PROBLEM
Standing Cloud users had over 80 open-source applications, 12 cloud providers, and a myriad of cloud server configurations to choose from when spinning up a new hosted environment. Once their server and software was set-up and installed, there were server and software administration and processes at their fingertips. The installation process and the server administration UI needed to be clear without sacrificing the necessary complexity of the process.
SOLUTION
The installation process used a wizard concept, to move the user through the process and help them determine the configuration best-suited for their needs. They were guided through application selection, cloud host selection, app memory and bandwidth requirements, whether they needed a single-or multi-tier solution, if their application required a database, and which data center they wanted (since it affects performance). While users had a free 14-day trial, a pricing module was displayed to allow them to see what the overall cost would be to continue after that period. The price updated as they added or changed their customizations. The goal was to get the user in to try the service with as little risk to them as possible.
Once they had their server and application set up, they could adjust their failover and backup settings, monitor server and tier status, sync a code repository, and more. Both the server and the open-source application had monitors and settings to allow complete flexibility without the user physically interacting with the cloud host.
PROCESS
1. Hold brief interviews with key stakeholders, and review forums to understand customer’s feedback.
2. Research UX patterns, including technical options for grouping and displaying server monitoring information
3. Create first round of wireframes for proof-of-concept within the development department.
4. Generate high-fidelity mockups based on feedback to outline proof-of-concept to team and stakeholders.
5. Generate high-level user flows to communicate to the development team how the general patterns change based on specific user selections.
6. Work with the developer to create working UI and code structure.
WELCOME BLOCK: "Blank slate" for new users which provided a user-friendly explanation on how to get started, with an option to trial, or begin a fully-hosted solution.
SERVER CONFIGURATION: Setup options for both single- and multi-tier were displayed, including hosting, application configuration and data center. The setup had a dynamic pricing module so the user could determine the monthly costs based on the selected configuration, for easy comparison.
TIPS and NEXT STEPS: While the applications were installing and the servers were being procured, the user was provided additional information on what would follow.
SERVER MAINTENANCE: Once installation is complete, the user's options for application and server maintenance are displayed, with a wide variety of configurations exposed through the UI, that normally are handled through run scripts.
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