work and can sit together in a plan comfortably. Some work at Task level and other work broken to Subtasks. No loss of functionality, no compromises 🥳..
Engineers really liked the simplicity of Deliver mode but found that sometimes they were forced to work in Oversee mode when using a specific set of columns and for printing their work. Planner's new columns combine the power of individual column selection from Oversee with the quick toggling of column groups in Deliver. Columns are now controlled in one familiar place and can be turned on and off quickly with hotkeys 👌 .
The inspect panel is perfect…. for quickly reviewing detail or checking in on plans. For entering data and building plans, teams prefer a table that enables keyboard navigation and copy paste.
To help users maintain focus on the columns whilst planning, the inspect panel now opens on a double click. So its still available when you need it but not constantly wanting to be seen 🙈.
Clash mode is now more accessible. You can switch to it from the top of the gantt and once in it, you will see that it is more structured. With work automatically grouping by Location so that clashing tasks are closer to each other.