News | June 9, 2014

Autotask's New UI Features "Human-Centered" Design

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

Autotask presented the new design of its user interface (UI) today at Autotask Community Live in Miami, FL. Patrick Burns, VP of product management for Autotask, says this design is more than a year in the making, and the purpose of the project is to create a UI that encourages users to implement and adopt the solution. Burns says Autotask based the redesign on a study of user behaviors and the way people worked specifically with Autotask. “This is a huge opportunity to change the way users interact with the software. It makes data that is important to users more digestible, and it makes the way they work with that data more intuitive,” he explains.

Burns comments there was also an external driver for the project: users are becoming more accustomed to good experiences with software. “It’s no longer going to be acceptable to be a mediocre experience. It needs to be a wonderful experience.” He says, “I’m ok with the fact we have complexity. I just want to take the complication out.”

Goals of the redesigned UI are:

  • ease of use and improved workflow, with fewer clicks, less complication, and increased productivity.
  • elevated service intelligence through dashboards that present data in meaningful ways and that enable analyzing that data for guidance to help make business decisions.

The new UI features:

1. An entirely reimagined navigation. The UI reflects the way people think about their work and how they get their work done. This “human-centered” design is based on the types of behaviors Autotask users have. New features include:

  • A quick find tool
  • A dashboard index navigation tool
  • A control to enable users to create entries in CRM, service desk, etc.
  • “My list,” specific to tasks in the menu assigned to a particular user, and showing the workload for that employee
  • A recent items list
  • Bookmarks
  • A calendar that provides a quick view of workload and appointments
  • A live links menu
  • Access to the Autotask community
  • The Autotask help tool

Burns says the new design is easy to learn — but Autotask is including the old format of the UI (by clicking a link under the Autotask logo) so users can choose to continue to use Autotask as they did before the redesign.

2. A configurable dashboard tool. The dashboard has a modular design, giving users the flexibility to arrange information to best promote work efficiency and customer service. Each data widget can be configured as text, charts, or grids — whatever users decide is the best representation for them.  Widgets can be built from scratch or created from templates in the library. “There are about 30 ways a widget can look” says Burns.

3. A ticket work list. Autotask has found that multitasking in a common practice among its users. The ticket work list supports this style of work — and eliminates the pop-ups from in the previous design that user feedback revealed were unmanageable. The ticket work list — a “mini to-do list” — enables multiple tickets to be open at once, a stop watch can record the time the ticket is open, and an administrator or supervisor can send a ticket to an employee’s work list, as needed.

4. A new visual design. The new UI has a contemporary look — and one that clearly differentiates it from other business applications Burns comments, “It’s not just how it looks, it’s how it works — but how it looks is important.”

The Autotask platform featuring the new UI is expected to be available in September or October.   

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