SecureAPlus Forum

Forum Support => Software Problems and Questions => Topic started by: Philip Goddard on February 26, 2018, 04:59:11 AM

Title: Need for the UI and especially alerts to look more focused and professional
Post by: Philip Goddard on February 26, 2018, 04:59:11 AM
I love SecureAPlus - except for its horrendous and, for me, stress-making UI, and especially the horrible and jarring alerts and scan window.

They do have some good points - for example the colour scheme is fine and agreeable, and makes a nice distinction between elements, and there is a simplicity of layout.

But that simplicity is sabotaged by an extreme lack of focus, with distracting graphics and especially animations, and the alerts in particular being far too large, so you have to search around on the alert window for what you want.  And the gratuitous animated graphics on alerts and the scan window are gut-churningly aggressive, distracting attention from where it needs to be.  On the scan window the only animation should be a progress bar, but if a SMALL additional animation really must be included (it really is much better without any such distraction), then it should stop dead when the scan is finished.  As it is, the scan window is very confusing because the aggressively distracting graphic continues its animation as long as that window is open, so giving the impression that SAP is still scanning.

I would say that the alerts and scan window need to be a quarter to a third of the current size, and without gratuitous graphics, so the user's eye would fall naturally on the important functional elements.  That would make for a MUCH more harmonious and stress-free user experience.

This is not just about me being a (supposedly) crotchety old b*gg*r (which of course I am - everyone knows that!  :) ), but those aspects of the UI make the whole program look as though it's some sort of children's game rather than one of the best AV/AM programs that I've encountered.  Quite apart from giving me and presumably a fair number of other users a less-than-ideal working experience with the program, that all looks fairly unprofessional and quite inappropriate for a 'serious' computer security product and would put quite a lot of people off it on that basis (i.e., reduced credibility) even before they get driven round the twist by actually working with the program and being assailed again and again by the aforementioned over-the-top indulgences.

I did discuss this issue by email back in July last year, and I was led to understand that an improved UI was being worked on for a future release, but as none of that has changed yet in the released versions I want to draw attention to this issue again.

Apart from that, however, I have found SAP really brilliant, and do hope that soon its UI will do proper justice to that brilliance.

Title: Re: Need for the UI and especially alerts to look more focused and professional
Post by: Cabrina Yeo on February 27, 2018, 09:46:49 AM
Hi Philip Goddard,

Are you aware of the themes that SecureAPlus Team is offering? You can find more information here - Perhaps you may find one that you like it  ;)

They are working on themes that reduce the use of animation for users who are not comfortable with it.

On the other hand, the team is definitely looking to improve the UI based on the feedback you have provided and we thank you for that! :)

Best regards,

SecureAPlus Team
Title: Re: Need for the UI and especially alerts to look more focused and professional
Post by: Philip Goddard on February 27, 2018, 08:18:28 PM
Thank you, Cabrina.

Glad to know other themes have become available, and now I've gone through them. The only trouble is that, along with very many other software developers, the SAP developers seem to have little idea of overall visual usability when they create themes - and so they seek to please people's quirks and idiosyncrasies rather than produce themes that make or keep the visual aspects of the program UI genuinely ergonomic and simple, efficient and stress-free to use. So far NONE of the SAP themes lives up fully to that basic requirement.

For the moment, then, I'm now using the Static Classic theme, which at least has the harmonious colour scheme of the Default theme, and a reduction in the amount of animation.  I see that with the Static Classic theme the scanning window still has the horrible animation, though at least the animation stops when the scan is completed, which is an improvement.

What we still need is a complete removal of distracting and non-informative graphics and animations. Also, *all* windows of all themes need a defining border. I found that the white background of the Azure Sea and Clinical Logic made those themes unusable on my system because if SAP windows were open on top of other windows (often having more or less white backgrounds), one couldn't see where one window finished and another began, and that made my desktop a confusing mess; a border would be the answer there - probably no more than a 2px mid-grey border would do the trick on themes with white background, and a similar-width very light border would be the answer for themes with dark background, so it would be seen then against desktops / background windows themselves with dark colour.

I've just tested with EICAR downloads to trigger threat alerts, and actually, apart from the (to me) jarringly harsh colour schemes and the borderless white backgrounds (the latter rendering them unusable on my system), the Azure Sea and Clinical Logic themes come out pretty well, with only appropriate graphics, and the scanning window animation now appropriate and showing only during scanning, so progress has been made, but it's all very piecemeal. Is it really too much to ask for, to have a theme equivalent to Azure Sea or Clinical Logic, but with the 'Classic' theme colours (much more harmonious and balanced) AND a darker 2px border to all windows? That would then be at least getting close. At the moment I'm stuck with Static Classic with its distracting graphics.

I hope my friendly little whinge will be found helpful!  :)