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mlytics 2.0 : the story behind the update

2.0 story

As the title suggests, the mlytics platform underwent a massive make-over. From domain management to AI Load Balancing analytics – Multi CDN is now easier and more intuitive than before.

Time really does fly! We still can’t believe it has been 2 years since we first launched the mlytics platform. When we first started, we built an MVP so that we can quickly test the market. Just like all MVPs, the platform was unpolished and had flaws all over, but it got the job done. However, we have been incredibly fortunate to have businesses successfully using, and more importantly trusting the platform.

We have since added many new features and improved usability thanks to our loyal user’s feedback. That said, we understand that an overhaul is inevitable when aiming to deliver the best SaaS experience.

Why the mlytics overhaul?

Of course it is possible to make improvements via a couple of updates and fixes. But we strongly felt it’s important to have a good foundation before we move on and release new features.

Here are some of the bigger issues that needed to be addressed:

  1. Counter-intuitive information architecture
  2. Complex setup process
  3. Below-average usability

Counter-intuitive information architecture

Here’s the information architecture illustration of the original version (let’s call it 1.0 from now):

It’s all pretty standard (at least we thought so) until users started telling us they had trouble locating the features they were looking for. 

We noticed that all the features we’ve been introducing were hidden in level 3, only accessible by clicking on either ‘analytics’ or ‘settings’. And since there’s no way to know which feature belongs to which category, it may be confusing for users, especially if this is their first time using it.

Complex setup process

One of the biggest challenges we heard from our new users, is adding a domain to the mlytics platform. Technical details aside, users often thought they got everything right, while actually, this wasn’t always the case.

Users have been saying the onboarding in 1.0 is a bit confusing…

We tried to resolve this by adding tooltips and help center articles to guide users through the process, but we still received multiple help requests every day.

Below-average usability

It’s not uncommon for users to misunderstand what a feature does or accidentally toggle/click something. This is because we did not invest too much time in perfecting the UI/UX element and now it’s coming back to haunt us.

What changed?

Everything! We had a facelift, a new information architecture, better UI and UX, and feature enhancements.

Facelift

We decided to go with the Material Design aesthetic for the new interface. Material Design is a design language Google developed that features responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects to deliver a modern and snappy experience.

Material Design is widely used by Google (duh) and many other apps. Many users are already familiar with how it looks and how it’ll behave. This can vastly shorten the learning curve for users across all apps that are using Material Design.

New information architecture

As mentioned earlier, the old information architecture can be a bit challenging for users to locate a particular feature. 

So we went back to the drawing board with all the feedback collected from our users. We then learned that the user experience vastly improved if we use the feature as the main category:

This structure can inform users where the feature are, and the user can configure or view the report later. Compared to the previous version, this decreases the time for users to find and locate different features significantly.

Better UI and UX

One of the most common challenges a cloud solution SaaS platform (e.g. AWS, Cloudflare) has, is that the platform is often pretty difficult to understand and operate, especially due to the complexity of the services it offers. The learning curve for this type of cloud platform is very real. 

We have applied what we have learned in 1.0 plus things from other cloud platforms to 2.0. Here’s an easy example:

Guiding users through the process, know what to expect

In 1.0, we only tell users what happened, without providing more details on what could be done. Now in 2.0, the status contains meaningful/actionable information so that users can troubleshoot or navigate through the process with minimal assistance.

This is just one simple example of what we’ve done to improve the UI and UX of the platform.

Feature enhancements

All the features remained the same. However, when we were redesigning the mlytics platform, we have reworked some features of which we thought could be further improved.

For instance, in 1.0 we had a feature called ‘ActiveRoute’, it shows which CDN is being used in a region. It also lets you manually select which CDN to use as well.

In 2.0, we want to expand that and give our users more options to create an even more advanced routing strategy. Now users can customize their routing strategy according to the use case and requirements.

You have more control over traffic routing

This is just one of the many examples of what we have improved for some of the features we originally offered.

Come see what we did

We’ve been working on this for a while, so we’d love to get your hands on it and hear what you think. Log into the mlytics platform, play around with it and let us know your thoughts!

You’ll get 7 days of free trial with no credit card required. Try it free today.

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