You know, I’m getting tired of trying out a service that is supposed to be “all that” only to find out it is severely lacking.
Freshbooks is one of those. I promise I’m not being paid by anyone to write this article. I’m just being honest.
I found Freshbooks after three different searches led me there. One search was for time tracking, another for freelance billing, and another for invoicing. I read articles, I compared top results, I read reviews. Freshbooks was always one of the top three of each list.
So after some digging through their homepage, I found the free account (not the free trial, the free account) and signed up for a test drive.
I was not too impressed with the UI from the get go, but I looked past that and tried to figure it out. Ultimately, its not very friendly or intuitive to use. Let me give you an example from their time tracking feature:
When you start tracking time, you see this screen:
It lets you track time by project and task. You’ll notice there is no task, so you click on the box to add a task and see these options:
Since you have no tasks to begin with, you select “[add task]”, and area given this lovely “Are you sure you want to do this?” box:
Wait, what? I’ve got to leave the time tracking area to add a task? Seems dumb. Will my time continue to run, I wonder? Oh well, i guess I have no other choice. So you select “OK”, which takes you to this screen:
Wait a minute…I thought you said I had no tasks? So what are those three tasks I see? So you brought be here because I had no tasks, and yet here some are? And how many steps/clicks did that take? Way too many. What a pain. To think I will have to do that for every task makes me not want to track time here at all.
And that isn’t the only feature that was like that. Many others were simply not intuitive.
So I passed on Freshbooks. Some people may love it. It seems like it has some great features. But if its not easy to use, I’m not going to use it. Sometimes I wish I could just tell these companies a few tips on what they could do to improve…I’m not the best designer or UI guy in the world, but I do have a pretty good sense of what works and what doesn’t, and this, my Freshbooks friend, does not.