We’ve been working hard over the last few months on releasing new features for Chargify, and have been excited with what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. And along with the performance and feature set of the application, we want to make sure Chargify looks as good as it works. So this week we’re rolling out the first in a series of user interface design updates that will continue to make Chargify a pleasant and beautiful environment in which to work.
Many of the interface updates this week are simply small adjustments, and may very well go unnoticed to the average user. But we’re hoping that the end result is an application that “feels” better to use, whether or not the user can document why. So let’s take a quick look at just a few of the most recent tweaks.
The buttons in the top of the header next to the Chargify logo we felt were a bit small in proportion to the other items on the page visually, and perhaps too small for how often these buttons might get used. So we enlarged them, making them easier targets, and at the same time better balancing out the weight of these buttons in relation to the rest of the page.
We also felt the revenue and subscription data in the header deserved a unique treatment, since this data is referred to frequently by the user. As it stood before, this data seemed to get lost in the header, and even being in its own horizontal row didn’t keep the data from floating in space somewhat. Our solution was to put each data unit in its own “well,” which helped to ground the information and protect it from other visual interference. These wells also help the eye zero in on each individual data unit more quickly, keeping the units from potentially blending together.
In order to gain back some vertical real estate we shortened the green horizontal row containing the tabs, as well as shortened the tabs themselves. We also added an inactive tab state in order to tighten up the structure of the header. Without the inactive tab state, the type representing each page couldn’t really be centered vertically within the green row, which was a slight distraction that’s been eliminated. Adding the inactive tab state also ensures that the “Dashboard” tab will always have its left edge aligned with the data above and below it, whereas before it was slightly indented when inactive.
Throughout the body of the application we really focused on organizing and cleaning up the visual relationships between items on the page. For example, the page headings and their corresponding actions seemed to float on the page at times, making it difficult for the eye to make the connection between the two. We simply added a thin horizontal rule under the page headings that span the width of the page, making a connection between the heading and the action they’re related to. The horizontal rule also helps keep the page heading from blurring into the information below it.
We made the same kind of subtle adjustments anywhere we felt that individual units of information had a tendency to blur together. For example, the previous Products page (seen above) lacked strong boundaries for each individual product family, and as a result the families had a tendency to float on the page and almost blur together, especially as more families were added. We made some minor adjustments in spacing, font size, as well as added dotted boundary lines between each family. The result is a more structured page with stronger visual relationships between items on the page.
We stripped the footer down to the bare essentials, removing the previous information that worked well for the Chargify marketing site, but really didn’t contribute to the day to day working of the application. Our thinking was to remove as much visual noise as possible to avoid distracting you from your data. We have some ideas for future additions to the footer, but any additions will be directly related to the operation of the application itself.
As you look around the application you’ll run into more tweaks similar to the ones mentioned above, including updated icons, improved link treatment, a more consistent handling of input buttons, and the list goes on. We have many more design updates in the works as well, all with the goal of continuing to make Chargify an application that’s a joy to work in. Thanks for your enthusiasm about the product, and we really appreciate your feedback, so keep it coming!