The new V5 app is living its early days, and you probably have migrated or are about to do it, and we already have enough hindsight to take a critical look at what has been done, and what still remains to do.
A new UI for new usages
The Gandi V4 admin app, after years of loyal and devoted services, was outdated and not adapted anymore to new usages, new devices, and new users. The app was designed for a very technical audience, familiar with the web technologies and the way they work, putting aside the less experienced users who simply need a domain, a web space or a mailbox for their business, not necessarily related to the web itself.
So that was mainly the deal: design and build an app with easier concepts, more adapted to today’s usages and devices, with a single user account to manage your products.
Build an app with blinders
We focused on the basic usage. We addressed the simple needs first. The dev team learned and used a new front-end framework to build the admin app to meet today’s standards. After months of intensive sprints, time of discouragement and then motivation rebound, we opened the V5 publicly as a beta version and, since last 2017 quarter, as the new default admin interface. We should have feel released and proud of this amount of work. Instead, we realized that we were really far from having reached our goals. By focusing too much on the beginner users, we didn’t address the needs of our core users: the technical and professional ones.
We also failed at delivering a app clear enough to not overburden the support team. They deserve a huge round of applause for the amount of work they have provided for the last months, and that they still continue to do despite the creation of new tickets every day.
This period was a real lesson for every team at Gandi. We learned it the hard way. But we are still focusing on providing the app we really want. An app we can be proud of, that will fulfill all our users needs, in the very best way.
Address the real needs
Since the end of 2017, we are working hard on this list of issues that are expected to be resolved in the very short term:
- the products are not reachable from the dashboard,
- the pagination is annoying,
- the product lists often lacks relevant information,
- each product overview page doesn’t provide key information or shortcuts,
- the organization menu is not visible, you don’t really know as a user that you only see the products of this organization,
- the bulk actions are missing,
- there is no filter on searches,
- the documentation is incomplete,
- the dashboard misses interesting information for an efficient work,
- the app doesn’t feel very stable, you often fall on bugs or errors,
- the app lacks clarity and conciseness.
All these features missing are also preventing us to open the UI for professional users such as the the Corporate customers and resellers.
In addition to that list, the styling needs to be reviewed to make the app lighter, with a better usage of space, of fonts, of messages. We provide a responsive UI for mobile, but we need to improve the layout to enjoy using the app on wide screens too. The navigation behaviour also requires to be enhanced for a better readability, so that you can feel comfortable by using our app.
The good news is all these topics are already on tracks, being designed, developed or tested, to be released in the coming weeks.
We will provide more detail in a next blogpost how we addressed these topics. Feel free to give us your thoughts, reach us on Twitter @gandibar or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be very happy to read you!