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Improving the Tehama user experience with new UI/UX updates (May 2020)

Pol Desmarais

This blog post was written by Pol Desmarais, Lead UX Designer for Tehama. 

Tehama is always looking to improve the user experience in the platform and our upcoming releases will certainly be a testament to that. Through frequent engagement with end users, we’ve been able to identify specific areas of opportunity to satisfy their desired outcomes.  As part of our upcoming releases, we will be unveiling some of these solutions in the form of a side-running navigation bar as well as the means to connect to a desktop with a single click!

The Side-Running Navigation Bar

Throughout our conversations with end users, it became clear that some features were considered difficult to locate or worse yet, ignored. Just as importantly, we’ve come to recognize our end users’ task scenarios within the platform and their desired outcomes. Based on what we’ve learned and taking into account features we’ll want to support in the future, we made the decision to move the primary means of navigation from the top of the page to the side.

Early sketches of Tehama UI UX update

Early sketches

The side-running navigation bar provides us the space to support more pages/categories without resorting to dropdowns or pop-ups. This is an important consideration as it addresses some issues brought up from our current end users and as mentioned previously, it will give us the opportunity to support the growth of the tool’s feature set.

In time, the platform will take on a fully responsive site design to accommodate all screen sizes so this shift puts us in a good position for those changes.

Along with the new layout design, we’ve made sure to include a few important standards that will enhance the platform’s usability including:

  • Clear visual indication of page selection: This standard will ensure the end user has a visual means of identifying where they are in the tool. 
  • Icon associations: We’ve also introduced icon associations to our features which will be leveraged as a visual lexicon throughout the tool. 
  • Collapsing side panel: The addition of the icons in the side panel also allowed us to leverage a means to collapse the side panel while maintaining a visual marker on the selected page.  Naturally, the ability to expand/collapse the side panel gives the end user the option to expose more visual real estate when desired.

Tehama side-running navigation bar

The side-running navigation bar

Come out, come out!

Moving the navigation from the top of the page over to the side gave us the opportunity to pull out some features previously tucked away behind ill-suited drop downs.

The biggest benefactor of this new layout is the quick access to an organization’s Activity Stream. Managers want visibility into important events within the platform and with this new layout, we exposed the feature as part of the primary navigation options.

Tehama Activity Stream 2

The Activity Stream

Other features that have been more prominent are the organization settings as well as the notifications. The notification feature went from a drop down along the top navigation to its own page within the system. This allows our end users to manage their messages without the constraints of a pop-up.

Tehama notifications

Notifications

Single Click Access

Providing the quickest and simplest means of accessing a desktop for our end users is a priority of ours. That’s why it’s so exciting to be able to say we’re close to deploying a single-click experience! It’s all part of our recent efforts in creating a custom Tehama-branded client which allows us greater control in the end user experience. Once the client is installed, the end user is a single press away from launching the desktops. This is particularly important for our users involved in incident management responses where time is of the essence. 

The new feature is currently in testing and will be made publicly available soon.

More to Come

Naturally, these updates are part of our iterative process. This has been an exciting stretch for our teams and we’re proud of our achievements but we’re certainly not done. Not from an engineering standpoint and certainly not from a user experience point-of-view. We’ll continue to engage with end users, improve on our current features and expand the platform with powerful new functionality. 

If you're interested in learning more about using Tehama to enable your remote workforce, book a demo here. 

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