Open Source Product Definition: OutlineTasks

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Yesterday, I was struggling to achieve a basic goal.  I wanted to list out the sections of the application and specify all the different buttons and menus and features.  It was basically a quick outline of the product to be used as a UI specification doc.  There are lots of task managers, but none achieved my goal.  I had three requirements:

  1. An outlining tool as easy as MS Project 2007.
  2. A column for task name and notes.
  3. Output HTML in a dynamic tree form.

Some “nice-to-have” features, but weren’t required:

  1. Online, but just as fast as MS Project. (Possible, I think with EXTJS).  Needs to be editable by multiple people.
  2. Columns for %Complete, Target Date, Owner, Priority, Effort Level

Details of the interaction design:

  1. SHIFT-LEFT and SHIFT-RIGHT should indent/outdent.
  2. Drag and drop should work for reorder
  3. Cut and paste from excel or notepad should work.  (Tabs should be considered indents)
  4. Cut and paste TO text should paste with tabs
  5. Export to UL/LI should work.
  6. Export to UL/LI Tree should work by using the jquery Tree plugin or Ext Tree.
  7. Should be able to select multiple rows to delete/move/copy.  (Shift-Click)
  8. Keyboard should work for up/down
  9. Pressing enter at the end of a task should go to the next line to start a new task.
  10. Pressing tab at the end of the task should go to the next column
  11. Show levels should work.  Great feature.
  12. Should be sticky so that the last open/close stays

Here you can see how it looks in Project.  I think this would be a really useful quick tool.   Some people do open source project development.  I do open source product definition.  Feel free to add/modify this with me.  And of course, feel free to build it.  Please give me some credit somewhere on it if you do. 🙂

Interaction Design is fun.

1 comment

Whatya think?