The announcement of the newest KACE appliance, the M300, last month was greeted with much excitement. Most of the comments were about the form factor and the features, but a few were about the new user interface. There was universal praise for the new, simplified, look and feel of the software and people wanted to know if this design was going to be used on the K-Series Appliances in the future.
About a year ago KACE started hiring a UI team, who embody the skills of designers, technologists, and artists to focus on making a good user experience even better.
Their work on the M-Series user interface showcases how KACE doesn’t sacrifice when it comes to functionality or aesthetic appeal. Based on that successful design, they have been working on a refresh for the K-Series.
The design goals for the K-series user interface refresh include:
- A contemporary look and feel – more readable fonts, icons and widgets
- A streamlined interface – customizable fields, cleaner navigation and menu
- New palette and a bolder look that makes it easier to find the things you want
As the K-series products have evolved and more and more features were added, there was a need to repeat actions on different pages. One of the problems was that although the action may be the same, it was in a different place on the page, it looked different and the language for the action may have been different. It’s these kinds of things that, overtime, build up and clutter the display making it progressively more confusing to use. As an existing user, you can understand these actions and incorporate them easily into your work flow, as a new user it can be just down right confusing. So the design team has worked to make similar actions on different pages consistent in look & feel.
The intent is NOT to radically change the fields on each page, but to make each page simpler to Navigate. In early 2012 we plan to start testing the new interface with our existing customer/ users, and will look towards rolling out the final product mid-2012.
One of the great things about the KACE appliance is that it is Web based. So, you might ask, does this mean that the UI folks are designing the interface so I can easily use it on my mobile phone or tablet? The answer is…yes. You can access your KACE appliance from any Web enabled device, and based on your feedback, we now have plans are to incorporate browser detection to enable dynamic rendering for the appropriate screen size.* Photo by, Minxlj, December 12, 2006