It’s pretty hackneyed, but I could actually use a decent application for tracking my times and expenses on my iPhone. I work 9 – 10 hours a day, on various projects, and sometimes have to resort to looking at my sent and received emails to find out what I was actually doing.
I have a fairly simple list of requirements for tracking time:
- Track time starting ‘now’
- Track time against a project
- Track time against a project task
- Allow editing of billable time
- Allow projects and tasks to be pre-populated
- Associate a comment with billable time
- Generate a simple report and email it
Given these requirements, it looks like the most important aspect of the application is the ability to add new periods of billable time, and to view what you’ve recently worked on.
Thoughts on Implementation
Bearing in mind that this is an iPhone application, performance must be fast, and the user interface must be clear, clean and smooth.
Other features should include being able to view work by project, and setting up projects and tasks.
Non-features in a version 0.5, but which are probably work thinking about include the ability to generate and track an actual invoice.
Doing a Mock-Up
I haven’t seen much information on the web about how to design an iPhone application, so at least for me, I’m looking for a comfortable and lightweight way to pull the ‘feel’ of an application together.
I started with Pencil software for Firefox, but it seemed clunky and difficult to use. Especially, the process and changing fonts, and laying out pieces of text seemed to be harder than necessary.
Next up and much more comfortable was the Apple presentation software Keynote. I was able to fairly quickly over the course of a couple of hours, distill the needed views and data down into a few screens.
The following shows what I ended up with.
This mock-up consists of just the regular Keynote text blocks in bold and regular 18 point text. It couldn’t really be much simpler, but I think it’s starting to look like a real application.