Software update – Close, Cancel and Save

One of our regular UX (user experience) observation tasks is to look at areas of frustration our users might be having when using our digital signage software. Once we identify one, we attempt to reduce or remove it. It’s a healthy way of reviewing past design decisions, revisiting assumptions and adjusting as necessary.

A recent area of user frustration was a frequent ‘dead click’ we noticed in our logs. Users were clicking on a disabled Save button in our editors, expecting it to… do what? Why were so many users clicking on a disabled button?

After homing in on the event and further observation, our UX team surmised that users were looking to use the Save button to close the editor (which it does, when it’s active). But prior to any edits, the Save button is disabled. Voila! La clique est morte. (French for: “Oops.”)

Also important (maybe?): there was a handy ‘Close’ button to the left of the Title input. That would have done the job. Its position followed a pattern well-established in other popular apps (Google Docs et al). But on hi-rez screens it’s a yawning 1000+ pixels away from the Save button, way off to the corner, its ‘X’ icon was small and hard to notice. Meanwhile we were training users to hit the Save button to achieve closure the other 80% of the time, when there were edits to be saved.

On hi-rez screens the Close button was a yawning 1000+ pixels away from the Save button. Meanwhile the icon was small and hard to notice.

As in many things UX, straight answers are rare. There are countless assumptions packed into any observation, a seeming infinite number of proposable solutions, with a ton of guesswork stacked into each proposal. It seemed users were launching the editor to get an animated preview, then trying to ‘close’ it with the Save button – should we add that preview feature elsewhere? The Save button is controversial – should we change the data model and get rid of Save altogether? Activate the Save button under all conditions (removing other features)?

We opted for a simpler (we think) middle path:

  • The ‘X’ icon was eliminated
  • A ‘Close’ text button was docked to the left of the ‘Save’ button.
  • The Close button has a secondary style applied, for low emphasis compared to the Save button.
  • On Edit, the Close button is updated to ‘Cancel’ indicating a loss of current data when selected. To the immediate right, the Save button becomes active.

revised digital signage interface for screenscape 5

The new design was tested last week and pushed to Prod on Friday. We’ll be watching closely to observe how the updated design affects user actions in the real world. Stay tuned!

Software Update – Asset Delete

We’re always working to improve ScreenScape so there are changes happening all the time. We trouble shoot our system constantly so we can deliver the best software on the market.

Today’s update is a simple one: Asset Delete.

Users have been asking for the ability to delete images and videos after they’ve uploaded them.

screen shot of screenscape digital signage software update for asset deletion

Hover over the asset and click the ‘delete’ icon to delete it.

In our MVP approach, this (kinda obvious?) feature didn’t make the initial ‘must have’ cut. Our thinking was… “A user would want to delete in order to get more space… so just give them more space.” Easy!


Turns out, people make mistakes. Click the wrong icon. Upload the wrong file. Or the wrong version of the right file. Or like to keep things tidy. Or just change their mind. Or… or… or. Even with an infinite hard drive in the sky (and it isn’t infinite btw!), there’s plenty of legit reasons to want to subtract what you’ve added.

So: on Friday we added a simple ‘hover over’ delete button, everywhere assets are displayed.

On this topic, it’s worth noting:

  • When deleted, assets are removed from your active library. But if they’re in-use in any Media items, they aren’t destroyed. We keep a copy for the existing media to reference. So you can’t break a running display by accidentally deleting some of the assets that it’s in the middle of using.
  • When you delete many assets at once, we group the actions for a more efficient database delete. It kicks off when you close your ‘asset library’ drawer. It’s possible that, between hitting delete and hitting close, you could kill your browser application. Which would cancel the delete. If that’s the case, you’ll see the assets-formerly-known-as-deleted again the next time you go into the drawer. No harm, no foul.

As always, if you have an idea or a request for a feature, let us know. We’re adding to the product on a daily basis.

18 New Fonts

Today we added 18 new fonts to our design repertoire. Why? … they’re just too awesome not to. Finding the perfect font can really bring your digital signage to life. They subconsciously add emotion and tone to what could otherwise be dry statements of fact.

  1. Dokdo
  2. Shojumaru
  3. Frijole
  4. Bahiana
  5. Monoton
  6. Knewave
  7. Rye
  8. Codystar
  9. Creepster
  10. Slackey
  11. Peralta
  12. Ribeye
  13. Monofett
  14. Akronim
  15. Barrio
  16. Piedra
  17. Miltonian
  18. Fascinate

This takes our font grand total to 65 (and counting).

Have at ‘er, design’ers.