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New context menus for different roles

Robert Reiz Robert Reiz / May 23, 2022 / 09:08 UTC
ZEIT.IO was originally a tool for managing freelance experts. It is now a general tool for managing experts, whether they are freelancers or employees. An agency can create an organization on ZEIT.IO and any number of projects can be created within the organization. Experts can be added to the organization via a contract offer and they can then book their times and expenses on selected projects.

Previously there was a context switch on the far left of the main menu. This allowed you to switch between your user and one (or more) organization. Depending on the user or organization, the main menu has then changed. An organization naturally has different menu items than a user.

Now it is also possible to add a customer as an approver to the project. An approver is of course also a user on ZEIT.IO. Some approvers were a little confused at first because after the first login they saw the "normal" user menu, which was originally intended for freelancers. The menu also includes items such as "Customers" and "Invoices". And some approvers thought, "What am I supposed to do with customers and invoices? I just want to approve a timesheet".

Some agencies also have their permanent employees record their times on ZEIT.IO. So far, ZEIT.IO has not differentiated between permanent employees, approvers and freelancers. All users had the same main menu, originally designed for freelancers. However, a permanent employee needs different menu items than a freelancer. Depending on the role, you need a different perspective on things. That is why ZEIT.IO now distinguishes between these 4 roles:

  • Self Employed / Freelancer / Sole Proprietor
  • Permanent employee
  • Approver (In most cases a client of the agency)
  • Organization

In order to present this graphically in a new way, there was a switch from the existing menu to the context menu. In all menus, there is now a "Context" link on the far left.

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Clicking on it will open a modal window showing the possible roles/context you have access to. Here's an example:

New context switch on ZEIT.IO

In the screenshot above you can see my context selection. I have a profile as a freelancer, but I also have two permanent contracts on ZEIT.IO. Of course I have a permanent job at my own VersionEye GmbH and a test organization. Of course, most people only have one active permanent position, but it is also possible to have several active contracts on ZEIT.IO.

I also have a profile as an approver because I am an approver in some projects. In addition, I have access to 2 organizations.


The menu for freelancers, the self-employed and sole traders looks like this:

Menu for Freelancers at ZEIT.IO

Of course, freelancers have access to their contracts, they can see their projects, times, timesheets and expenses. In addition, a freelancer can manage their customers on ZEIT.IO and, of course, create invoices.

permanent employment

A permanent employee now has the following menu:

Menu for employees at ZEIT.IO

The permanent employee can also access his/her contracts, usually he/she has an active contract for permanent employment. In addition, the employee can access projects that have been activated for him and times and expenses can also be booked on these projects. However, someone in a permanent position doesn't need clients and billing management. Instead, holidays and sick leave are an issue.


As an approver, you always want to:

  • see the current budget of the project(s).
  • can see the booked times of the project team members
  • approve/reject/comment on submitted timesheets

Accordingly, the menu for approvers looks like this:

Menu for approvers at ZEIT.IO


Within an organization you have the following main menu:

Menu for organisations at ZEIT.IO

The organization menu can also look slightly different for each user. Within an organization, the Orga Admin can determine very granularly which users have access to the Orga menu and, above all, to which modules have read or write access. For example, you could grant your tax consultant read-only access to the invoice module. Or the finance department read and write access to projects, customers and invoices.


With the new context switch you can switch between the different roles that have been assigned to you. So you only ever see what is important to you. Most users on ZEIT.IO only have one or two roles anyway.

What do you think of the new feature? You can comment this article on LinkedIn