Insightly has over 400,000 avid and happy users, so making changes to a product that successful is not something to be taken lightly. When we sat down to redesign the whole user experience for Insightly on the web eight months ago, we wanted our design to be centered around three core focus areas:
We also wanted all our current users to see the new interface and to jump in and be productive straight away without having to hunt around to find features that had been inadvertently moved. So we made sure to anchor the new design in the familiarity of the old one by being careful not to move the location of common actions and buttons without careful consideration.
We went through over 100 different design iterations for the new Insightly before we settled on the final design. We ended up with a great interface that's much cleaner, more simplistic, and easier to understand for people that don't spend all day in a CRM. Insightly has a lot of powerful features and options, and we didn't want to overwhelm users by presenting them all up front in a dizzying array of buttons and boxes, so we worked hard to reduce the clutter and show the most commonly used interface elements by default, and place some of the additional complexity behind menus and drop downs. It made for a much cleaner design allowing users to focus on the task at hand.
Contacts are a big part of what you manage in Insightly, so we thought it made sense to make the profile pictures of contacts bigger in this release so you can more clearly see who you're corresponding with. While we were at it, we enhanced the automatic discovery of social profiles for contacts and organizations and improved our in-page LinkedIn and Twitter integration too.
Over the eight months of design work we conducted many interviews with power users and novices alike, and received a lot of feedback about what people loved and what they found confusing. We discovered that users really liked the ability to link things together in Insightly once they understood how to do it, but we spotted in eye tracking tests we conducted that users did not look to the sidebar on the right side of the screen where the links panel was located when they were entering information, so they often missed it. We made the decision to move the links panel right into the center part of the screen directly in line with users eye tracking movements, and then added a new links textbox in there to encourage easier linking between items. In our testing the number of links users created between items went up dramatically as a result.
We have customers in over 110 countries around the world now, and we heard from many of them that they would like to be able to use Insightly in their native language. This new version of Insightly has been built from the ground up to be multi-lingual, and soon after launch we will be rolling out a Spanish version and then following with many other languages throughout the year.
The third core focus area for us was around speed. We heard from customers that they would like Insightly to be more snappy when loading pages and navigating between items. We worked with our engineers to make the rendering of pages much faster by loading only visible sections of the page immediately rather than entire pages at once, and loading non-critical sections in the background soon after the main part of the page has loaded. The result is now a much faster browsing experience in Insightly, and a perceived speed increase of 65% over the old design.
We're not done with wringing all the speed improvements we can out of Insightly just yet though. In conjunction with this redesign we're also using a fair chunk of the $10 million dollars we just raised to build out our own custom data center with the fastest servers and internet connections money can buy. That work will be completed and coming online in the next couple of months and will be sure to boost the speed of Insightly even further.
We put a lot of love and hard work into this new release of Insightly, and we hope you love it as much as we loved creating it for you. It will be rolling out gradually to customers over the month of February, but you can see a quick preview of what it will look like in the video below.