At Nebula, we are always aware of, and up-to-date with current trends in every aspect of our operations. This of course applies to the UI and UX of our products. To fit and surpass current design trends and user expectations in 2018, we decided to revamp the interface of our premier TEM product, OneView. The primary aim of this revamp was to offer our customers a sleek and modern interface, and in doing so retain trust and credibility in our brand and services. This post outlines the what design elements of the software we changed, why we changed them and the results we achieved.
What did we do and why?
Creation of a OneView Design System
There is a growing need for standardisation of UI components like typography, colour palettes, and widgets to allow easy scalability of development and design teams. Developing standardised UI components for OneView means that less time needs to be spent designing components, thus freeing up more time for faster and more efficient software development and deployment. The OneView system we created included standardised sets of colours, fonts, buttons and other elements that can be easily, and quickly incorporated into future UI designs and development.
Improved Navigation Design
the Nielson Norman Group emphasises the importance of always keeping users aware of where they are within the site. Sensitivity to user experience is a growing trend in enterprise software, thus we decided to optimise the navigation functionality of OneView to make the user experience as seamless as possible and keep our product at the forefront of current design standards. This included highlighting the current/active item on the top menu bar so that it would act as a location indicator for the user wherever they are in the application. We also indented the secondary items on the side menu to better indicate hierarchy within the menu.
Creation of a Light and Minimalist Interface
Minimal styles are a trending feature in modern UI design and we incorporated this when revamping the Oneview interface. We achieved this by removing unnecessary content from the pages, dropdowns, and navigation bars. This included all elements that were now defunct. Minimal UI design plays a role in drawing attention to specific content, making it well-suited to enterprise software like OneView that contains many functions, pages, and database tables. We changed the background to pale grey and wrapped content in white blocks with faint drop shadows for slight depth.
Leveraging Emotional Design
Traditional UX design puts a strong focus on efficiency and functionality. Today, the power of emotional design as part of UX is being realised and is being increasingly used by enterprises in the design process. In Designing for Emotion, Aaron Walter describes how emotional experiences make users feel like “there’s a person, not a machine, at the other end of the connection”. At Nebula, we want to provide a customer centric experience, and of course this level of service quality needs to be reflected in the OneView UI. To achieve this, we incorporated quirky yet descriptive flat-design imagery on the welcome screen and error pages, so that users experience positive emotions from both. We also added a greeting message on the welcome screen that directly addresses the user by name (“Welcome, *John.).
What we achieved:
Ultimately, we created a beautiful but simple modern interface that promotes efficiency, predictability in user experience, and evokes positive emotions in our users. We have also created a design system that promotes speed and consistency within our own internal development and design teams. At Nebula, we are always looking for ways to innovate, stay ahead of our competition and ultimately provide our customers with the best possible experience. It goes without saying that this attitude follows through to UI and UX design.