Introducing the Redesigned Inbox Console

 In Change Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Project Management, Usability

InboxThe views of 4me’s Inbox console have undergone a major makeover. When specialists open their 4me inbox, they will initially not notice a major change. Their inbox still presents the assignments in a table layout. But they may notice the ability to switch to a new layout.

Inbox view in table layout

The new layout offers multiple lines of information about each item. These extra lines make it possible for the inbox to provide a complete summary for each assignment.

My Inbox view in multi-line layout

The new Inbox console contains several helpful enhancements.
The most important ones are described below:

Filtering

Like the filters that can be applied to the views of the Record console (see Filtering Views), it is now also possible to apply filters on the inbox views.

Inbox view filter option
 

Sorting

Because the multi-line layout does not have columns, it is not possible to click on the column header to change the sorting. Now users can click on the ‘Sort View’ option to specify how the view should be sorted.

To toggle between ascending and descending, simply select the same sort option again. The sort icon will switch to indicate whether the view is sorted in ascending or descending order.

Inbox view sort options
 

Urgent

Inbox items that are marked as urgent have the red stopwatch icon displayed over them. This should help draw attention to them. By default, they are displayed at the top of the list.

Urgent request in inbox view
 

Waiting for You

When a request is set to ‘Waiting for Customer’ and the requester is a specialist, this request now shows up with the status ‘Waiting for You’ in this specialist’s inbox. By default, these items are listed immediately below the items that are marked as urgent.

Request waiting for you in inbox view
 

Category Icons

The impact icon was already visible in the inbox views. Now, when a request does not have an impact level (i.e. when a request is not a request for incident resolution), the category icon is displayed where the impact icon would otherwise have been.

The category icons are also shown for project tasks, as well as the risk & impact and approval tasks of changes.

Category icons in inbox view
 

Unread Items

New items are no longer presented in bold typeface. Instead, they are marked with a blue dot. This makes new items easier to spot and allows more text to be displayed over the width of the inbox view.

New inbox item in inbox view
 

Service Instance of Request

The name of the service instance that is linked to a request is displayed when the multi-line layout is selected. Many people have asked for this and it makes sense. This extra piece of information provides a lot more context about each request.

Service instance of request in inbox view
 

Service of Problem

Likewise, the service name is an additional piece of information that is available for each problem in the multi-line layout.

Service of problem in inbox view
 

Request Group Requesters

In the table layout, the ‘Requester’ column is empty for request groups. That is because groups normally contain multiple requests and therefore have multiple requesters. The new multi-line layout shows the names of the requesters of the first three requests that are linked to the group.

Request group with multiple requesters
 

Change Requester

Rather than showing the name of the change manager as the requester of a change task, the ‘requested for person’ of the first request that is linked to the change is now presented in the inbox views.

That should be useful, because the majority of changes are linked to only one request. Most changes are automatically generated after someone submitted a request using a request template that is linked to a change template. The change manager typically does not get involved, unless an approver rejects the change or a specialist failed to complete a task as planned.

Change task with requester in inbox view
 

Change Subject

Below the subject of each change task, the subject of the change is presented. This helpful because most tasks are generated automatically using a template. Their subjects are therefore typically the same as the subject of the template that was used to create them. If someone receives many tasks that are based on the same task template, they all looked alike in the Inbox console.

The subject of a change is often more specific, even when the change was automatically generated after someone submitted a request using a request template that is linked to a change template. In such cases, the UI extension option to automatically add information to the subject from the custom fields that were filled out by the requester normally ensures that the change subject offers a useful description of what needs to happen. The addition of the change subject below the task subject makes it possible to tell tasks apart, even when they were generated using the same template.

Change task with change subject in inbox view
 

Project Subject

For the same reason, the subject of the project is visible in the inbox views below the subject of each project task.

Project task with project subject in inbox view
 

Note that new specialists will see the multi-line layout by default when they access 4me for the first time. When a specialist switches to a different layout, 4me will remember that preference regardless of the device until the specialist presses the ‘Switch Layout’ option again.

Pro Tip:  After you have selected an item in an inbox view, you can double-click on it to place it in Edit mode.

FilterStopwatch