Improve the UED (user experience design) of our website and products.

a. Website

The appearance – make it looks neat and professional.

The importance of the first online impression is well proved. Besides the relevancy, the professional looking of a website will be a decent plus especially for the start-ups.
Customers are growing much and much pickier about the user interface nowadays, they are busy and won’t waste time on a site that looks out-dated and of 5-year-old design.
As for the appearance of our website now, I have confidence that it’s at least 5 years younger than it was when I first opened it.

However, there are still many pages need to be totally revamped, e.g. download pages, signup pages, portals. Of course, these are less important than the product overview pages.
The second problem is to maintain the consistency of design. That is, every single page shall adopt the same design style; use one or two sets of buttons, icons as well as other UI elements. This is a huge project.

The usability – make it easier to walk through

Usability is just another target which UED chases after.
For many new visitors, big websites are like mazes. They will easily get lost, cannot find what they want and don’t know how to place the order. It happens every now and then on our website, as our product line stretches. We added TFS Hosting and TWAIN for Mac, and now we’re adding three new add-ons and webcam. Therefore it’s high time we review the buying process of our website, especially the purchase pages.

b. product

SAW – a powerful yet lightweight source control tool

I like SAW, though it looks from 1995. It’s easy-to-use, fast, and basically doing well with what it is meant to do. I think many developers will like how it works out right now.

Considering that SVN goes open source, and Git is a giant of open source project hosting, my suggestion for SAW is, lower the price for small team (3~9 members), completely free for 1~2-member team, so as to make more developers know us. Launch a campaign in developer forums and user groups, either big or small.
Our goal is, whenever they’re working on a project, they will first think of SAW, a powerful, lightweight, free and most importantly easy-to-use source control tool.

Software UI – intuitional, easy-to-use

If the UI of a software is old-fashioned, we can call it classic. But if it’s messy, it will be a disaster for the users. Then people will abandon it.
I say, the UI of SAW is classic. But I hate endless pop-up windows, small icons, and folders inside folders. The default UI may needs a major revamp.
I heard a piece of news yesterday, a core developer who had been contributing to KDE for many years just abandoned this project. He complained that, the software UI today is of no different with what it looked like 5 years ago. In the past 5 years, they’re adding more and more awesome features to this graphic development environment in order to make it more powerful. Yet in the end, they find the usability continues to deteriorate.

Hence, my suggestion for SAW is, slow down adding new features to it, but make the existing features more useful. This is same for TWAIN products.

Last but not least, the world rolls fast, so we gotta hurry.