CA Mobile Time Manager
Enterprise mobile timesheets app

Landing screen of timesheets app

CA Clarity PPM is a complex and mature enterprise Project & Portfolio Management tool. Its power and configurability--the very features that make it attractive to project managers--can be intimidating to users who only log into Clarity to fill out a weekly timesheet.

Complex Clarity timesheet - before mobile app project

Yikes! Who wants to fill this out?

We wanted to design a smartphone app to help everyday users fill out a weekly timesheet on the go. The app would also allow managers to approve or reject their reports' timesheets.

The project was on an extremely tight timeframe; when I joined the team in January, development had already begun and the app was scheduled to be released for the CA World conference in April.

Designing the App

Given the timeframe, we didn't have a lot of time to do initial research with external customers. Luckily, CA uses Clarity internally, so I used other employees as a resource, including developers, sales reps, and services personnel. Empathy was easy on this one, because I had plenty of pain points with my own timesheet!

Because the same design had to work on both iOS and Android, I did a lot of pattern research to identify design patterns that worked on both platforms. I also looked at many other apps for inspiration.

The team consisted of me, a developer in Chicago, a product manager in California, and a visual designer in Israel. The small team size heped us move very quickly. But the spread of time zones made it difficult to collborate in real time.

To get around this, I did a ton of prototyping in Axure, which allowed us to experience how the designs "felt" on actual devices. We eliminated many versions that looked great on a computer but didn't work well on an actual smartphone. The prototypes were indispensable in making our ideas concrete and keeping us on the same page across several cities and time zones.

We ultimately finished a beta in time for CA World. I worked with a user researcher to run usability tests with customers at the conference, and we made a bunch of improvements and released soon after.

It was one of CA's first mobile apps, and it energized the Clarity sales force and excited the customer base. Its success became the foundation of the mobile pattern library project.