Two weeks ago we released the website feature and got a decent response. Though the module is still in its initial stages, we hope to add a lot more features soon.
In the meantime, documentation is one of the most lacking aspects of ERPNext and we thought to have a crack at it. Though Umair maintains excellent user guide (http://erpnext.blogspot.in/2011/03/erpnext-help.html), users often find ERPNext very complex and over-whelming. When we started the documentation we saw the app from the eyes of the user (I know we should do it more often ;)) and realized that we need to fix the navigation before we fix the documentation.
So with that objective, we started to fix the navigation in ERPNext:
- First up are the new “module” pages: Each module now has its own home page that lists all the major components of the module - the masters, transaction, setup, tools and reports. All of this on one screen. We hope this will provide a “map” of what the module contains and will help the user explore all the features
- We also thought that the user interface was too cluttered and there was too much navigation. Though the navigation is all good, its usually a distraction when you are working on something. So here is what we did:
a. we integrated the “page” look of the website in the app itself (so now you can also change fonts, background etc)
b. the left sidebar is gone and the modules appear on the top menu
c. the right sidebar (secondary links) is integrated in the page
- We also killed 2 “modules” - Knowledge Base and Analysis. Analysis is now a part of the modules and Knowledge Base becomes an “app”. So do “todo”, “calendar”, “messages”. We also realized that all these were also “broken” and kind of did a reworking of many of these apps.
- Setup: The setup page was so horrible that even the developers (like me) can get confused, so we had to redesign it. Now that all module-related setup is there in the module page, the setup page becomes a lot cleaner.
- Deskop: Finally, what to put on the homepage has always been an agonizing decision. The current “feed” page is ideal for an “app” but erpnext is more a “platform”. So we got inspired from all the smartphone and tablet UIs out there and decided to put a grid of “icons” on the desktop page. The icons are open source and supplied by the excellent Noun Project (thenounproject.com)
Hope you like it. We plan to release the new UI sometime next week. So please send in your feedback.