Research & process
Customers often request that we display more data on the screen at once. This led me to investigate the screen resolution sizes of our user base. Surprisingly, one-third of our users still use resolutions below 1280px in width. This width typically has 1024 as the height. From this, I aimed to reduce the height of the navigation as much as possible.
We have also received feedback that our platform lacks a modern look and feel, some of which is over 20 years old. The outdated visuals have affected customer adoption in some cases. Improving the user interface is also aligned with our larger organizational objective of making it more delightful for users. To address this, I ensured that the re-design used our design system, utilized existing components as much as possible to reflect what could actually be built in the future, and improve consistency.
I also had to consider Quickbase's recent rebrand. As part of this process, I explored different color variations to determine the default, non-customized navigation style and if we should incorporate the rebrand colors into the product.
I explored two different navigation orientations based on previously conducted usability studies: a vertical, icon-only side navigation and a more conventional top navigation. Our team discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches since there was no strong preference either way from users on the tested layouts.
We moved forward with a top navigation because it gave us more room for text and labels and the side navigation isn't as straightforward to use without an expanded state for labels.