MODIFYING EXCEL

Jorian Rutten

Q3 2018

The latest version of my worklog template.


If you want to check it for yourself, be sure to download it by clicking the google drive icon, open it in Excel and allow macros!

During my study all students were required to keep a worklog; an excel sheet to plan and track hours spent on the study. The template provided to us was unorganised, difficult to fill in and provided little information.

Therefore, I decided to create my own template, with a focus on making the worklog more organised, easier to fill in and providing more value and information to the user. After presenting my template to the teaching staff, it became the recommended standard for all students in my class. This resulted in me updating, supporting and creating new versions of the worklog throughout the year. During this process I learned a lot about the intricacies of Excel and about supporting a product that has 'released'.

The worklog includes systems such as: Built-in task timers, tagging and tracking task categories, the ability to add or remove tasks with the click of a button, customizable inputs and data ranges and more!

In the end, the worklog template is my most polished product, and I am extremely proud of how it turned out.

Development INSIGHTS

A random snippet of VBA code for my worklog.

Excel Functionality

Over the course of this project I have worked with most of Excel's main features (see below). I have gotten proficient at making spreadsheets using Excel and I know the strengths and weaknesses of the software. Excel offers a lot of options, and I know how to use them. I have also learned to code in Visual Basic to add new functionalities to spreadsheets, such as automated checks or tasks.

I understand: Referencing Cells, Formulas, Data Validation, Filters, Conditional Formatting, Named Ranges, Creating Conclusions from data, Charts, Optimising Spreadsheets, Automating processes using VBA

User focused design

While supporting the worklog template, I had to constantly be mindful of the priorities and skill levels of the end users.

First of all, there were two distinct target audiences for the template: the students and the faculty. Both groups have different priorities, which I had to balance in the template. I did this by consulting with both groups regularly to find issues.

Secondly, most students lacked the technical understanding of excel, which caused them to break functionalities. Making the template easier to use and setting it up to be foolproof was one of my main focus points.


Some of the customisation options in the template.

Playtesting

This project, more so than any other, allowed me to see the influences of playtesting over a long period of time. I was constantly interacting with my peers and could see how they used the template and what they struggled with. As it turns out, my original template was ill-suited to be used by any student other than me, since it didn't fit their workflow or values.

Over the course of the year I made the worklog more customizable, making sure that it could be adjusted to fit the users' preferred workflow. Seeing my template being used on a daily basis got me to understand how important playtests are. You cannot know how users will interact with your product until you allow them to use it.

Gallery

NAVIGATION