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Sneak Peek: FreshBooks Redesign

by Mike McDerment  |  July 31/2007  | 

Over the past few months we’ve been hard at work on a redesign of FreshBooks. Don’t panic—the app will work the same way, we just wanted to achieve a higher standard with our aesthetics… to some degree, FreshBooks the app has always had a year 2003 feel to it, and it’s high time we brought FreshBooks up to date.

The following are a series of screenshots highlighting some of the changes—they’ll be rolled out soon:

Navigation Simplification

tabs.gif

As these “before and after” pictures indicate, we’re making a move to a more traditional tabbed navigation. This will simplify the FreshBooks experience and make it easier to navigate the app, and it allows us to ensure the navigation is more contextualized. For those of you who are power users, we’ve worked hard to keep frequently used links ever-present, so FreshBooks is still fast fast fast and you can get where you need in the fewest number of clicks.

Better Notification Messaging

messages.gif

For a long time now I’ve wanted to tidy up our error messaging. With our upcoming release our messages will be better—much better. You might think this is a small thing, but we’re guessing you will find it’s a pretty big deal.

Colour Picker Redesign

colour-picker2.jpg

The picture pretty much says it all. This colour picker is way easier to use and it’s dynamic so you get instant feedback. We’ve included more samples too. In a word: magic.


Tidy Page Numbering

paging.gif

Since they are not primary navigation items, we’ve toned down the page numbering to make the links pop out less (i.e. classic blue links really pop out on white) . We also used CSS to make the clickable area larger for the page numbers, which in turns make it easier to click on a number (design note: a one letter text link is never ideal and that is what we were using before).

What Else is New?

Under the hood this signifies our move to CSS/XHTML with the application—standard stuff these days, but a big move for an application designed in 2003 when this was not especially common. So our pages are leaner and tighter, and we’re also taking better advantage of compression technologies which have reduced our average page size to about 1/3 of what they are today, so you can expect faster page loading.

As you can see the app has a new, fresher feel thanks to this redesign. We’ve affectionately titled this release “Sexy Beast” and it’s going to be easier to use for first-time visitors and less cluttered for regular users. This release will include more changes than I have outlined here, and as usual you can expect a steady stream of continuous improvement thereafter—it’s the FreshBooks way! We’ll send an email just before the release like we always do. We hope you enjoy it.


  • James

    sexy beast! LOL! nice!

  • http://www.donnavitan.com Donna

    I can’t wait till the release. I was more anxious than worried when you announced this upcoming face lift in the forum. However, having seen the screenshots, I’m more excited to see that it’s going to be much more than just a face lift. It really will be a better move.

    I’m going to have play around with the colours again!

  • http://www.baskettcase.com Rick Baskett

    Awesome! Im definitely looking forward to this, what fun! :)

  • Dan

    Looks great guys! Can’t wait to see it!

  • http://www.uprightinfinity.com Daniel

    Wow, can’t wait!

  • pablo korona

    Will this lead to the ability to add skins to our invoices and proposals?

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#aaron Aaron Adams

    Somewhere down the road it could happen, but no, this is really just a general facelift. Most of our users don’t have the ability or need to do those sorts of customizations, so it’s not too high on our list of priorities right now; probably something we’d lead people towards the API for instead.

  • http://www.fantasysportsmatrix.com Michael Vu

    That looks awesome. I can’t wait!!!!

    - Michael Vu
    CTO/Founder
    http://www.fantasysportsmatrix.com

    …a social network for sports fans.

  • bob

    subtle, but nice!

  • http://namecat.com/ Leroy the NameCat

    Prrr-ow! I’ve been hoping for this for a while. Navigation has always felt clunky to me, but I can see already that it will be easier than ever to get around inside FreshBooks.

  • http://namecat.com/ Leroy the NameCat

    Prrr-ow! I’ve been hoping for this for a while. Navigation has always felt clunky to me, but I can see already that it will be easier than ever to get around inside FreshBooks. Sexy indeed. ^_^

  • http://www.simplestation.com Stuart

    Any idea when this release is due out? I too am really excited to see an updated UI. I’ve definitely found it difficult at times trying to navigate everything.

  • http://www.siteposition.ca BrendanK

    Looks super guys!
    Freshbooks just gets better and better.

  • Pingback: API Happenings and Going-ons

  • http://www.hyperlucid.com Christine Siebels

    Looking good!! Can’t wait!! :-)

  • http://www.groikproductions.com Peter Osborne

    This all looks great! I have been nothing but impressed with not only the original design and functionality of your product, but also the updates and revisions. Thanks again for all your hard work!

  • http://www.pagetraffic.com Pagetraffic

    Navigation definitely needed an upgrade :)
    Now we have to make one less click to generate new invoices :)

  • http://www.spanishfurniturepacks.co.uk Michael Astle

    New site looks really good guys! Can’t wait to see it live!

  • http://www.barsforsalespain.co.uk Martin Suthers

    The new style seems to be much better – good to see things still moving forward!

  • http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php#aaron Aaron Adams

    Very soon now.

  • T.L. Hallums

    Cool! I’m eager to see the live updates.

  • http://www.internetfamous.net/ Paul

    Definitely growing to love Freshbook more and more.

    In the past, the GUI was not quite up to it as compared to the rest of the tools out there. I have to say it’s improving all the time!

    Keep up the great work!


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