If you used Prowork before the redesign, you will notice the speed improvements. What did we really do?
A cleaner look
‘Fast’ is a feeling. If your app looks heavy but fast, users still have the impression it is slow. If your app looks simple and clean, this will have a fast response impression on the eyes. The first thing we therefore had to do was redesign the Prowork UI.
Nothing is black and white
It is never as straight forward as the eyes see. Designers and developers pop in tricks here and there. And it is one of these tricks that we use to handle user actions like adding tasks, member assignments, deleting tasks, etc. When you perform such actions, we make you feel it is done while we process it in the background. This has a 'fast’ feeling than making you wait till the action is finally processed.
An example is when you add a new task. When you type the task and click the 'Add Task’ button or press the enter key, the task is immediately added to the tasks list. But within that fraction of a second, if you are observant enough, you will notice 3 dots before the task title. At that point, the task is still processed in the background.
I don’t need to emphasize this. Jquery handles the site interaction and data transfer for background processing - via ajax as we all call it. It also takes care of the transition effects and dom elements manipulation.
When you delete a task for example, here is actually what happens:
Some messages are more equal than others
Before the redesign, we display an activity indicator when user action is being processed and a status message when completed - either the action fails or not. With the redesign, we killed the activity indicator as you should feel the action is processed already. If the background process is successful, we keep our mouth shut. You already think it is. But if it fails, we
i. tell you the reason why it failed
ii. 'undo’ the action
These are just some of the few tricks we use on the Prowork web app. We are bringing this 'fast’ attitude to mobile starting with our Blackberry application. We are already redesigning, so watch out for it the next few days.