New, Modern User Interface in CA UIM 9.0.2

by February 11, 2019

As many know, Adobe is killing Flash by 2020. For this reason, many popular web browsers are taking away support for Flash. Moreover, Flash has its own disadvantages in terms of security and its inflexibility around enterprise grade UI creation. This presented the CA Unified Infrastructure Management product team with an opportunity to come up with a new user interface for the operator persona in the recent 9.0.2 release.

The Operator Console, available in the Unified Management Portal, provides users with an alternative way to manage membership in devices, groups, and device monitoring profiles, and view dashboards and alarms. The Operator Console provides you with a graphical, clickable means to navigate through system operations and monitoring results. Summary views of monitored technologies, devices and groups, and alarms are linked to in-depth views of system components and metrics. 

The product team has built a new operator console for the Server Administrator, NOC Operator, and the Service Provider persona, using the following UX principles:

Design Should Focus on an Experience

The Operator Console effectively weaves together a combination of text, graphics, layout, and interactive elements to ensure users have an experience, not just an informational view.

With the number of infrastructure monitoring tools, and the complexity and quantity of information that comes with them, the product team made sure to segregate the information and provide contextual navigation when creating the Operator Console UI.

People Scan Screens, They Don’t Read Them.

This is extremely applicable for an ITOM tool such as CA UIM that provides out of the box monitoring support for various technologies and services. The operator’s main responsibility is to make sure the data center is up and working. They need to “follow the red” to triage the issues in underlying components. The Operator Console allows the user to quickly start this triage journey from the home screen, by clicking group > device > technology.

Users Crave for Clarity and Ease.

Today’s interfaces need “preferred actions” to be as obvious as possible. Users should not have to think about what you want them to do. For example, this could mean focusing visual attention on one button versus four. So in the Operator Console UI, all the menu actions are contextual. This means the UI only shows actions which are relevant to the user and for the journey they are taking.

Scrolling is Faster Than Paging.

Back in 1997, Jakob Nielsen, a long-time web usability expert, retracted the guideline to avoid scrolling web pages to focus on speed. He went on to say “scrolling beats paging” because it’s faster to scroll down than to click, which means longer pages can be better than just more pages. The newer Operator Console UI has multiple tables since the inventory managed through CA UIM could run into thousands, if not more. Tabular representation with sortable rows, column selection, and infinite scroll is built into the table widget.

Build Responsive Design.

Modern web based interfaces can be opened through browsers running on different sized device screens. The Operator Console is built on the REACT framework, leveraging best UI development practices by default. So, you will be able to access the same page on the iPhone 8Plus and the iPAD Pro. Fluidic design has led to switching from 1 column layout to 2 column layout automatically once the screen size changes.

The product team is excited for the opportunity to modernize the presentation layer of a market leading ITOM product. We are committed to meeting the needs of the personas responsible for making sure the data center is up and running, and are certain this simple and minimalist UX design will accomplish their goals.

To learn more about this new CA UIM 9.0.2 release, check out the release notes.