Fudge your invoice numbers

Once upon a time an observant customer noticed there was a small glitch on our invoice edit screen. This glitch allowed you to edit the quantity of items created from time entries - and the fee of items created from expenses - instead of using the calculated sum of those items.

The problem was, we were forcing these numbers back to their original values after a save. In essence we were destroying your perceived changes. Quite rude.

At this point we had two choices

  1. Don't allow edits like this at all
  2. Fully support "fudging" the numbers

Coming to this crossroads, I was reminded of a very well written book on user interface design I read many years ago.

In The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, Alan Cooper writes

Human users prefer systems that let them fudge things a little. They want to be able to bump the pinball machine just a little bit - not enough to tilt the game, but enough to have some positive influence on the outcome. This *fudgability* is what makes our manual systems work so much better - albeit slower - than our computerized ones.

Flexibility always wins

After considering this quote we came to the conclusion that sometimes it makes sense to edit these numbers on your invoice. Maybe you want a nice round number for the hours you're invoicing. Perhaps you want to give your client a discount, or increase the sum a little. Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter - Cashboard now supports fudging the numbers on your invoices.

Fudged invoiced numbers

In the first item shown above, we've edited the quantity value to be different than the sum of the invoiced time entry. When you do this, you'll notice the input changes it's appearance.

This visual indicator lets you know something is a little off with the number, and allows for easy scanning when editing. Any fudged numbers will be saved when you save your document.

Keep in mind that these numbers will also be shown to your clients in detail - so you might want to disable the checkbox for Show detailed time entries or the corresponding one for expenses. We leave that decision up to you.

It's our goal to create a flexible, human centered system to help you manage your business. We know you appreciate the effort.