Parity is a new product from a new company. It "detects and controls what’s new and unknown--without relying on malware signatures or behavioral patterns." (See their Web site, in another window.)
Bit9 called Interaction Design to do an expert review on a beta version and again for UI design in version 2 . The new UI in this successful design project clarifies product features, helps users get started and displays detailed information clearly.
An example from the design process: designing the home page
Planning for our Group design workshops identified the home page as a concern. The outcome included:
Help for new users. The home page has a place for typical tasks. This evolved into a new navigation scheme that provides access to critical features throughout the product.
Information for returning users. Returning users need a quick overview of system status, which the Reports section offers. They can drill down into any report if the data looks suspicious.
Quick access to resolving problems. An administrator might come in to investigate a new problem. The Quick Link section takes the user directly to that data.
The team at Bit9 saw problems that UI planning and design could address:
How much information should Parity display, and how should it be arranged?
How can people understand all that the product does?
The solution: Group design workshops, Prototyping, Quick iterations, Visual design
We customized the design process to suit Bit9's plans and their users' needs. The process included:
Personas. We started by discussing who would use this new product and what they would need to do.
Group design exercises. Working in pairs, team members discussed how the product had been working and what they wanted it to do. Each team sketched out a couple of ideas for their topic and shared them with the group. As always, these Group design workshops let team members focus on design for a few hours, share assumptions and formalize some of their ideas. They led perfectly into the design phase.
Iterative design. We worked together to refine the initial sketches. I then created quick HTML prototypes to demonstrate the ideas, and we iterated a few times to solve the problems that arose.
Visual design. My partner helped updated the visual design and incorporated the new ideas that we developed.
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