I recently had to use the Engine UI (GWT one).
The UI in my opinion is very unintuitve and, at some flows, even counter productive.
It took me a lot more time to figure out how to do even the simplest tasks.
Lets start with the rudimentary things.
These are agreed upon UI idioms that are not used currently thus causing needless
These idioms are ingrained into how users grasp a UI when they first it.
I did not invent these they are written in various Windows\MacOS\KDE\Gnome and many other
This is not a complete list of all the problems, just the things that annoyed me the
* Buttons\menu items that spawn dialog windows should end with an ellipsis
("edit..." vs "remove").
* Grayed out means disabled not "not selected" (eg. the domain creation
dialog->the lun chooser).
* Never write things vertically only horizontally (eg. the domain creation dialog).
* The entire object be clickable not only the text (tabs).
* Clickable items should be either underlined in another color, or inside a box to
differentiated between regular text (menu items).
* Buttons should be in the same group should be in the same width and height and the
entire area clickable.
* Border toggling cannot be used as hover indicator only background and/or text color
* Don't use "/" in the column header."host/ip" should be
* Everything should be arranged in relative proportions (The search bar looks weird on
* Everything about the error message windows
* Try and scale the browser window to 800x600 and see what happens.
* Icons that don't have text next to them have to have a tool tip (bookmark search
* (This one is my personal preference) Everything that is clickable should have hover
toggle that shows what is the entire object you are clicking.
* Color scheme!!! alerts(red on gray?) Where does the green on the logo fit into all of
There are tools to help you create an eye pleasing color scheme (eg.
Now that the basics are out of the way. These are my opinions and are debatable.
- Top panel:
* current user name should be next to the sign-out not on opposite ends of list.
* About and guide could be merged to "help" Non of them deserve that much
prominence in the UI
* Configure? What who? Find somewhere contextual to put it.
This is a long standing gripe against the UI.
* First and foremost it doesn't work properly. Try navigating the Tree and then
editing the search bar.
* The browser already has a bookmarks feature so reusing the name is confusing, maybe
saved views? perspectives? I don't know.
* The search bar is change when I navigate, This is confusing. Imagine having the gmail
search bar change when you navigate gmail.
To fix this I suggest that the search bar remains empty unless the user starts using it
and the bookmark button moved to a place where it's obvious it relates to the current
- The Tree
* Tree? Really? Is that a proper title?
* Tree refresh annoyingly does collapse all
* What is the difference between the button on the right and the one on the bottom?
* I'd rather it'd be called log\messages because these are not really events
- All tabs
* The difference between "guide me" and "edit" is confusing and
* Buttons in the toolbar should be grouped, and spaced according to those groups.
* Buttons should utilized the above general UI guidelines
* Similar buttons like "run" and "run Once" or "new
desktop" and "new server" might be better displayed as drop down button
* Stuff on less importance like "change CD" could be grouped under a drop down
button as well so it's less cluttered.
* Paging is so 2000, everyone does continues scroll now (http://bit.ly/a8B9UC
- Guide Me:
Does not guide and is utterly confusing.
* Some buttons are grayed out but you have no idea why until you figure out that there
is a hint hidden in the tooltip (An allusion to XKCD?)
* Can't use existing entities! Only create new ones. Why?
* "Optional actions"? Really?
* "There are still unconfigured entities". What? I don't understand what
is wrong. Unconfigured isn't even a proper word. Do you mean that I still have
entities to set-up? What entities? What is an entity?
* "Configure later"? What is wrong with "close".
* Again, unify with edit, I kept clicking edit even after I realized that I need to
click guide me.
* The green line under the black part of the top bar is just annoying.
* CPU Name -> CPU Architecture( name)?
* destroy (in storage domain) -> force remove
There are a lot more things that could be stream lined.
The lun selection screen for example is just plain confusing.
But that would require me to start drafting mockups and I have a lot of other work to do.
I recommend reading at least the WinXP and Apple HIG guidelines (http://bit.ly/djCHb8
Finally when in doubt copy Google, they have the an excellent web UX team.