CHSI Connections will be integrating fresh, modern looks and functionality in 2017. We’re beginning this process right at the start — our homepage.
What you see is a simple re-skinning of our homepage, but it’s the foundation of a new road ahead of us. Here are the biggest changes and why we’ve made certain design decisions.
A simplified search bar
Our old homepage had 3 ways to search for something. We’re building a “one-search-to-rule-them-all” functionality right now. Until that future release, we’re using what we call our “Advanced Search” when you type into the search bar at the top of the page. Most users will notice no real change. Clicking on Companies on the left sidebar will also bring up this Advanced Search — the same functionality Connections had previously.
We’ve re-labeled the top left sidebar item “Companies” from “Contacts.” We spoke with multi-line and worker’s comp insurers and the prevailing attitude was “anyone that uses Connections will know that Contacts means Companies” so it made sense to make that semantic change. For instance, clicking on Contacts brought users to “Advanced Company Search” and the page that followed was a tab called… “Company.” So we’ve moved to the word Companies to maintain logical continuity and distinguish from the Contacts (the actual people at the organization) that are found on the Company page.
We moved “Recent Contacts” (now Recent Companies) to the left side of the page to signify its visual importance. Many users used our old Recent Contacts to get around Connections. We’ve also expanded the amount of Recent Companies that will appear on the homepage. Hopefully that’s even more helpful for navigating around to companies you go to often.
We’ve added a section to help keep our users in the loop, especially as we make design changes and lead industry thinking. You can expect articles like this one to always keep you in the loop. You can expect forward thinking analysis to help your business navigate an industry that will be changing in the coming years.
What used to be called “Shortcuts” is now called Bookmarks. This better reflects behavior that people expect from a web application. Bookmarks are the preferred nomenclature on the web, whereas shortcuts are used in desktop applications. The functionality is 100% the same, but now scrollbars aren’t needed if you end up with lots of saved links. Bookmark away!
A Prettier Calendar
There are no real functionality changes with the Calendar, but we’ve made design choices to match the overall look of the new homepage.
The biggest change to the homepage is here. We’ve used icons and concise wording to give users a better navigation experience. We got rid of a button called “Group Maintenance” or “Groups” or “Self-Insured Groups,” etc., and we’ve pulled the unique navigation buttons that were on that page to the homepage.
Every navigation button that you previously had available should continue to be available on the homepage.
In the future, we may offer drag and drop reordering of the sidebar navigation buttons if it turns out to be a big benefit to our users. We may even consolidate or remove unnecessary buttons.
You’ll notice this first change isn’t very “deep” — meaning, everything still functions the same, you’ll still see old Connections right below the surface of this homepage. But our goal is to constantly be adding and improving the application. With our 2017 redesign, we may be starting with a metaphorical skateboard, but after speaking with users and applying modern design practices, we hope to give users more and more with each release until, before you know it, you feel like you’re behind the wheel of a racecar.
What do you think?
Like our new direction? Hate it? We honestly want to know. You can email our User Experience Architect with any thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.