Moving task to make it a subtask creates new task

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13 Jun, 2018 05:44 PM

I have a list of tasks with timings. I created a new task and dragged it to make it a subtask of an existing task. Timing showed the up and over arrow. The result was a new parent untitled task and two subtasks of that new untitled task:

task 1 - oranges 3h
task 2 - apples 2h
task 3 - apple pie 0h <-- new task

I wanted this:

task 1
task 2
> task 3

I got this

task 1
untitled task
> task 2
> task 3

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Niko on 14 Jun, 2018 11:17 AM

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    This is expected behavior. In Timelime a task cannot have their own subtasks AND timings.

    In your example you can’t make "task 3” a subtask of “task 2” b/c “task 2” already has some timings registered with it.

    So Timelime automatically creates a new “parent” task, resulting in a structure like this:

    apples (“parent" task) 2h
    apples default 2h
    apple pie 0h

    I hope this makes sense to you.


  2. 2 Posted by account on 14 Jun, 2018 04:44 PM

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    In that case, the drag-drop indications are misleading. Timeline should not use the up and over arrow for creating a subtask to a parent that has time and one that does not have time. When dragging a task onto an empty task, this creates a subtask. When dragging a task onto a task with time, this groups the tasks under a new parent. These are two different use cases but have the same UI interaction which is misleading.

    I like how simple timeline is and the ability to have an outline of tasks and start/stop times is exactly what I need. It would be great if you could improve the usability around managing the task outline.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Niko on 15 Jun, 2018 09:27 AM

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    I agree, the UI is misleading in this case. Thanks for pointing this out!
    In the case of dropping a task on another task that has timings, I should rename the little note “Make subtask” to something else, so one can distinguish the two different kinds of drag&drop actions.
    It’s hard to come up with a proper short description of the action. Maybe something like “Make sibling task”. Would this make sense to you?

  4. 4 Posted by account on 19 Jun, 2018 10:31 PM

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    When I drag a task, the drop target has 3 states:

    Left arrow: Move task here
    Up and over arrow: Make subtask
    Nothing: Leave the task where it was

    There are really two types of items in the task pane:

    Tasks without time. These are section names really.
    Tasks with time. Tasks that can have time.

    So one straight forward approach can be to implement these UI rules:

    1. Create two types of things in the task pane, tasks, and headings. They
    can have a different appearance, so headings don't have a timer and can
    have different color, font, size, shape etc depending on what looks good to
    you as a designer.
    2. Headings can be under other headings.
    3. Tasks can be under headings.
    4. Headings never have their own time. They aggregate the time of their
    children. So as soon as a task is put under a heading, the heading provides
    features on how to report information about its subtasks. Total time, donut
    chart for subtasks, etc.

    Now as a user, I know that there are heading things and there are task
    things. And each one of these things has attributes and functions it can
    perform. Given this, from a UI perspective, the UI indications always make

    I don't view this as "the answer" just an idea to kick around.


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