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User interface clean up!

August 29th, 2018

The first version of the Manula software went live in March 2013. Through the years, we have been adding features, tweaking existing features, changing the user interface, etc, all of which have made the software into the mature product it is today.

However, because of the incremental development, the user interface had gotten a bit crowded, a bit messy, especially while in the manual editor (where you probably spend most of your time).

So it was time to take a step back, clean up the user interface and re-group all commands and features into logical menus. Here’s what we changed:

Clean top bars in the manual editor

In the manual editor, the top bars are now much cleaner, just showing the information you need: manual name, version and language. The search box is now directly available in the top bar.

Also, to bring a clear focus on the most important button here (“Add Topic”), this is now the only button above the Table of Contents, with the less commonly used “Share” and “Copy” tools available in the button’s dropdown menu.

All other buttons and commands have been moved to two sidebar menus, opened by the icons on the top right and top left.


Side-bar menu on the right

Click the “user icon” top right and the sidebar menu on the right will open.

This menu now gives you access to both your user profile and, if you’re and admin user, all account level settings and “administrative” tool (like Subscription and Invoices).


Side-bar menu on the left

This is where the main action is.

The top part of the menu is all about the manual that is currently open.
You can switch between the Editor, Revisions, Statistics and Comments (previously big tabs at the top of the editor page). Also, Generate your PDF from here or manage your Manual Settings.

Also in the side-bar menu on the left are your management pages for Authors and Readers, plus the Backup and Translation tools.

Finally, the Help section: access the Manual, contact Support and view the Changelog.

PDF settings now in Generate PDF screen

Previously, the settings for the PDF generation were located in the Manual Settings screen, on the PDF tab. However, recently we had a brainwave: what if we put the PDF generator settings INSIDE the Generate PDF screen?

Wow, why didn’t we think of that earlier: 🙂

Next up: update our manual to reflect the new UI

I know, I know, we should have done that immediately. But we were so proud of the new UI, that we wanted it live ASAP. So here it is. Manual updates coming up ASAP!!!!
(we have a good tool for that, so should be quick and easy)


Big re-design of the admin interface

May 10th, 2016

Manula has been live for just over 3 years. In these years, a lot of features have been added and changed, so it was time to sit back and re-design a good user interface for the current feature set.
An interface that is both clearer for new users and easier to use for everyone.

new-ui

Here’s what’s changed:

Account home page

The home page of your admin, where all your manuals are listed, has been updated with:

  • A clear Edit Manual button for going to the manual editor
  • One month of usage stats for each manual (was 2 weeks)
  • Three links at the bottom for all 3 parts of the Stats & Feedback module

hub-blocks

Stats/Feedback

The Statistics and Feedback features have been separated from the manual editor and moved to their own Statistics module. The Statistics area can be reached from the chart or links on the Account Home or using the Statistics button on the top right while in the Editor:

stats-module

Manual editor

And finally, the Manula section where you probably spend most of your time, the Manual Editor. The Editor has been re-designed and cleaned up to focus on its’ main purpose: editing manual topics:

  • The Statistic and Feedback features have been removed from the Editor and moved to their own module (see above).
  • The Revision tool now opens in a pop-up, opened from a button at the bottom of the editor.
  • The Manual Settings are now opened from a button in the bar at the top.
  • Same for the PDF generator tool, this is now located at the top.

new-editor-ui