Switch between display views

Hi all,
I’m struggling to come up with a usable UI for budgeting and billing in our project management system.
I have had a few plans, but I’ve not been able to get any of them to work well for me.

We essentially have 2 main ways of billing clients, which is what is causing the issues.
Type 1 : Whole Project Billing. We are given a fixed fee. We then set an internal target cost of our work per hour and that gives us a target for how many hours we’re aiming to use. Invoicing is done either as one large invoice or broken into agreed smaller invoices over time.

Type 2 : Hourly billing. We are not given a fixed fee. We negotiate the fee per hour with the client. Our “budget” is just a rough calculation of expected number of hours * the fee

So - how to represent this in the display of the project?
I feel like we need a number of columns.
For type 1, we need

For invoicing : [Agreed Fee]
For internal budgeting : [Target rate/hr] & [CALCULATED Allocated hours]

For type 2 I think we need
For invoicing : [Rate / hr]
For internal budgeting : [Target hours] & [CALCULATED Income Estimate]

Since we have no way to disable columns that are not needed, or changing a column from a type that sometimes accepts data to one that calculates, we are (I think?) going to need 6 columns.

However, how do we show the user which of those needs to be filled in using a “Detail” view form?
An idea I had was to have two different detail views for the project, and it just switches between layout depending on the type of billing that is selected for the project. But is that possible at all?

Otherwise - some way of hiding columns when not needed - within the detail view.

Or - some completely different suggestion…

Hope that makes sense - look forward to hearing ideas from different people.

Cheers, Brendan.

And for clarification…
Here’s a really simplified table

When I open project 2 in detail view, I’d like to see this

And opening project 3 in detail view I’d like to see this

(So the idea was to switch between which layout template is used by looking at the project type)

I don’t think thats possible… so looking for alternative ideas. Just having all 6 entries open makes it VERY easy for someone to make a mistake and place the figures in the wrong place. I can’t see a way to even “hide” the columns number by changing to white on white writing (for instance)… I’m willing to try anything. Almost anything.

There is possibly a way I can do it re-using the columns in different ways. However, the problem comes with the column headers then. Ie, for fixed fee, column 3 is budget but for per hour, column 3 is rate per hour.


:smiley: An imperfect workaround until we have more dynamic control over the UI might be to use icons or color coding to guide the user who is responsible for adding the inputs. Below is a quick example. Try changing the Billing Type select field.

Here’s a trick just for you:

You can have a button to open the popup with a “detail view” input, and based on some criteria show one layout or the other (by using one or another OpenWindow link).

That would work for the popup only; no way to programmatically switch layouts in the same detail view that’s e.g. embedded on the canvas, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Oh this is interesting and worth looking into more - I’ve used icons elsewhere to help with other UX issues (mostly trying to make readable calendars when loads of info needs to be included / easily seen at a glance)

And @Paul_Danyliuk time and time again you come up with interesting work arounds. This is a pretty extreme idea - but I like it! I’m going to play to see how difficult it is / what the usability is like.