When users of the Magnetise job enablement app asked for a scheduling calendar that showed a month’s jobs at a glance developer Company-X didn’t stop there.

Senior software architect Luke McGregor questioned users why they wanted a month view and what they got from it.

“The big problem with a month view is information density,” McGregor said. “If you have all your jobs showing it’s too high and you can’t see what’s going on. You can’t see the forest for the tree. There are a million things on the screen. That’s what I pushed back on, and it pushed us back towards a better solution.

When McGregor and the software development team dug deeper with users they discovered they wanted both high-level visibility of scheduling capacity of equipment and people and to drill down into specific jobs.

Company-X build a scheduling calendar that gives a month view, to give users the high-level visibility of resource allocation they requested, but also drill down into the schedule with views for two weeks, one week and three days.

User experience and user interface designer Briana Christey said the development of the resource calculator was “a good example of why Company-X is so good at what they do”.

“We're excited because it's a really good example of how we dove deep to get to the core of what users need,” Christey said.

“It’s a good example of thinking back to why this is important, rather than ‘we know we want to look at this at a month level’,” McGregor said. “The questions we are answering at a month level are not the same questions we are answering at a week level. What’s hard to do in software is to take those steps back, but I think they are important steps to take.”

Magnetize chief executive Paul Lyons described the Company-X approach as a marvellous solution.

“It solves their pain point. We’re having quite a few eureka moments. It’s satisfying. It’s all credit to the company and its culture,” Lyons said. “It’s about filling gaps when you’re running a business. Where are the gaps? Where can I put people? It’s a calendar that tells you what’s available and you can click in and go to the action.”

Another challenge was finding the best way for users to quickly and easily log their time on jobs as other options are cumbersome.

“We needed a fresh approach,” Christey said.

“One evening, as I opened my iOS alarm clock app to set my waking time, I realised there was the inspiration for our solution: a simple spinner for workers to set their start and end time.”

The Magnetize scheduling calendar enables users to:

- Schedule jobs

- Assign people and equipment

- Drag and drop to reschedule jobs

- Click and drag to extend jobs across multiple days

- Book out staff on leave, and equipment out of action

It gives visibility as to:

- What jobs are scheduled and when (including the ability to filter by teams, or by job status)

- See who's on leave, and what equipment is out of action

- What jobs people and equipment are assigned to (in the "Resource View").

- Workload for the month ("Month View")