Gordon Butler
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Gordon-Butler reviewed on 31 Jul 2009
On paper, Shared Plan looked good, full feature set, web sharing, offline working, report generation etc and not too expensive. But after one day of trying to get a basic outline of a project up and running, I gave up. The reason: the user interface is terrible. I should have been forewarned by the awful, old-fashioned graphic design of the web site and the look of the software, but I was not prepared for the UI mess that is Shared Plan.

I'd watched the intro videos and it seemed pretty straightforward, but what you don't get from the video is what you have actually to do. Each text change has to be confirmed by the return key - you can't simply enter text and tab to the next field. You can't customise or change item IDs, they're numbered in the order you entered them, making them worthless. The visual plan - in the desktop app - is pointlessly modal (“tasks mode” and “insert tasks mode”) and it's not very clear which mode you are in - until you start inadvertently creating new tasks with every click of the mouse. Dragging rows in the Gantt chart did not change the order of rows on screen, but actually had done so when I reopened the file. Visual feedback for most interaction is poor to the point that you're never really sure what's happened - the list goes on. Suffice it say, in the age of iPhones and Google apps you expect much better.

There seems to be very little choice for people and businesses looking for good, simple, affordable project management software for the Mac, yet I could not possibly recommend Share Plan as it currently stands (V5.4.7), even if it was free.
[Version 5.4.5]



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