October 9th, 2020
When I joined the team at Zaloni in early 2019, I was impressed with the capabilities of our Zaloni Data Platform. ZDP is the only data management platform which provides an enterprise-scale, end-to-end data pipeline in a single package. This breadth of capabilities creates some interesting challenges in how we build and manage our platform.
When we decided to rebrand ZDP to Zaloni Arena DataOps platform, we saw this as an opportunity to redesign our UI to help our users accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. We also wanted to create unique experiences for the different personas using our platform from business users, to data analytics and scientists, to data engineers and stewards.
And so, we embarked on a journey to streamline our user interface and improve performance across every part of the platform. Today, I am excited to share with you, a look inside the new user interface created for Arena. The new UI leverages an updated Angular framework, which provides modern UI components that streamline the user experience, making the platform intuitive and easy to navigate, improving user productivity.
While we were digging around in the code to update the framework, we took a look at how our user interface interacts with our back-end APIs. We found several areas where we could remove, reduce, or defer certain API calls, resulting in less data data delivered to the UI layer, or data delivered just in time for the user. Overall, we saw page load times cut in half in most circumstances and reduced by more than 80% for larger data sets!
UI performance isn’t just about the technology stack, it’s also a factor of how quickly users can navigate the application. And, a core component of easy user navigation is consistency. Much like a sprawling farmhouse adds rooms over time, our UI had grown organically with the needs of our users. The new UI provides consistency across each of Arena’s components, making the platform easy to navigate, especially for the different types of users that use our platform.
This UI overhaul was an opportunity for us to reevaluate each feature of the platform and deliver those capabilities with a much smaller set of common components. These common components enable us to deliver a consistent experience throughout our platform. As a specific example, every grid which displays tabular data now supports selectable, sortable columns. This seemingly minor improvement has significant implications for usability. Users will no longer have that moment of uncertainty, when they want to sort on a column, “will sorting work on this page?”
In order to continue to improve the UI over time, we made the important decision to leverage these components as-is, without code modifications. This decision is critical to our future speed of development, since it means that we will be able to adopt newer versions of these components as they become available. This allows us to make UI updates frequently and quickly, improving user experience with the latest UI technologies available.
I hope you enjoy the updated UI and benefit from the streamlined user experience!
Arena is available now and is ready for deployment. It is currently available for Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and On-prem deployments. It can be deployed in bare metal, IaaS or Kubernetes environments. Please reach out to the Zaloni team to schedule a demo at www.zaloni.com/get-a-demo.