Today, we are changing the way completed tasks work and adding more project Views to Asana, as we mentioned in December. Completed tasks contain conversations, attachments, and notes that are essential to your team’s work and communication. Seeing completed tasks in-line with your upcoming work is often helpful, but sometimes you just want to see what’s left to do. Our new View options make it easy to see the tasks you want to see, when you want to see them.
Previously, completed tasks piled up at the top of your My Tasks list and Projects, completed tasks did not remain in Sections, and sorting across active, completed, and archived tasks was difficult. Now, you can customize your Views and organize your tasks (even if they have been completed) in more ways. For additional details on what’s changed and how this may affect your workflow, read our previous blog post.
Designing new Views
We’d like to share with you how we arrived at this solution through our design process. As with any new feature, we refer to our Design Principles, and often need to balance several factors when making decisions.
Flexible AND simple
We want Asana to be easy to understand and use, regardless of how many features you use or how long you’ve been using the product. In practice, this means we need to find the right balance between flexibility and simplicity. In this case, we found balance by creating both simple Default Views and flexible Customized Views. This way, every team, no matter what they use Asana for, can organize their projects in a way that works for them.
Team AND personal
Asana is built for teamwork, and making sure you can coordinate with your team in Asana is our top priority. But, part of teamwork is making sure you’re able to get work done and do your best work, which means setting personal priorities too. When updating Views, we wanted to make sure your team and personal workflows were improved, so we considered how this would affect both My Tasks and projects. As a result, we realized the My Tasks View menu needed fewer options, so we kept it simple.
Note: The way you order and organize your My Tasks list does not affect task order in Projects, and vice versa.
Determining the “right” amount of View options
Based on these tradeoffs and principles, we made the decision to offer Recommended Views and an additional option to create a Customized View.
Pre-made, recommended Views
We built Recommended Views that make it fast to sort projects and My Tasks in different ways, without providing a daunting and confusing list. We asked some of our users what questions they wanted Recommended Views to answer, and these were the most important:
- Did I forget to write anything down?
- How close are we are to completing this Section of a project?
- How much work are my teammates getting done?
- What tasks have been completed recently in this project?
We recognized upfront that all of the filters and options available didn’t have to be visible to everyone; we could move them to a more hidden “Filter and Customize View” feature. So, when you get more comfortable with Asana and add more work, you can select this option and easily organize tasks in any way that’s useful. For example, if a project has a lot of tasks, you can create a report View to show tasks that have been completed in the last day, week, or two weeks. The option to “Save as Default View for Everyone” enables Asana power users to select or customize the project View and have the rest of the team work from it.
Throughout the design and development process, we internally called this collection of features “Sexy Completed Tasks”, and we hope these new Views and the improved functionality of completed tasks live up to the name!