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Ding.io (ding.io)
94 points by markmassie on Feb 15, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 66 comments

A product tour/screenshots would be helpful in evaluating what this product has to offer. Having that might increase your signup rates.

Totally agree. We're working on a new promo page at the moment, and it'll show off the actual product (w/screenshots) way better than this one.

Right now it looks like $10 or $25 a month for a stop watch app. If I was a customer this one would have scared me away. I'm on my phone if that makes a difference.

They have a 45 day free trial[1]

Suggestion: add text below the green signup button saying, "Free 45 day trial, no credit card required". I think that would also help increase signup rates.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7246383

I'd suggest, if there isn't enough signups happening, free for solo usage, cost for teams might be the way to go. Get people hooked using it for their own time to the point they make work pay for it for the whole team.


The homepage has no JS other than analytics and cloudflare, and css/html is super clean. Quite a nice departure from the typical bootstrap+jquery combo.

I love the fact that you inspected the code :)

We're fans of Bootstrap and jQuery ourselves, but believe in giving Ding the custom treatment. Time tracking is a crowded space after all.

Just downloaded, it looks great. Great design, really pleasing to use and look at. Lots of small attention to detail that makes it feel nice (eg, calendar picker with large trailing dates into future and past selected month).

One note: I'm interested in just using for time tracking for personal productivity, but it feels more like it's built around use cases for consultants / free lancers (eg, client name being required when creating project). Not sure if my use case is your target, but if it is might be nice to have a global setting to turn off the 'client / freelancing' features so i get something a little more streamlined and limited to better capture how I want to use it. Might diverge from what you're going for, but wanted to pass along how I planned on using.

Thanks a lot. As the designer, I'm thrilled to hear you recognize and appreciate the details. We'll certainly keep on refining those in the future.

You're right: Ding is built for freelancers and small teams who do consulting. Preferably those who operate with an hourly rate, so you can keep track of the money earned. To maintain the simplicity of Ding, we try to avoid different modes and settings whenever we can, but sometimes they prove necessary. Your use case seems like something that's not quite core to our product, but it's certainly an interesting perspective that we'll brainstorm around. Would you be willing to pay for something you only use for personal needs?

Agreed, this is really well designed and beautiful. I would love to use that for my personal timekeeping.

+1 for this. There is not much out there for personal productivity time tracking, especially with good design/UX.

+1 on this one as well. I built a shell-based one that pipes out to Google Calendar [0] and then started using Toggl [1]. Toggl works best since it's mobile and web, and they sync with each other, but it's still not totally great from a UI/UX perspective. Timely [2] is beautiful, but doesn't have actual time-of-day data, which I'd like.

Nowadays, I simply plan out my day in my calendar, adjust as necessary, and take that as the data. I don't get to do any crunching of the data like I used to (like graphs and quantitative analysis of where my time is going), but it does serve the purpose of making me aware of what exactly I did during the day.

I'm working on something that will do this quantified-self-esque time tracking built specifically for QS (instead of for freelancers) when I have free time, because this awareness of how I spend my days has quite literally changed my life.

[0] https://github.com/markbao/vestige [1] http://toggl.com [2] http://timelyapp.com

Totally agree re: Toggl (UX issues really bugged me -- time tracking can and should be low friction) and Timely (pretty but flawed interface).

Also totally agree re: quantified-self time tracking and its usefulness.

Rescue Time is good. Not sure about UI though!

I am using timecamp and it is sufficient.

The UI is nice, but I think nothing beats automation. I use RescueTime [1], which is surprisingly _accurate_ measuring my time. I use it for years now and I'm very satisfied with it. No need for "administrative overhead".

[1] https://www.rescuetime.com/

Remember when someone posted their free-for-use stock photos of Apple products and a lot of people talked a lot of smack about his photos? It's interesting how I see them on a lot of product pages now.

I love Unsplash, who's talking shit?

or http://wakatime.com for tracking programming hours

it only supports a couple of editors, while RescueTime watches every window by title no matter what software you use. I can measure exactly how much time did I spent to server administration by simply looking at logged terminal titles!

Cool, trying out RescueTime now. Although I'm apprehensive about the security of my data, I'm willing to give it a shot to see if it really contributes to the organization of my week. Commencing product trial ...

Noticed a lot of activity from this link just now – exciting to see you guys checking out our time tracking tool. We really appreciate feedback from the community, so don't hesitate to comment here if you have feature requests or thoughts on Ding.

Gjermund, Co-founder / Designer

Three quick thoughts on some details:

1) Please, PLEASE make sure it's quick/easy to enter time with the keyboard. Right now the main log time interface doesn't let you tab to select the project drop down. I feel like I should be able to tab to this field after the optional comment field. Enter anywhere in the form (except maybe the optional comment) should save the entry and get me ready to enter a new one. For your target audience (devs), I think good keyboard-only support is key.

2) There should be an easy way to see the total time for each day, maybe just next to the date on the Activity page. In any case, I shouldn't have to run a query to see how much I've worked today.

3) Have queries (via the Overview tab) alter the URL so a query can be bookmarked. Ideally this would be with relative dates so I could bookmark https://ding.io/overview?user=1&project=x&client=y&time=this....

This looks really good. Harvest is the de facto for time tracking with good UX, but even their UX could use some refinement (my 3 comments above all apply to Harvest also, I think). You're definitely giving them a run for their money.

BTW, I really like having the client and project in one searchable drop down. Separating these was one of my biggest annoyances with Harvest.

That's some great tips. Thanks!

1) Agreed. This has been up for discussion several times, and it's high on the list. We'll post these kind of smaller tweaks on Twitter, so if you stick to using Ding, keep an eye out there [0].

2) We've tried to get the most essential stats within the statistics panel on the top, and let you quickly tab through these. The hours of the day is usually pretty visible within the top of the activity feed, but I guess it is less clear if there's several short intervals rather than two-three big ones. I'll take a close look at it and see if there's a way to tweak this.

3) Another great idea – we'll see if we can move it further up the list.

We really appreciate all the great input, so thanks again. Our biggest challenge is time as we're a small team, but we'll keep on truckin' :)

[0] https://twitter.com/ding_io

Would be useful if you included screenshots without having to sign up.

Agreed. We're working on improving the promo page at the moment, and will make sure we include several screenshots.

The product itself looks really nice, but the pricing model doesn't really seem like a good fit. I think a freemium model would work better than a subscription based one.

Thanks – I'm glad you like it!

The pricing model is a discussion in and of itself, but it boils down to us wanting Ding to be as simple and straightforward as possible. If you think the product is worth paying for after 45 free days, you either sign up for the Solo or the Team plan, and that's it. No annoying 'project limits' or anything like that.

There's a lot of theory on this subject matter, but we prefer to stick with what we think is a clean approach. At least for the time being.

Or include invoicing for the price. By itself time tracking isn't worth $10 month to me.

From the work so far, I look forward to what they could do to simplify invoicing.

I take that as a compliment, thanks. We have no plans of changing the price, so every new feature we add will be included into the existing plan, giving you more bang for the buck.

There's been quite a few requests regarding invoicing, and while I won't promise anything in the short term, we'll work hard to make Ding better in the future. People requested a start/stop-timer which we just implemented, so we do listen and take your feedback seriously.

It looks nice. I'm a user of freckle for some time so I recognize quite a lot of the UI and features. Even if I don't use all features of freckle, some are quite useful. As an example in freckle I use tags and the API to automatically export all entries every month/week updates the client through email reports or google sheet updates. It doesn't look like that would be possible with ding.io yet (exkluding the manual csv download)? Also the dashboard display priority seems a little off.

Money earned gets most space however is never the truth because of taxes, expenses etc. I rather use my accounting software for seeing my actual earnings.

Time logged is OK however Active projects for me isn't really necessary information.

The activity stream and log time form should be of highest priority. Put the activity stream in focus with better one-click-filtering on clients/project/tags(?) would be great to quickly answer the clients questions on what I did. :-)

In summary I think the design is great and looking at features I think when comparing with freckle, which is relevant in my case, I feel like half the price equals half the functions. Nothing wrong with that and your product will of course mature with time. I'll keep an eye on it.

Great job!

Thanks for the kind words and thorough feedback!

You can export to both CSV and PDF. So you can still get reports for your clients, although you'll have to do it manually. We have a pretty limited API right now, built mostly to support our iOS app. As the API grows you should be able to get the reports from it.

Money earned let's you see how much you can bill in a given period, so you can quickly see if you're reaching your goal. We think it's useful despite not accounting for taxes and expenses, and it's a nice moral boost to see the money coming in.

You can filter on projects, clients, date etc. on the Overview page. It's really fast to get filter out exactly the data you need.

I use Harvest now, their OSX app actually tracks when I'm idle for too long and will prompt me to roll back the amount of time I've been idle. It doesn't remind me to turn on the timer though when I forget. ;-)

I've been a happy subscriber of Toggl for some time now (2+ years). I find Ding's pricing to be higher, and I don't see any integration with other services (like FreshBooks, etc..). I see I can export data, but does anyone know if they plan to integrate with other services?

If we get numerous requests for a certain integration, we'll see what we can do. Until now, there haven't really been much of this, so we've put our efforts into the developing the product itself.

As for the price, I guess it's higher than some, and cheaper than others. We've tried to set a price we thought was fair, and we continuously keep making the product better to make sure you'll get more bang for your buck.

No plans for any integrations at the moment. We're not opposed to the idea, and it's probably coming if enough people request it.

Anders, Co-founder / Developer

Congrats on the launch! This looks great! I started with something similar but targeted more toward time tracking in organizations - https://github.com/prakhar1989/timelogger

Good job! I like the interfaces. Haven't found option for piece-rate projects though. Do you have any plans on the matter ? Another guess: I think some API features would be extremely useful for such a service.

Thanks for the feedback, I agree it would be useful to have the option to set a fixed price for a project. We actually did some wireframes for this a while back, but we never got around to implementing it. Maybe now would be a good time to look at it again.

What API features are you thinking about? We have a pretty limited API that we built for the iPhone app, but it's growing as we work on the next version of the app. So over time it'll get more of the same features as the website.

Thank you for the answer! I see two directions for API: one is an integration with existing services api such as RescueTime, and the other is own api to give such opportunity to fellow developers. For example any task manager service can use time-tracking and project/profit management functions at your service via API.

I agree with the other people in this thread, this is a beautiful looking app. I think one thing you may want to clarify is whether this is available in a browser, as it seems that this is an app to download.

I've just started using Harvest but I like what I see here, too. I'm not sure there is enough of a difference (price, features) to make me switch but I see potential and the price is competitive.

You're more than welcome to give Ding a shot. It's free for the 45 first days, so you have nothing to lose :) I think you'll appreciate its clean UI and simple approach, and if there's anything keeping you from using it, shoot me an email at gjermund@ding.io and I'll see what we can do.

This looks really fantastic. I love the design and after spending a few minutes reading your blog it seems like you care a great deal about every decision you make.

Thank you! It's hard to compete on features alone, so we try to sweat the details.

I like the happy hippo behind the mba on the landing page :)

All in all its a great introduction to the service, really well put together.

I'm glad to hear you like it. Thanks! The hippo is a Danish design classic from 1955 made by Kay Bojesen: http://www.kaybojesen-denmark.com/

Just signed up. Looks nice. But kind of creepy that I had a profile pic on the site without having to upload one.

Gravatar maybe?

Yes. Thanks. Completely forgot about that.

Well done. Any plans for an Android app?

Seeing as how they don't have one, I hope it's not considered ill to mention my own app - Time Boss for Android. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twansoftwa... - would love to hear some feedback from fellow HN'ers.

Thanks! Making native apps is a pretty costly thing for a small team like us, and to be honest, we don't have much experience with Android development. So I can't promise anything at the moment, but we'll make sure to keep improving the responsive web. It's definitely on the wish list though.

Props for not promising that it's "coming soon" -- vaporware sucks.

Haha, we actually have a rule of never using the 'coming soon' phrase :) We've done it in the past, and it always looks bad if you don't deliver on the promise.

Came here to ask the same thing. Most developers I know use android.

Really nice! Very simply and clean. Integration with an invoicing system would be a great win.

So nice to hear, thank you! What kind of invoice integration would you want?

Love the idea. It is dead simple and works well. Going to show to a few freelancer friends.

kudos, the site has a clean interface. Though I have no idea how to use the site properly. Is there any tour guide to the side or a simple welcome page on how to use it?

I'm glad you like it. Thanks!

I agree that a "get started" page could be a neat thing, and the onboarding experience is something we're planning to overhaul. Ding should however be quite simple: create a project and log time. As you log your hours, you can easily see the time spent and the money made.

If you want to filter out and export your time entries, it's possible in the Overview section.

I hope you'll give it a shot. If you're stuck, shoot me an email at gjermund@ding.io and I'll get to you asap.

Nice idea. Very clean looking website too.

Grr, no pinchzoom across their website

looks very promising!

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