||What we did
||IT Security & Compliance
||14 weeks, 40 key screens
This IT/Compliance company asked us to freshen up this product's visual design and brand (to make it look more modern) and to make as many usability improvements as possible. We redesigned the dashboards and charts, incorporated microcharts into the user experience, developed a new design for accessing the reports, reworked the templates for the 400+ reports, improved the presentation of "diff" information, repaired and simplified the navigation system, developed new branding, and fixed "low hanging fruit" problems that we spotted along the way. We wrote a user interface specification that covered 40 key screens and the templates for all the remaining screens in the user experience. The new design received rave reviews from existing customers and has impressed prospective customers in sales calls.
BEFORE (Thumbnail above)
Using lots of color, icons, pie charts and network visualizations don't necessarily make the user experience natural or useful. The use of equally bold red and green is indistinguishable to color-blind users (over 5% of caucasian males).
This screen contains more information, yet it looks less cluttered and is considerably easier to read and use. Notice the microcharts in the upper-right table and we changed pie charts to bar charts to improve readabilty and information density.
Without a clear notion of what the user should focus or act upon and an unclear flow, this user interface is not intuitive.
Now with improved focus (note the highlighted and selected text), clear actions, linear flow, and clear navigation.
While this user experience of this screen is presented consistently, it's difficult to scan.
A user interface doesn't need a myriad of icons to be easy to use. In many cases, text works better than icons. And by letting the data out of its cage (the table borders), your eyes are drawn to the information instead of the lines.
Pie charts quickly become difficult to interpret. And distributed controls around the interface make it difficult for users to intuit what to do next.
Clear controls for filtering data and simple presentation of information make it easy for users to take the appropriate actions.