Everything started in summer of 2017 when we created a focus group of carefully selected Flowmon users from different verticals and on various experience levels. After series of meetings we have identified main areas for improvement and validated new concepts with our focus group on prototypes.
First impression of Flowmon 10.0 is that it looks different but still pretty much the same. Do you remember when Microsoft changed user interface of MS Office? For new users this change was viable as it improves their onboarding but many professional users complained of not being able to find features that they are looking for. This is exactly what we want to avoid. New design of Flowmon user interface is more “clean” and helps new users to shorten learning curve while keeping everything as expected for professional users with long term Flowmon experience. Customer feedback on new user interface is very positive. Martin Dvořák from ČSOB as early adopter of Flowmon 10.0 commented user interface in straightforward way. “Change of GUI moves Flowmon to another level. This was really well done.”
Overall design was not the only important topic to focus on. During the years we have introduced many new features and configuration options. We’ve learned so much from the customer feedback as how to make it more lucid, intuitive and easy to use. That’s the reason why we have focused on intuitive workflows. It is mostly visible in Flowmon Configuration Center where we have regrouped all the settings, created navigation bars grouping specific configuration items together and reduced drill down needed to get to specific settings. As a result, all the settings is easy to reach and navigation bar helps you to go through everything you need configure step by step. This is to enable much smoother deployment and to reduce overall implementation time.
Integral part of user interface is the language that application speaks to the user. Existing English, Czech and Japanese localizations has been revised and new German, French and Spanish localization has been added. This should enable most of our users to choose between universal English GUI or their native language.
Training and onboarding
To support onboarding and adaptation to new user interface we have prepared a set of tutorial videos to demonstrate deployment, initial setup and work with Flowmon Monitoring Center while focusing on specific use cases like customization of traffic view, reports and dashboard or alerting. All the videos are available on Flowmon Youtube channel as Solution Tutorial playlist.
What is next?
In Flowmon we are serious about UX of our solution. Above mentioned changes are a part of our long term initiative where user experience and customer feedback are key to bring truly customer-centric UX of the Flowmon solution. To provide actionable items, that help translating business requirements into network operational tasks, will be a natural component of our approach.
In next Flowmon 10.01 release you can look forward to new Flowmon Dashboard with fully responsive design on any device that will be followed by new central reporting capability consolidating this functionality of individual modules to single console. We are also investigating ways how to make users familiar and conformate with using Flowmon much easier. But more on that later.