The new UI is called AVG Easy Interface and has been designed with you, the user at its heart. To get the whole story about the new interface, from design objectives to visual inspiration, AVG Blogs catches up with AVG’s Vice President of Product Management and Customer Experience, Bruce Haldane.
What were the main objectives when designing the new UI? Were users involved in the design process?
AVG’s 2013 range is a major redesign of our security product. We focused on making things easier, more accessible and more satisfying for the customer, implementing many usability improvements across the board, and delivering a new look and feel which is designed to work well on older PCs and support traditional peripherals such as keyboards and mice but is also forward looking and ‘touch-friendly’ – important as Windows 8 launches in tablet format as well as traditional formats.
Our design philosophy for this as with all AVG products is to focus both on continued and improved effectiveness but also on satisfying the needs of our customers.
For effectiveness the design was extensively tested with our customers on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure they approve and will benefit from the direction we’ve taken. We kept the elements that we knew worked, and changed and improved those that we knew and our customers told us could be better. We moved common tasks up to the surface of the application, and provided much easier ‘at-a-glance’ overview of the security status of your system.
On the aesthetic side of things we also updated the look and feel of the design so that customers feel safer in addition to being safer, and overall have greater pride of ownership with a beautiful product that no one would be embarrassed to have on their desktop.
Where did the inspiration for the new UI come from?
Initial inspiration came from our customers who provide huge amounts of feedback, and then from our CEO JR Smith who has been a tremendous advocate of improving the customer experience. He has helped us to establish the central Customer Experience function in AVG which is responsible for designing AVG products and web sites.
Customer research together with our own design intuition led to the creation of several concepts which were then tested with customers in the US and in Europe. One direction quickly took the lead and that is what led to the new design we are unveiling with the AVG 2013 range.
What are the fundamental differences between the new UI and the old one?
From the first overview screen, AVG 2013 suite provides more focus on key user concerns, making it clear at-a-glance what is protected. If customers are interested in the details they can still see those by clicking on the relative categories … Computer, Web Browsing, Identity, Email or Firewall. It’s also achieved a difficult trick, delivering a more powerful application while at the same time reducing complexity and delivering a product that is simply easier to understand and use.
The darker look and feel is much more dramatic and feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive – they like it. It’s very much aligned with Windows 8 design cues, while still designed to work well on older PCs.
How many people worked on the new UI? Was it a large, complicated undertaking?
While the AVG Customer Experience team drove the design concept, delivering this to market was a cross-company achievement, involving research, design, engineering, customer services, sales, marketing and product management. We could tell you more, but we can’t
How long has the new UI been in development? How long have you known that AVG would overhaul its UI?
Just like a baby this took approximately nine months from concept to delivery.
What was the most difficult aspect of the new UI to build?
Making software simple to use is easy to say but difficult to achieve, and it takes dedicated design professionals and support across the company. AVG felt it was worth the investment, as customer experience is a priority to ensure customers see constant improvement and evolution in our products and services.
Will the new UI be available in all languages?
Can you give us an example of the new UI providing greater ease-of-use to the user?
Firewall is much easier to understand, use and manage. Key tasks are all now one click away and the main UI provides a really simple at a glance view of your protection, which honestly is what users most wanted and what the 2013 products deliver.
Does the new and improved UI require greater system resources? If not, why not?
Under the covers the new app actually uses fewer resources than before, and how that is achieved – again, I can’t share
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Just that we think that this is clearly a thoughtfully and beautifully designed product; we believe much more so than the competition, and designed with the direct involvement of AVG customers. We’re very proud of AVG 2013 and we hope that as a result of our hard work that our incredibly supportive customer base will continue to consider and recommend AVG to their family, friends and colleagues as simply ‘the best’ they have used.