In 2013, I worked for an agency. It was small, but growing fast. What the agency urgently needed was software that could help them keep track of all projects, tasks, clients, and employees. Back then, they tested just about every software application available—from Asana to Trello and Wrike. I believe well over 40 tools were tested.

For our agency’s business, it was particularly important to be able to assign projects and tasks to clients. Another requirement was a built-in time tracking functionality that could keep track of hourly rates associated with specific clients, projects, and employees. Other relevant points included overview and analytical functionalities. We wanted to know which colleague was working on which project and always keep track of that project’s budget and when it would be depleted. In short, we wanted software that could help us make our agency more transparent.

Unfortunately, we found that most tools did not meet our requirements. Also, project management tools often were much too complex and had an antiquated user interface. As design aficionados, we were very reluctant to use old software with a carelessly designed UI.

At one point, our frustration was simply too great. We were certain that the particular software application we so desperately needed didn’t exist. Truly, this was a pain point for us, as we felt process transparency slipping away with our increasing number of concurrent projects.

Sure, there was, and still is, agency software. But to be honest—most apps designed for agencies are thoroughly unsexy with their endless forms, complex and counter-intuitive procedures and poor transparency. A good user experience that would have sold me was nowhere to be found.

We were looking for something different, a tool that would wow us. A tool that would have me log in happily in the morning and enjoy my start into the workday. We were in a jam, because we definitely didn’t have the time to develop our own software.

Preview of part 2

At one point, this pain point became too much for us to bear and we started asking ourselves what an ideal team software application would look like. So, in October 2013, we grabbed pencil and paper…

Click here to jump to part 2 of our blog series.