The software with the best user interface

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Cheryl, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Cheryl

    Cheryl LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 95

    OK, I just spent hours manipulating customer data on my Quickbooks Online program, and the thought came to me. These @#$%@#$%@#$ programmers have never thought one minute about the user. Worst yet, I don't think one of them has ever tried using the program themselves. Hence my question.

    Which program, Clip, Gopher, Qxpress, Lawn Monkey, etc. has the best user interface. i.e. How many screens do you have to bring up to: Change customer specific information, create a bill, add customer specific information to a bill - permanent or one time, scheduled automatic billing - scheduling - printing included, etc. Seems to me, You should be able to do all of this in one screen per customer.

    Your input will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MarVal

    MarVal LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    As for me, I liked Availsuite's user interface. It is pretty neat and good-looking. Check it out maybe it will suit your needs.
     
  3. Grass Cake

    Grass Cake LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone C
    Posts: 299


    Probably not what your hoping for...but OpenOffice now has an embedded database.....you can create your own forms to add the information....everything you mention above would be fairly simple to do.... except the automatic billing (i don't know how you'd do that...but i'm sure someone could help you in the OpenOffice forums)

    I looked at most of the lawn software that was available and even registered LawnPro...but i like having the database...you can run all kinds of cool query's on your information.

    AND IT'S FREE!

    IF you need help setting up the database/tables drop me a note.
    Not a perfect solution...but a nice way to create/cutomize your own input forms and store customer info.
     
  4. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Technically speaking OpenOffice.org is free for use to individuals, however Sun made a backroom deal that leaves it open to lawsuit from Microsoft for business use, Star Office (the paid version) is considerably less than Microsoft office and has some more features than does OpenOffice.org. That said there are specific add on programs that work with Quickbooks that are industry specific but they are not cheap. QB was designed as a one size fits all application and that is one of its biggest drawbacks. To get software that is really tailored to your business the only way to get what you really want is to take an opensource application and have a programmer build it to suit your needs. The upside is that if you do it right now you not only have what you wanted but you can re-sell that software. Gopher seems to be the easiest to use however each business will be different and have different needs. No real clear answer on what is the easiest interface to use since it largely depends on the users interpretation if things. This is why software companies should spend the time and money doing usability testing which they seem to skimp on.
     
  5. Grass Cake

    Grass Cake LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone C
    Posts: 299

    Technically speaking OpenOffice.org is free for use to individuals, however Sun made a backroom deal that leaves it open to lawsuit from Microsoft for business use

    Could you provide a link to this claim?

    Grass Cake

    edit......this looks free enough for me

    http://www.openoffice.org/FAQs/faq-licensing.html#1

    No. 8
    No. 10
     
  6. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Sure heres one of many http://www.linuxpipeline.com/47212360 articles.
    Heres another http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/36679.html and another http://www.winplanet.com/article/2553-.htm

    I follow Sun pretty closely and I have seen this information on their site as well. I read the employee blogs regularly, watch the webcasts and so forth, not to mention being part of the larger opensource community. This move ticked many open spurce people off because it was veiwed as part of the flip flop strategy that Sun pursued for so long about changing opensource rules so it would warp things in their favor. Since J. Schwartz has taken over I am seeing less of that talk from them.
     
  7. Grass Cake

    Grass Cake LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone C
    Posts: 299

    But those links do not bolster your claims.

    I won't paste from all 3 links..the first one had this to say

    snip
    Many analysts say its unlikely Microsoft is contemplating a legal challenge, given the company's recent moves to settle as many outstanding legal disputes as possible.

    Matt Rosoff, analyst for research firm Directions on Microsoft, said the agreement clause is more likely the results of Microsoft's lawyers taking steps to ensure that its intellectual property is protected under the cross-licensing agreement with Sun.

    "Microsoft isn't going to allow Sun to turn its intellectual property over to third parties," Rosoff said. "It's a safety valve I don't think this is a precursor for any lawsuit."


    snip

    I can't argue that MS isn't out to squash any competition that farts...but i think it's a stretch to think they can sue OO anymore than they can Redhat or other Linux distros.

    Let's agree to disagree :)...or go over to slashdot and try to post FIRST! :laugh:
     
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Everyone is trying to get a piece of the open source pie, look at SCO. Trying to sue IBM, Diamler, Autozone and got squashed so far in court over Linux rights. MS wants that provision in case people quit buying MS Office. Its licinesing FUD is all it is but with spending a few bucks on Star you don't have to worry about it anyway.

    Heres some from yet another article an dif you want to go to the SEC and look it up.



    Wednesday, September 15, 2004

    Microsoft keeps legal options against free Office alternative
    In Sun Microsystems settlement, company retains right to sue over OpenOffice

    By TODD BISHOP
    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

    Microsoft Corp.'s settlement with Sun Microsystems Inc. includes a provision explicitly preserving the Redmond company's right to sue licensees of a free alternative to its dominant Microsoft Office software.

    Industry analysts say Microsoft appears to be merely keeping its options open, not plotting to sue users or distributors of the OpenOffice.org software. But some say the provision also underscores how seriously the company is taking the threat from open-source programs that compete with its core products.

    The provision came to light this week, when the text of the settlement agreement was made public as part of Sun's annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sun and Microsoft announced the wide-ranging settlement in April, but the underlying legal documents had previously been confidential.
     

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