17 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2009 2:27 PM by bleearg13

    Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?

    smarvis

      Hello Thwack! I’m the UI designer at SolarWinds. My goal is to improve the user experience with each release. We want Orion to be easy to use and nice to look at. There’s a lot we want to do to make usability better, but only so much we can fit into each release. I’m currently sizing some UI improvements, and I want to make sure our Thwack users are heard.

      Sooo… I would like to know – What UI thing bugs you the most? A link that takes you someplace unexpected? Do you want a button someplace where there is none? Do you find navigation difficult? Does an icon hurt your eyes? Is there a feature that is difficult to find?

      Specific complaints/wishes are the most helpful. Screenshots are always helpful!

        • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
          savell

          Hi Annie - thanks for the opportunity for comment on this subject.

          There are a couple of suggestions here regarding the VoIP module (Simulation Node List when adding VoIP Site)

          I would also like some changes made to the syslog screen regarding the ability to turn off the refresh function. It's a problem having the screen refresh when you are trying to inspect the syslog messages.

          Dave.

            • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
              smarvis

              I'll be working a whole bunch on a future version of VoIP very shortly, so I'll see what we can do there. I'll also look into the 'pause refresh' functionality. We'll need to weigh that new functionality against other requests, but you're not the first to have mentioned it. I know this isn't what you're asking for, but you can adjust the page refresh time under admin > web console settings.

              Thanks a bunch for the feedback!

            • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
              lchance

              OVERVIEW:


              I’d like to see the NODE STATUS LEGEND float or something, rather than stay at the bottom of the page, because as you scroll a large overview page (hundreds of nodes) you have to move the page back and forth to retrieve a translation of the object’s color/status.


               


              I think OVERVIEW is being underutilized. Why not include APM stuff and Custom Properties stuff, perhaps dated popup flags for things like EOL/EOS and PSIRT.


               


              TOOLTIP:


              Make better use of TOOLTIP pointers at a high-level for Overview, Maps and anywhere there’s an object icon. Perhaps build a ‘Tooltip profiler’ which allows an Orion admin to apply this to objects or object classes. For instance, if I have ESX servers on a map and use Tooltip on them I might see the VMs and then at the VM see its current CPU-MEMORY-NIC usage .etc. Or if this were a router or switch, see the CDP info from the Tooltip which might include the last configuration timestamps on each end of the CDP info. Or perhaps this ‘profiler’ could retrieve UnDP items – like active session info about Terminal Services/Remote Desktop/VNC on a system – showing User ID and IP address.


               


              ‘Live’ ICON Database linked to Solarwinds online:


              The ICONs inherent to Map Maker can be improved upon and needs updating. Perhaps maintain an API link between the local Orion ICONS to Solarwinds-online to get regular ICON updates. I’ve got to believe vendors would want to participate and have their own ICONs represented well. (FYI – Cisco has something similar to this which I used with CA products. If I added a certain Cisco model into network management it would go on line around mid-night each day and update these product ICONs for me).


               


              BANNER:


              I think Orion needs a banner feature to scroll across – perhaps under the Toolbar which could include pertinent real-time items. What? Maybe... Users Logged into Orion. APM Health Overview. Wireless Health Overview. Critical ALERTS. Or maybe make two banners – one for system-wide and the other configurable by the user.


               


              I hope this is on target for your question and thanks for this opportunity to bring this topic up with the Solarwinds staff. I may think of something else but I need to go now. Thank-You!

                • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
                  DirtySouth

                  The number one complaint I receive from my coworkers is how the homepage refreshes while they are browsing through the Node Tree and then the tree resets. This is really irritating at times. If possible it would be nice if either the page would not refresh while browsing the node tree or the position within the tree was retained after the refresh. I'm not a web-developer so I have no idea how that would be done.

                  It would be nice if the NCM webpage worked similar to Orion NPM. For example, when I am in NCM, I would like links at the top for APM & NPM so that I could navigate back and forth between them. As it stands, when I click on the NCM link, the page that loads doesn't have the Orion Add-On links at the top anymore. Basically, a more seamless integration.

                  This may not fall into your realm, but I would love the ability to filter events on the "Last 25 Events" window.

                    • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
                      smarvis

                      Hi DirtySouth,

                      Oh, the tree reset! How we hate thee! Coming soon - a tree that remembers its last state on page refresh, even when you navigate away and come back. I think you'll love it. I think you'll see it in 9.5.

                      NCM - I hear your frustrations. We've been working on rolling all of NCM into the Orion web site. I think you'll see most of what you want in the next big NCM release. We are actively developing this. The separate NCM web site may need to live on a while, but hopefully not too too long.

                      Filtering - makes sense. This is a little out of my realm, but I can pass the request along. What specifically do you want to filter?

                      Great feedback!

                        • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
                          DirtySouth

                          Filtering - makes sense. This is a little out of my realm, but I can pass the request along. What specifically do you want to filter?

                          Well, some of the APM events are redundant IMO. I would like to be able to filter or disable some of them. For example, I don't necessarily need an event that shows the application and the component are down. It tends to clutter up the event log. Likewise, there are Orion users that don't necessarily care or need to see certain types of events.

                          Thanks!

                        • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
                          denny.lecompte

                          The number one complaint I receive from my coworkers is how the homepage refreshes while they are browsing through the Node Tree and then the tree resets. This is really irritating at times. If possible it would be nice if either the page would not refresh while browsing the node tree or the position within the tree was retained after the refresh. I'm not a web-developer so I have no idea how that would be done.

                          Good news.  This one is fixed in NPM 9.5 and APM 3.0.

                        • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
                          smarvis

                          Ichance,

                          Overview is underutilized. How much do you use this view? I've been playing with some ideas, if any of them get off the ground, I'd love to get your feedback. Good point about the legend.

                          Tooltips - I think you are going to love the Orion 9.5 update when it comes out. There should be some very cool mouseover stuff there.

                          Map Maker icons - wow, it's like you're reading the collective SolarWinds mind. You're going to see a lot of updating here very soon. We weren't able up update all the icons, but I think we made a lot of nice improvements.

                          Banner - Cool idea. We should be doing some banner messaging in the next release of NPM and APM, but not quite as general as you describe. But we're always looking to the future...

                          Thanks for the feedback! Keep it coming, don't be shy.

                        • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
                          SamuelB

                          How about the UnDP with Orion NPM? Almost everything about it screams for UI improvements. From creating the pollers to viewing them on the website. See my previous post for some specific enhancements: UnDP Wishlist

                           

                          Thanks,

                          SamuelB

                          • Re: Usability / User Interface blunders – What annoys you the most?
                            bleearg13
                            • See this post - Feature Request - Node Views
                            • The ability to customize the page in whatever format you want, rather than just one, two, or three columns.  Being able to create a row that spans two or more columns would be pretty rad.