4.1. Interface Theory

The key to the uniqueness of AgileTrack is its unique interface. Its interface idea was conceived after using a particular development process which involed large post-it notes (as opposed to index cards in Extreme Programming).

The post-it note system used a large board on which to stick the notes. Different regions of the board represented different projects or components of the system. If new tasks were thought up, they were written on a new post-it note and placed on the board. When iterations were planned, the sticky notes would be moved into the iteration region where they would be placed near the name of the developer who volunteered for the task, and the developer would also give a time estimate. When a developer was working on a task, he would take the sticky note a stick to the edge of his monitor. This allowed others to physically see which tasks were on people's plates. It also made for an always visible to-do list for a developer. When tasks were completed, they would receive a big checkmark on the card possibly with the completion date, and be placed back on the board. Any leftover tasks at the end of an iteration would be carried over in the next planning, or moved back into their respective project.

While in the beginning, the system worked well, it suffered because it was not scalable. A large white board can hold a limited number of cards, and a cluttered board is hard to visually scan. In the end it didn't work out.

AgileTrack's interface and features were designed with some of that experience in mind. Particularly, it was meant to be as accessible as a pad of post-it notes for writing new tasks, and as visible as the note stuck to the side of the monitor when working on a task. It was from that idea that the system tray interface was devised.

Next Section: 4.1.1. System Tray


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