Introduction

My name is JF Boisvert - Nexpose Senior UX Architect. In this role, I see opportunities everyday to improve our user flows, visual design, and customer usage.

I am excited to share with you valuable insights into the Nexpose 6 product development process, and how we are making a better, more usable product.

Process

With Nexpose 6, we are laying a new foundation which will percolate across all of our product line to eventually unify the look, experience, and interactions our customers will experience.

By using Nexpose as the foundation for the new look and feel, we are:

  • Moving towards standardized interface guidelines
  • Creating reusable interface artifacts
  • Improving our development velocity
  • And producing consistent user experiences.

In less than a few months, Engineering, Product Management, Product Marketing, and UX came together to bring dramatic user experience changes to Nexpose 6.

Why did we change the interface in the first place?

  • First off, Nexpose 5x was due for a major makeover.
  • We wanted to modernize the application and create a common design language for all of our Rapid7 products.
  • We also wanted to remove clutter and noise, with a strong emphasis on readability.

What are the steps involved in creating amazing user experiences?

  • UX Discovery

    • First we look at the customer problem.
    • Talk to users via discovery calls.
    • Identify their needs, pain points, and contextual limits.
    • We survey their technical environments to understand what is possible.
    • We work in concert with Engineering, Product Marketing, and Product Management leads to understand all the elements involved in creating a world class solution.
  • UX Solutions

    • Once we have a clear understanding of all the above parameters we:
      • Create user flows to understand how the experience will unfold.
      • Define access points for the experience.
      • Create wireframes describing the interface.
      • Create interactive prototypes to uncover any flaws and to explain how it will work to our partners.
      • Create high-fidelity visual design artifacts.
      • Validate the proposed solutions with customers, using live interviews and prototypes.
      • Make appropriate edits and revisions.
      • Socialize our learnings with all parties involved.
      • Create final design specifications.
      • And proceed towards implementation support.

Look and Feel

If you're familiar with Nexpose or have been using it over the past 5 years, you probably became aware of the various visual design updates that were given to the product over time. Through these various development cycles, we realized that, in order for us to build a winning brand image and improve usability, we would need to invest in the development of a unified user experience strategy.

New Nexpose

The first step towards delivering a more efficient experience, was to simplify the navigation. In Nexpose 6, the global navigation has been redesigned to maximize working space while providing easy access to global features like notifications and user settings.

To improve readability, Nexpose is giving users an improved look and feel focused on providing better contrast and information priority.

“Information presentation is a critical step in designing for security. Attackers depend on invisibility. We intend to counter that by not only showing you key data, but delivering it visually in a way that enables you to connect the dots easily. The overall design of Nexpose places the focus on the content, enabled by the navigation in a secondary role. This redesigned navigation and enhanced look and feel are important steps toward unifying the experience across all of our products.”

Neil Estacio, UX Visual Design Manager

Design Partners Program

Our Design Partners Program is led by Even Jacobs and Ger Joyce. Ger is our resident UX Research Lead.

Every time we need to validate a thesis, we schedule time with our customers through our Design Partners Program. By listening to our customers, Ger and his team validate thesis, uncover usability issues and provide clues that will eventually translate into better experiences. To support UX Architects and Leads, Ger's team can organize a variety of activities such as:

  • Focus Group
  • Surveys
  • And On-site Customer Validations.

“We find key insights when we engage with our customers, and validate them by testing iterations with our Design Partners Program. Our customers not only engage with us to give these insights, but also engage with the products prior to release, resulting in a refined necessary experience that meets their work needs.”

Ger Joyce, UX Research Lead

Nexpose 6 Screenshots

Future States

Nexpose 6 is the first product to adopt the new user experience strategy. In coming months, we will continue to improve consistency, usability, and product experiences across all products in the portfolio. With the growing involvement of the UX product team in the creation of world class experiences, expect exciting updates to all the Rapid7 products in a very near future.