We’re excited to announce that the new BuzzStream user interface is now live. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback to us over the past few weeks!
We revamped the UI to make the app more visually appealing (obviously), but that was only one factor in our decision to do this. The deciding factor was that we were finding that a significant amount of our development effort was focused on supporting custom UI components. We’ve invested pretty heavily in back-end infrastructure designed to increase development speed, but this was the one area that was slowing us down. By moving to a new UI, we’re now leveraging third party UI toolkits (mostly open source) that will address this bottleneck. These toolkits also let us retire some code that was impacting performance. So not only does BuzzStream look better, it should be faster and new features should come out even quicker…a nice three-fer.
We’ve tried to be careful to avoid major changes to the interface (most capabilities are still accessed in the same way), but there are some changes. Let’s take a look.
Changes to the Navigation
One of the biggest problems that we saw in usability tests was that people would have trouble finding contacts because they weren’t aware which project they were in. To help with this, we’ve moved the Projects dropdown to the far left-hand corner of the app and made it more visible. You’ll see this change if you have projects enabled.
We’ve also reduced our navigation from two levels down to one level. In the old interface, your list of People, Media Outlets and Link Partners was housed within the ‘Contacts’ section. We’ve eliminated ‘Contacts’ and placed them at the top of the navigation.
Pagination and Filters
We’ve cleaned up the pagination and moved the “number of contacts in this list” notifier into the bar that shows the filter that’s currently applied to your records.
We’ve also changed the way you edit and clear filters. Instead of clicking on a button in the toolbar, they’re edited directly in the Filter bar.
Changes to the “List of Records” View
The list of contacts and links has undergone a significant clean-up, with new fonts, better use of whitespace and automatic image capture. The interaction design hasn’t changed though, so you’ll still access all the functionality the same way you have in the old interface.
Changes to Contact Records
We’ve made two major changes to the contact records and a number of minor cleanups. Here’s a look at the full screen (click to enlarge)
The first thing you’ll notice is that we’ve moved the main section of the contact record (links, articles and history) to the left-hand side and the “contact info” section to the right. The other major change is that we added a new ”Add Note/Call/Task/Link” widget. This should make it much easier to add information to a contact record.
Some other changes you’ll notice include:
- Revisions to Links and Articles: We’re now showing more information about each link and article, which has been one of the most common complaints about Link Partner contact records and Media Outlet records. In a follow-on release, we’ll add a hover over that will show you all of the information about the Link without requiring you to go to a different page
- Cleaned up ‘History’ section
- Cleaned up ‘Contact Info’ section
Again, thanks to everyone who provided feedback. We’ve tried to incorporate as much of it as possible into the new UI and we think it’s made the release much more usable. Now that it’s live and your able to test with your actual data, we’d love to hear more of your thoughts. Overall, how are you finding the changes? Any specific things that you like or dislike?