Today, we’re super-excited to bring a major design update to the Nexla UI!
Using our data engineering platform is now more intuitive, efficient, and powerful for all our users and all aspects of data operations – that was our goal when we set forth redesigning our interface. We believe that you will find that with this intuitive UI, using Nexla’s platform is simpler and more efficient than ever.
Check out the video below for a quick overview of the key aspects of this redesign, and follow along for insights into why and how we approached this redesign.
Data challenges in enterprises are complex, and solving them should be a team sport. And so, we built the platform with a collaboration-first mindset. Only a collaborative platform that assists data engineers and line-of-business users to work together on the same flow can help enterprises get the most value out of their data.
Data flows and contracts in enterprises hardly ever stay stationary. Unexpected changes to the data structure happen all the time. And so, we built mechanisms for deep monitoring insights into the operational status of all flows.
Focusing only on moving data from A→B misses the opportunity to discover all the other ways that that data could have been of value. And so, we made Data Products, aka Nexsets – the backbone of our platform.
Over the years, adding layers to these foundations has resulted in a very flexible and powerful platform. But flexibility, when delivered at a fast pace, always brings a tradeoff on intuitiveness, and we’ve been keenly aware of this on the Nexla UI.
The philosophy behind this redesign
Our previous design centered around the flow creator’s user persona and workflow. It was a natural choice as flow creation is the first step to onboarding any business use case.
However, Nexla users wear many hats in the realm of data operations. From users whose sole responsibility is to monitor and triage hundreds of pipelines in their organization to those who are designers of some resources and collaborators on others — a user can have many reasons for logging into the platform on a given day. Providing intuitive entry points and efficient workflows for each persona was the #1 requirement of this redesign.
Additionally, knowing that the platform feature set grows faster than we can say “redesign”, we wanted the design to be a lasting framework where most of our upcoming features would find a natural home.
🔎 What has changed?
Here’s a look at what users will find new in this design:
A. Dedicated Hubs for Each Persona
The first thing you will notice is that the left sidebar has changed from quick links to a flow-creator’s workflow resources to items that are entry points for other personas.
This, in essence, provides an interface that asks the user — what is the main reason you are into the platform for today? And based on that answer they can then start from any of these hubs to efficiently execute the workflow they’re interested in.
This section is the hub for creating and modifying data flows. Easily ingest, transform, and send data from anywhere to anywhere, all in one place. This is also where they’ll find most of the menu items from the older design.
Check out this video for the features in this section.
Here, users can find all accessible Nexsets. Nexsets are now searchable, giving users a quick and efficient way to find and use any needed data.
The Nexla platform provides granular access controls for every data flow and component. Now, the Collaborate section makes understanding and managing these accesses simple. Here they can ask questions like “Why does a user have collaborator access to my Flows?”
All of Nexla’s robust monitoring information and functions can be accessed in this section. Users can complete any troubleshooting or governance task directly within the screens available in the Monitor section. And now that we have a dedicated section for adding more insights, we have also added more visualizations into platform usage.
Check out this video for an introduction to the screens in this section.
From SSO to organization-wide notification and 3rd-party integration settings, Nexla provides a lot of powerful features for organization administrators. This section is the hub for all those account and organization management information and settings.
B. Micro-interactions and intuitive usability patterns for navigating across resources and sections
These sections are dedicated hubs meant for different personas. But we have paid careful attention to the fact that users often start in one persona and within the same session transition into another. A user might start by triaging a flow, but end up needing to put on the flow-creator hat and modify the flow.
This design introduces deep links and intuitive micro-interactions that make those transitions as seamless as possible. Check out this video for one such use case.
C. Dedicated URLs for bookmarking most common screens
We know that for our users some resources are more mission critical than others. In order to make it easy and efficient for users to keep track of and navigate to those resources, we have ensured that each resource gets dedicated links within each section.
These are just some of the highlights of this new design. There are a lot more details that have been updated with the goal of making each action as intuitive and efficient as possible.
Oh, we aren’t done yet! This is just the building block for changes to come in the next few months. We are already neck-deep in refining the user experience of each screen. Stay tuned!