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Online Project Management Tool: unProducteev details make the registration process tiring

Posted on | September 21, 2010 | No Comments

One of my clients has switched to using Producteev (www.producteev.com) for its project management tasks.  So I had to set it up as well.

Over the time, I’ve used many online project management tools – including such popular ones as 37 Signal’s Basecamp and Pivotal Tracker.  But for some reason, none of them seemed to fit the bill entirely.  Pivotal, for example,  is an overkill for most tasks of a small multifunctional team.  It is designed to fit development tasks best.  And I could never get over the “story” metaphor – just doesn’t click with me.

I am just setting it up, so not too many comments on the overall usability, but the interface looks simple (yesss!) and clean enough.  I didn’t have to learn any new words yet, and things seem to be clearly labeled.  So far so good, though that can change once I actually use the tool.

However, when registering, I ended up spending a few minutes looking, of all things, for my Time Zone!  There is no indication whether any fields are required (which, IMHO, is an oversight), but either way, I didn’t want to skip this field because for a project management tool a correct timestamp is actually important.  So I click on the time zone field, and get this endless list:

Producteev - Where is my time zone?!

Producteev - Where is my time zone?!

After spending a few minutes trying to find San Francisco, I pretty much gave up and treated myself to a quick geography lesson:  looking up the exotic sounding names on the world map and dreaming up my next vacation (Rarotonga!  Pago Pago!  And I had no idea there was a place named Fakaofo!).

What’s most confusing is not just the sheer number of items on this list – but the selection.  Names of islands are mixed in with city names, time zones, and I think even some country names.  List organization by GMT plus or minus so many hours doesn’t really work.  There is seemingly no order to anything.  I first looked for San Francisco (the city), then PST (time zone), and finally, mostly by accident, found Pacific Time stuck somewhere between Gambier and Pitcairn.  I hope it’s the ‘right’ Pacific Time because there are different ones listed as well (for Tijuana, Vancouver, etc – although it’s still the same time zone).

Despite the frustrating user experience here, I would like to thank the team of Producteev for expanding my geographic horizons.  Though it does make me wonder – how often is Producteev tool used in Rarotonga?  Wouldn’t it be better to prioritize the places that are likely to have more Producteev users?

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