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Skrooge usability survey

What is your Skrooge perception for your usage

childish
No votes
simple and intuitive
19%
powerful and efficient
50%
complex and difficult to use
13%
bloated
19%

Total votes : 16


User avatar gdebure
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Re: Skrooge usability survey

Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:11 am
drewkeller wrote:I've been using KMyMoney for the last year. I heard Skrooge mentioned and thought the new year would be good time to try out something new. My comments are for Skrooge 0.5.5.

Thanks for taking the time to give us your impressions !

drewkeller wrote:As I was setting up the categories, there were a number of times I hit the Add button when I meant to hit Modify, and vice-versa. In the categories, this isn't too bad of an issue, but the interface logic is similar in the operations tab. I can see this being a bigger problem there.

So why is that confusing? I'm not the only one with this confusion; it was mentioned a few posts up. The KDE guideline is itself somewhat contradictory. It says the noun should be used first and then gives an example where the menu is set up so the user actually selects the verb before then noun (Insert, then Page break, etc.) (http://developer.kde.org/documentation/ ... nverb.html). Personally, I think I know that I want to add something before I really decide the details about what I'm adding. Or again, I know that I want to modify something before figuring out the details. I haven't used KDE software much, so maybe that just the way they are. Or perhaps some other KDE software use some other method that is more straightforward?

Hmm, I need to look more into details with my KDE desktop configured in english (currently in french), but I think "Add" and "Modify" are fairly standard... Will investigate, though. Can you think of some clearer terms ?

drewkeller wrote:Apparently I have to double click on an operation object in order to select it. Standard behavior for programs I'm familiar with is to select something via a single-click. Double-click would perform some kind of operation on the item (such as open its details for editing).

Huh ? Nope, a single click should definitely be enough, this is really strange... Or maybe there is a standard setting in KDE system settings that overrides this ?


drewkeller wrote:I am confused by the "hide checked operations" box. Is it supposed to hide operations which have been checked? What is meant by "checked"?

Here's one example of how terms need to be used consistently. I clicked on the status column of some of my operations. A checkmark appeared in the checkbox. I figured this meant the item was checked; wrong! According to the tooltip, the checkmark means the item is "pointed" but not "checked". The tooltip says the reconciliation mode can "validate" "pointed" operations. Doesn't say anything about how to "check" something. The docs use the word "confirmed" and don't say anything about "checked", "validated", or "pointed". So I'm left with a lot of confusion about what these terms mean and what process Skrooge expects me to use on them.

Touché ! We definitely need to clarify these terms, and I realize there is indeed a lot of confusion there.
* Validated: when importing operations, they are not immediately considered valid. Skrooge requires you to manually validate them (unless you choose to automatically validate imported operations in the settings).
* Pointed and Checked: During the reconciliation process, you start by pointing operations that appear on your account's position. Pointed operations appear half greyed. Once all operations on the account's position are pointed, you finish the reconciliation. Pointed operations are then set to "Checked".


drewkeller wrote:There are a number of places where odd words are used (due to translation?).
* "editioning panel" - "edit panel" or "editing panel" (further, if we are going to use a word based on the root word "edit", shouldn't the action button be called "edit" rather than "modify"?)

I thought we used "Edition Panel" everywhere... will check. And since the action button really commits changes, I'd rather stick to "modify" or "update".

drewkeller wrote: * "account position" - seems like this should be the "account balance"?

Another english native user suggested "Ending Balance", this change will be implemented in the next version.
drewkeller wrote: * "pointed" - ???

See above

drewkeller wrote:Is there a way to set a starting balance for an account? Creating an operation for it makes it look like the starting balance is income when it is NOT income.

I know... there have been some discussions already with Stéphane (the main developper) on that, but he's having issues with this. Feel free to add your contribution to the linked bug report.

drewkeller wrote:There should be a confirmation before deleting an object.

We chose not to ask for confirmation since you can undo virtually everything, even after the file was closed. If you delete something incidentally, you can always undo the deletion.

drewkeller wrote:KMM's word completion is very nice. To use category Transportation > Auto > Jeep > Fuel, I can simply start with "Fuel" and then select from various matches, whereas in Skrooge, I have to start with "Transportation" and parse through the whole tree down to correct "Fuel" category.

Agreed. This "subcompletion" mechanism in KDE is called with ctrl+T in the field, but I find this really suboptimal (especially in an application with a tabbed interface). We'll see what we can do there.
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Re: Skrooge usability survey

Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:04 am
Another english native user suggested "Ending Balance", this change will be implemented in the next version.


'Final Balance' is the term commonly used.


annew, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct and a KDE user since 2002.
Join us on http://userbase.kde.org
User avatar gdebure
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Re: Skrooge usability survey

Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:24 pm
Thanks Anne :)


Skrooge, a personal finances manager powered by KDE4
http://skrooge.org
drewkeller
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Re: Skrooge usability survey

Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:37 am
Thanks for the quick reply.

I get the feeling that some of these issues have been discussed already. Is there another forum I should be looking in?

gdebure wrote:
drewkeller wrote:As I was setting up the categories, there were a number of times I hit the Add button when I meant to hit Modify, and vice-versa...

Hmm, I need to look more into details with my KDE desktop configured in english (currently in french), but I think "Add" and "Modify" are fairly standard... Will investigate, though. Can you think of some clearer terms ?


I think there is something about the layout or method that causes this confusion rather than terms on the buttons. If I cognitively parse the buttons, it is clear enough what Add and Modify should do. The problem is, it becomes a cognitive exercise every time, and that's a pain (also see KDE UI design philosophy). Perhaps if Add is only available when a blank row is selected and Modify is only available when an existing row is selected ... ? (The tradeoff would be having to Duplicate-Modify in order to create a new item based on an existing one rather than just Add, but there is already a Duplicate action on the right click menu, plus I think copy-then-modify is a very common workflow for users doing this type of action in other software. Actually, the Modify button is already grayed out when a blank area is clicked, so Skrooge is halfway there already.)

gdebure wrote:
drewkeller wrote:Apparently I have to double click on an operation object in order to select it...

Huh ? Nope, a single click should definitely be enough, this is really strange... Or maybe there is a standard setting in KDE system settings that overrides this ?

I'm actually running the standard Linux Mint (a Gnome system) until the Mint team releases their Helena KDE version (any day now). So maybe that has something to do with it.

gdebure wrote:* Validated: when importing operations, they are not immediately considered valid. Skrooge requires you to manually validate them (unless you choose to automatically validate imported operations in the settings).
* Pointed and Checked: During the reconciliation process, you start by pointing operations that appear on your account's position. Pointed operations appear half greyed. Once all operations on the account's position are pointed, you finish the reconciliation. Pointed operations are then set to "Checked".


Thanks for the explanation.

I hate to get into semantics, but English-wise, this is a really weird usage of "pointed". Is there some other term that can be used? If I may suggest some word changes...

Status column -> Reconciled or Reconciliation column

Account position -> Account balance, ending balance, final balance or similar (as has been discussed)

(no reconciliation status) -> Tooltip: "This operation has not been reconciled. Click to set to checked. Ctrl-click to force status to reconciled."

Pointed -> Checked (yeah, I know it currently means something different). Tooltip: "This operation has been checked, but reconciliation has not been completed. You can use reconciliation mode to reconcile operations that you have checked. Click to uncheck. Ctrl-click to force status to reconciled." (With the more consistent wording, it seems intuitive that reconciliation mode would be used to complete the reconciliation process, so perhaps some of this wording would now be unnecessary.)

Checked -> Reconciled. Tooltip: "This operation is reconciled."

So basically, as you go through your account statement and check each item in the statement, you set the corresponding operation in Skrooge to Checked. When all items have been Checked, the Reconcile button is activated (assuming that the balance on the statement matches the balance in Skrooge, i.e. the delta is zero) and when pressed, all Checked items become Reconciled. Maybe it's just me, but saying it this way makes more sense than having to figure out several extra terms (pointed, position, status, etc).

Now I came up with another question. Let's say I have several transactions in Skrooge that occurred AFTER the date on my bank statement. How do I reconcile the transactions that occurred BEFORE the date of my bank statement? The delta will never be zero (except by coincidence the net total of the new transactions equal zero). Do I have to force the older transactions to Reconciled?

Perhaps here's another term change:
operation -> transaction

gdebure wrote:
drewkeller wrote:There should be a confirmation before deleting an object.

We chose not to ask for confirmation since you can undo virtually everything, even after the file was closed. If you delete something incidentally, you can always undo the deletion.

True. I'm still nervous that I accidentally delete something and then don't notice until it's past the undo history limit. Maybe I'm just paranoid?
User avatar Ewald
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Re: Skrooge usability survey

Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:18 am
I'd like to add a few things I encountered when I first tried Skrooge a couple of days ago.

First of all, the different values under Import / Export > Edit regular expressions could really use a tooltip and/or a mention in the Skrooge handbook. Especially the terms number, mode, status, quantity, sign, idtransaction and idgroup could use some clarification. Now I assume that mode refers to ATM or bank transfer or some other specification of mode. Is that correct? And what about the other values? I tried experimenting, but the results weren't clear to me.

Second, when importing a .csv, my bank has a separate field (Dutch "Af" or "Bij") to define whether a certain amount is added or subtracted, instead of adding a '-' in front of the amount where a negative is meant. Is there a way for the importer to recognize this or do I need to parse my .csv some other way?

Also, the csv I get from my bank has both a comment field and a field giving a name and description of the payee, in addition to a field with the payee account number. Now I can only import two of those three with the currently available payee and comment fields. Is the a way to either merge name/description with the comment value or (even better) to add a new column to the operations?

Another thing is the starting amount... would it be possible to somehow add in the current balance and have Skrooge calculate the starting amount? Although I could probably use a calculator for that myself, but still. o)

These were a few of my first troubles, I hope you will be able to either build upon this or tell me what I'm doing wrong :) So far Skrooge looks quite promising and I hope to use it more frequently once these initial problems have been ironed out.

Oh, and on another note: is it possible to address some of the suggestions of the poster above me?
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Re: Skrooge usability survey

Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:21 pm
Ewald wrote:I'd like to add a few things I encountered when I first tried Skrooge a couple of days ago.

First of all, the different values under Import / Export > Edit regular expressions could really use a tooltip and/or a mention in the Skrooge handbook.

I will add tooltips
Ewald wrote:Especially the terms number, mode, status, quantity, sign, idtransaction and idgroup could use some clarification. Now I assume that mode refers to ATM or bank transfer or some other specification of mode. Is that correct?

Yes, this is correct.
Ewald wrote:And what about the other values? I tried experimenting, but the results weren't clear to me.

Tooltips will clarify meaning of each key words.
Ewald wrote:Second, when importing a .csv, my bank has a separate field (Dutch "Af" or "Bij") to define whether a certain amount is added or subtracted, instead of adding a '-' in front of the amount where a negative is meant. Is there a way for the importer to recognize this or do I need to parse my .csv some other way?

I will try to find a solution for this kind of file.
The workaround is to create an new column merging the other ones in Open office for example.
Ewald wrote:
Also, the csv I get from my bank has both a comment field and a field giving a name and description of the payee, in addition to a field with the payee account number. Now I can only import two of those three with the currently available payee and comment fields. Is the a way to either merge name/description with the comment value or (even better) to add a new column to the operations?

If in regular expression, you associate more then one column of you csv file with "comment", then columns will be merged.
Do you know that you can import some columns of your csv file as property too ? (Disable "Automatic search of the columns" to test it)
Ewald wrote:
Another thing is the starting amount... would it be possible to somehow add in the current balance and have Skrooge calculate the starting amount? Although I could probably use a calculator for that myself, but still. o)

This is not planed. Do you know that all amount fields have got a calculator included ?
Ewald wrote:These were a few of my first troubles, I hope you will be able to either build upon this or tell me what I'm doing wrong :) So far Skrooge looks quite promising and I hope to use it more frequently once these initial problems have been ironed out.

Oh, and on another note: is it possible to address some of the suggestions of the poster above me?


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