New Objectives User Interface – Available Now For Everyone

We’ve redesigned the objectives experience in Small Improvements: Creation, editing, commenting and browsing of objectives has improved drastically, and there’s a proper activity log now for each objective too. The core properties of objectives are of course not being altered, all the data is there just like before. You can learn more about the changes here.

The new user interface is being rolled out gradually. Everyone who signed up after August 1 is already using the improved interface, and starting today everyone else can manually enable the new interface for their company account. On October 17th all remaining company accounts will get switched over automatically.

Want to take a look without switching the entire company?

Just follow this link:

If you’re using a subdomain, please copy/paste the URL, and replace “www” with your subdomain.

Want to enable the new screens for the entire company?

Simply go to the Feature Selection menu within the Administration overview and select the option to display the new Objectives user interface. Save the changes and it is live for the whole company!

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 16.03.22

On October 17th all remaining company accounts will get switched over to the new design. The improvements are substantial, but the training effort is pretty minimal. Still, if you’d like to keep the old design for another week or two beyond the 17th, that’s also possible. Navigate to the Feature selection screen, and disable the new interface.

We’d love to hear your feedback!

Please let us know your thoughts after you’ve had some time to use the new interface.

Company Trip & Happy Hour in San Francisco

Happy_hour_SF_2015-02At least once a year, we fly our team members together to collaborate face to face and have some ‘team time’. Next week will be our biggest and most complete gathering yet with everyone in San Francisco to hack, hang out and have fun.

Besides biking across the Golden Gate Bridge Gate, (potentially over) indulging Mexican food and letting creativity flow, we’ll spend the workdays planning our 2016 roadmap. There will be presentations most days at 5pm, so if you’d like to drop by, let us know (

Also, we will be hosting a Happy Hour on Tuesday September 29th. If you’d like to join, please reserve a spot here.

Drinks on us, we’d love to meet you! It’s going to be an informal networking evening but with Small Improvements’ CEO and founder Per in town, it’ll likely turn into some impromptu Q&A also.

Looking forward to a fantastic week with our team and hope you can join us in making it even more special!

Manage your cycles in style: Faster access, slick timeline view

One of the most important HR tasks in Small Improvements is creating and managing cycles – whether for Performance Reviews, 360 degree Feedback, or Objectives.

Today we’re relaunching our cycle management screens to feature an improved look and feel, and to provide advanced interaction possibilities. We started with the name – calling the feature Cycle Management instead of Settings, since you’re able to manage all of your cycles here, not just the settings of a particular cycle. Here’s what the 360 cycle management screen looks like now:


More cycle information in one place

We’ve added more details to the Cycle Management screen, allowing you to check out the progress of managers and employees directly from the overview. Pie charts show the status of the reviews in a cycle, this allows you to compare cycles and gain insight into how things are progressing.

You may expand a details section to see the cycle’s description, who is able to manage the cycle, and a list of all enabled settings. The timeline is displayed here as well, so you can see the cycle in its proper context – hover over it to view upcoming due dates and explore the cycle’s timeline, or click on the cycle to view all relevant dates at once.


Get a better overview with Timelines

We always displayed the horizontal timeline component on a single cycle’s details page. Now you get an overview of all cycles at once from the Cycle Management screen too. You can move through the timelines of past, current, and upcoming cycles and see details by selecting any cycle.


The new Cycle Management screens launch today, and we’re always interested in fine-tuning Small Improvements to better suit your team’s needs. If you have thoughts on how to improve the new timeline display or cycle management in general, we’d love to hear your feedback! Drop us a mail to

New profile popups: Faster access to staff details

When displaying a person’s name we used to include a direct link to the individual’s profile page. This was helpful, but clicking always meant that you’d leave your current page, or had to open the link in a new browser tab. Quite often you don’t want to leave your current page just to check someone’s department or location.

Today we’re launching a small improvement to address the issue.

Quick access to core data

When clicking a user’s name we now display the person’s core details immediately. Here’s an example of looking at Stan’s profile popup, without leaving his objectives screen:


At the bottom we’re providing the link to the full profile page.

Easy to take notes immediately

We’ve also included the ability to take a note about the person right into the popup, making it even easier to communicate with your colleagues. Did you forgot to take a 1:1 meeting note, or wanted to praise someone for a job well done? No need to leave your current screen anymore. Just start typing and the feedback section expands, giving you visibility-options too:


Streamlined overview screens

Some of our screens were displaying user names as links, but did not link to their profiles. Clicking the user name triggered some very specific actions instead. We are making this more predictable and consistent. Take a look at the list of reviews below:


A click on the manager used to filter the list by that manager, while clicking the name of the reviewee used to take you straight to their review. Neither was obvious as the rest of the application behaves differently. From now on clicking the reviewee or manager name opens their profile popup. The filter-by-manager feature is now triggered by the new “funnel”-icon, and you get taken to the reviewee’s review page by clicking the review-icon that appears next to their name. You may continue to use the “eye”-icon to view the review inline as well of course.

The road ahead

The profile popup is just one small step in many towards better profile pages. We will be reworking our “real” user profile pages soon, and once we’ve done that, we may enrich the popups with more data too. Want to learn more about our plans for the full profile page? Let us know at, we’d love to chat about your needs and wishes.

Update or add your users with Drag-and-drop Import

We’ve always provided assistance with importing or updating your users via an Excel template, but we knew we could make this service better. It’s been our goal to remove your dependency on our Customer Success team and enable you to manage all of your users effortlessly, whenever you need to.

Now you have the power to import your users

Today we’re proud to announce our user-friendly, self-service Excel file upload located under Import Users within the Administration Overview. Simply drag-and-drop your completed Excel template from your desktop or folder to the new screen. You’ll get an instant preview of your data – If it looks fine, click the Import button and you’re done. If there are some warnings or errors, you can adjust the file and try again. No changes are made until you review and complete the import. Here’s a screenshot:


You can also fine-tune the import rules, and you get to see a detailed audit log for all the imports you (or your co-workers) have run. You’ll find the complete documentation on our website.

You may, of course, also upload a CSV file if it’s more convenient for you.

Automatic, Generic Imports

In addition to this, we’re starting to support “generic” imports from other systems. All you need is a website that will serve the current user list according to our CSV format. From here, you can tell Small Improvements to run the import automatically every hour, or once a day, or whenever you push the button manually.

The user interface is still under development, but you’re invited to join our beta group. Just send an email to and we’ll help you get started!

Track emails and bounces with our new mail log

We believe in great support, we are happy to help you whenever a problem occurs. But we also believe in great tools allowing you to quickly identify and resolve issues on your own. Our new mail log allows tech admins to quickly get an overview of undelivered emails, see exactly which emails were sent and to manage bounced email addresses. All of this on one page with just a few mouse clicks. If all emails were delivered the mail log might look like this:

All emails have been successfully delivered.

The status field for each email shows that it was successfully delivered. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Sometimes emails can get lost along the way.

When is the mail log useful?

Many things can go wrong when we try to send an email. For example there might be a typo in the email address, a server might be misconfigured or the email might just have ended up in a spam folder. With the mail log we want to make it easy for you to both monitor and diagnose undelivered emails. In the unfortunate case that all emails were not successfully delivered the mail log might look like this:

Mail log with errors

In the image above some emails were not successfully delivered. There is one email with status Bounce, which means that it was not delivered and we will not try to send more emails to that email address until you mark it as valid. One email has status Pending, which means that we have not yet sent the email, but will do so within a couple of minutes. We have tried to make it visually clear if not all emails have been delivered. You can easily get additional information by hovering the statuses. And you can get an overview of all bounced email addresses by clicking on the red warning box.

For more information, please see the documentation. You’ll find a link to the mail log in the Administration Overview.

Rethinking Objectives – A New Browsing Experience

We are exited to announce that today we have launched a completely reworked version of Objectives into beta status! Setting goals and objectives is crucial for accountability, learning and personal development in the workplace. It’s also a great way to keep the feedback loop going in between review cycles. In the past few months we’ve focused our energy on reworking the way Objectives work in Small Improvements. Of course you could create and track objectives in Small Improvements already. But it wasn’t as easy to view what other people at your company were working on or track your own progress as we’d have liked it to be. So we’ve listened, tackled some user experience challenges and created a whole new browsing experience. While we were at it, we’ve rebuilt the technology Objectives are based on from scratch! Please note that for now, the changes will be live for all new signups. Existing accounts will be changed over to the new Objectives later this year. If you are interested in exploring our new objectives prior to the official launch, please get in touch to test drive the beta.

Introducing a New Objectives Browser

Discover what your colleagues are working, filter by dates In the new objectives browser you can quickly see an overview of the objectives of the people around you. You can choose to see just your own objectives or check out what your team and coworkers are working on – view their objectives as a group, or choose an individual person to look at. You can also check out everyone’s public objectives to get a better sense of what different teams at your organization do. Best of all, it’s possible to view, comment on, and create objectives right there in the Objectives Browser.

We’ve also improved the sorting and filtering of objectives. It’s now possible to see objectives across all cycles together, filter by cycle or cycle group (current or completed), and sort objectives by month or cycle.

browse objectives

Viewing, Updating and Commenting on Objectives

You can now view objectives in an overlay, without switching context. It’s easy to track progress and discuss an objective right in the overlay as well as update the rating, status, and completion percentage all inline. You can also simply click the pencil icon to switch to edit mode and change the objective’s details. You’ll also see an activity log with a record of exactly what’s been happening with the objective –who changed what and when– and write comments or discuss the objective with coworkers. Comments can be shared publicly or you can choose to restrict who can see a comment and give feedback privately.

view objective

Creating Objectives

You can also create objectives without leaving the screen. When you click Create Objective, an overlay opens where you’ll be able to choose who the objective is for and which cycle to create it in. The cycle details and timeline are then displayed on the left-hand side of the overlay, so you have all the information you need when creating the objective. Next you add a title and description, set a due date, and choose who will be able to see the objective; you can make it visible to everyone at the company or open a user picker to quickly choose a team or specific coworkers. You could also keep it private if you’d prefer, or make it visible only to your management chain.




Single Objective Page

Of course it’s also useful to have a single page view of an objective – that way you can send a direct link to a coworker if you want to share the objective or ask for feedback. CMD + Click (Ctrl + Click on Windows) will open a new tab with this single-page view. This screen is very similar to the overlay view, with the objective’s cycle details on the left-hand side and the objective itself on the right.

objective page

Viewing Objectives Elsewhere in Small Improvements

Objectives are also accessible through profile pages and as reference in the resources panel at the bottom of performance reviews and 360 feedback. Here the new overlay view also comes in very handy. Simply click on an objective to view or update it right there, without leaving the page.

On a user’s profile page, you can also sort objectives to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you have the right permissions, you can even create objectives for another user right from their profile page!


What’s Next?

The beta version of the new Objectives marks the beginning of a whole new Objectives experience in Small Improvements. Lot’s of customer feedback has already been considered but the work doesn’t stop here. We’re asking for your feedback to fine tune the screens and further encourage meaningful objectives setting with ongoing tracking and year round communication. While we’re awaiting user stories and conduct more tests, we’re also continuing the work on incorporating key results for objectives to facilitate basic OKR’s. Stay tuned for more not-so-small improvements.

If you are interested in joining the beta, keen on conducting a user test or simply have any feedback or questions, please get in touch with us. Happy exploring!