Society today is focused on the individual. When it comes to office software, however, it is usually “you get what you get.” But in an age of customized coffee, made-to-order meals, and personalized recommendations for your shopping and search, software that does not personalize is no longer acceptable.
Often, organizations remain focused on the way things have “always been.” But offering a positive user experience gets the whole team involved in every facet of the software, giving the company overall better success engaging the software within the business. As you know: better input equals better output. So, when the end user is able to control the experience, there is better buy-in from all levels of the organization.
Customized User Experience in CORE
The same goes for CORE. Each user can engage with the software based on their position in the company and the user experience they want—with the information presented the way they want to see it. Here’s what that looks like in action.
The first time any user logs into CORE, the first stop should always be to set up User Preferences. This can be revisited anytime during the user’s journey within CORE, but is specifically advisable upon the first login.
User Preferences are controlled by each individual and cannot be altered or pushed out as a standardized “profile” from an admin-level user, so it is up to each individual to customize his/her experience. To access User Preferences, go to the Company Menu, select the menu, and User Preferences is the first selection under the user name.
Under the General tab in User Preferences, the employee can:
- Select the visual theme of the software,
- Turn on/off Auto Complete,
- Select the default login screen other than the Dashboard.
This is great for someone, for example, who is in and out of CORE recording time. The Timecard could easily be a more convenient default landing page than any Dashboard. This would minimize the points and clicks to navigate to this critical screen. The goal is to make CORE simple, easy to access, and efficient by supporting the daily tasks of every employee from principal to time keeper.
The next tab to review is Side Navigation. This allows users to organize their main menu on the left-hand margin of the screen in their preferred order of importance from top to bottom. Individuals simply drag and drop the items by clicking and dragging the blue crossbow to the desired location. This list will be longer (or shorter) depending on the user's subscriptions, employee role, and access permissions in CORE.
Notifications & Reminders
One of the most critical settings for Users in CORE is in the Notifications & Reminders tab. In this section, users determine what action items require a notification to let them know that there is an item to attend in CORE.
For example, if a regular Time & Expense licensed employee submits an expense item and forgets to attach the receipt, the manager who approves the expense item can kick it back to the employee for revision. If the notification is on, the employee will get an alert to quickly attend to the item. If the employee desires, an email can even be sent to the employee’s work email address letting them know about the action item. Conversely, if the employee had not set a notification, attention may not be paid to the rejected item, and it can be overlooked or delayed.
However, it’s important not to over-notify yourself. You can easily become overwhelmed with notifications in CORE and potentially miss important items if you take it too far. An example of this is the “My time or expenses are approved” notification. The expectation is that each employee is properly recording time in CORE. Therefore, the priority should be to be notified if something was rejected, rather than approved.
There are four notifications that are most effective, depending on the employee’s role and responsibilities or the company’s desired use of the software. In general, the following notifications are the most commonly used:
- My time and expenses are rejected
- My personal time off requests are approved or rejected
- New to-dos are assigned to me
- Hours and units are allocated to me
Each of these items can be turned on/off as needed for optimal user experience. If too many or too few notifications are set to promote efficiency for the user, simply change the selection.
This tab should be revisited if roles, responsibilities, or positions change within an organization to ensure that the employee is getting the proper Notifications and Reminders based on their new needs. You should also adjust these settings to match standard operating procedures in CORE for the company.
The Time tab allows the user to customize how he/she engages with time entry. For example, ‘Auto-fill Time Card’ pre-fills the Time Card grid week to week with the most recent or last used projects and activities. This saves a lot of time, especially if you work on the same projects and activities every week. The ‘Auto-fill Timer’ setting works the same way. It pre-fills the Timers’ grid with the most recent or last used projects and activities. This applies to both the Timers quick drop-down menu as well as the main screen.
Another significant setting is ‘Default to Current Week in Timecard’. Since the most common error in Time/Expense software is recording time to the wrong day/date, this setting can mitigate that error by forcing the current week to appear in Timecard when selected, despite the last week viewed in that tab. All settings in the Time tab are designed to support the efficiency and accuracy of properly documenting Time and Expense in CORE.
In CORE, users can mark or flag the most-often used and important screens in CORE as Favorites—up to a maximum of ten. These favorite screens then display separately on the side menu under the Favorites list. In the tab User Preferences, choose Favorites. Then, manage the list by deleting unwanted menu items or arranging the order of importance—top to bottom or vice versa.
CORE allows set up of default emails with predefined subjects, file names, and messages for invoices, statements, reports, purchase orders, and payment receipts. It uses the AWS SMTP server to send out all emails.
Administrators for your firm can specify email settings for the entire company from the Global Settings screen. User Preferences will be used only if Global Settings are blank or administrators have checked the override option.
A system or IT administrator should configure your email settings. However, if the desired result is that User Preferences override Global Settings, the User Preferences -> Email Settings tab is where you can manage those settings and defaults for correspondence out of CORE.
Working Together, But Engaging ‘My Way’
A customized user experience encourages engagement and improves the efficiency and effectiveness of individual employee performance. Being able to communicate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to a team and individuals in real-time, impacts the performance and success of an organization.
The winning strategy of any company or organization is to evolve its way of operating procedures to be better, faster, and more efficient. Customized user interface allows employees to maximize performance in their own way.
For additional information on CORE, please refer to the CORE Help Center, our video library, connect with CORE support for guidance, or request a demo and free trial. Want your organization to evolve to the next level? Schedule an Open training session with one of CORE’s Consultants today.