Trakker is a web application designed to allow teams to manage and track projects for various clients, both internally and externally. Users can create and upload assets or components for use by anyone for building projects. This project was built for our internal team with the intention that it could expand to be used cross-departmentally.
One thing my office struggled with for years was managing multiple team projects with various clients, product types, and publishing platforms. We work on 3 project buckets: external client projects, internal client projects, and component projects. An app was previously built for tracking external requests only, so when we started to produce new product types, there was no formal way to track internal projects and component work. The previous app was not designed with future scalability in mind, so as the team started to grow it became apparent that the existing features were not meeting the teams’ needs for working effectively.
We also have the unique circumstance of having limited access to outside tools due to extreme security restrictions, resulting in the need to build most of our own internal tools.
We were working with old and antiquated systems, not built to scale to our current team size or needs.
No async process for managers to track team projects or for clients to request projects; all verbal communication, not scalable.
Limited access to outside tools due to security restrictions.
With all that said, what was our solution?
Build a tracking tool for managers, employees, and clients to request, track, and publish projects.
I came into the project knowing I wanted to build something I would want to use, as I would be one of the end users. This helped frame the user research I conducted with the proposed users of the tool: designers, developers, and managers. Through research, a few consistent themes were uncovered:
Easy ability to update project’s statuses week-to-week for our weekly team meetings.
Knowing who is assigned to each project and what their role is. (Example: I just got added to this project, who is my lead or developer so I know who to collaborate with)
A snapshot of what everyone is working on week to week.
Effective Project Management
Clear project requirements and deadlines.
Managing multiple deliverables that feed into 1 parent project, each with their own specs and requirements.
A central location for finding assets and plugins that all users can pull from and use on projects.
With these themes, I designed few different views to meet the overall needs of the various users.
Dashboard - The goal of this page is to provide the users with a snapshot of their workload distribution, active projects, and the recent comments across all their projects. This view displays content based on role, allowing users to view their active projects, and managers to get a snapshot of all in-flight projects across the office.
Users have responded well to using the dashboard to ask for work in different areas, check other teammate’s projects, and to find areas where they can step in and help a project.
Projects - This section allows user to see all projects across the team. Drilling into a project, they can view the details, deadlines, associated deliverables, platforms, stakeholders, and assigned team members.
Components - The goal of this page is to organize the many plugins, libraries, and visual assets that we have collected or created over several years in one shared place for anyone to access.
We couldn’t store the content in the applications database, so I designed the page to work as a directory for the content, telling users where they can find the content, whether it be on GitHub or the shared drive.
The page allows for the components to be tracked like a project, allowing for commenting, team management, and status updates.
Trakker has been a game changer for our team. Updating project statuses or comments is now much easier and less of a headache for the user. We also have the added benefit of seeing our teams’ workload distribution, providing easy management of large projects with multiple deliverables, and a component directory to better share plugins and creations with the rest of the team.