|iPhone App||Seems too segregated|
|Drag and drop customizable interface|
ProWorkflow is a fairly well featured online project management system that supports drag and drop interfaces, color schemes, file managers, reporting, and even offers an iPhone app. While it does not contain particularly outstanding and unique features (besides the iPhone app), it is quite a well rounded system and can be used for most projects.
ProWorkflow has a very refreshing and unique user interface. From the first moment you log in it is easy to see where everything is due to the clever design of the layout. The most important items are shown prominently and colors are used to organize the structure of the page.
However, unlike most alternatives, many of the sections such as Add Project and Add Task create popup windows. Speaking from experience with project management software and systems, these popup windows make the system harder to use, and less streamlined as opposed to keeping everything in the same window. This will most likely slow project managers and users down. On the plus side, the window that appears for Add Project, Add Task, etc., is actually quite usable and easy to follow, coming with many options for fine tuning and specification.
Additionally, the home screen and various other screens allow you to reorganize and reorder simply by using drag and drop. This increases the functionality and allows project managers to place their highest priorities at the top. It is definitely a positive thing that these interface elements can be reorganized by drag and drop as many similar systems either force the user to edit the placement from within the settings of the system, or do not allow it at all. The menus seem to be coded in jQuery or similar language and as a result of this, have a sliding effect which makes the layout look very smooth, adding to the overall positive experience. The interface is fairly streamlined, unlike some of the back end features of the system and will be discussed later in this review.
ProWorkflow supports quick editing, which allows users to quickly edit certain fields without having to navigate to another page or going to another area within the system and is provided in order to increase efficiency. Fields that support quick editing are shown by a small green [EDIT] box when highlighting the field. To edit this field, simple double click it, and an editing window will appear, similar to the screenshot shown.
ProWorkflow ensures that they are up to date with the latest technology and recognize that many people have an iPhone, and as a result of this, have created an iPhone app to aid users in updating and viewing their projects while on the go. The App offers the ability to view/create tasks and projects, track time, view contact details and updates on all projects. This is definitely considered as the stand out point for ProWorkflow, as not many alternatives and competitors that we have looked at offer an official iPhone or mobile application. That being said, when on a mobile, you may be limited to the things you can actually do with the project, such as the ability to upload certain documents, and other similar things that mobile devices restrict or have limited capabilities with.
This is definitely something that every project management system should incorporate. Audit Log provides the ability to view details on most actions performed within ProWorkflow. This can aid project managers and allow an insight into who is doing what – something that needs to be looked after from a managerial perspective. An exhaustive list of events are tracked and logged for project managers to view, with only a portion of them shown in the following screenshot.
In a nutshell, ProWorkflow is quite fast. Menus expand into submenus almost instantly, and page loads are also very quick, loading between 1 and 1.5 seconds during our testing. As mentioned in the User Interface section, the Add Task and Add Project window pop ups decrease the streamlining effect; however, these pop up page load times are quite minimal, aligning with the speed of the rest of the system.
Ease of Use
Most of the features, functions and menu options are self explanatory and fairly simple to follow and it was found that we rarely required the help section. That being said, upon investigation of the help and support section, it was evident that ProWorkflow offers quite a lot of support, thus increasing the system’s overall ease of use factor. This section includes written instructions on literally every single process within the system, and also offers over 50 high quality videos to show you the system in action.
Like many online project management systems that we have looked at, ProWorkflow gets the job done but other than the iPhone App, the system does not particularly have anything to set it out from the pack. However, its usability and customization gives the system a boost, as the user interface can be changed to meet the user’s needs. While the system does a good job of separating all the project management functions into clearly defined sub-sections, this can be considered a double edged sword. The reason for this is the fact that the system does not feel very streamlined, and not everything fits together – you may need to do updates in several places within the system to reach a single goal. This overall decreases the usability and increases the time spent on certain aspects of managing a project. Ultimately, we recommend that you at least give it a try, but also take a look at online project management and collaboration systems that provide more streamlining and support the idea that all functions and features should work towards the same thing.