So well, I just checked out the new Manager Beta...

Honestly, in general it feels way less "professional" and more "bloggy" to me… partially because of annoyingly large fonts and lack of borders, mostly because of removal of details (linode ID, job ID, host start/end date of job, the host load meter, modification dates in DNS manager)…

The fact that you have so many options hidden in sub-screens now is quite annoying too, but it's not a killer. I'm also feeling kind of uneasy about having "Rebuild" so easily accessible in the main tabs, especially as "Deploy Distro" is still available in the disk image administration section (i.e. the new "Advanced Configuration" screen).

Things that I feel really, really should be back is displaying the physical host ID in list of nodes and the dashboard (generally, what was in the Host Summary widget in old manager).

And while you're at it, keeping the transfer usage bar in the dashboard would make it easier to keep eye on, with no need to return back to list of linodes. On the other hand, it seems that we finally can open a control panel for more than one linode in parallel.

Upon opening the DNS manager there's a tiny cosmetic annoyance, that is it sorts the domains by database ID or creation time, not by name. Of course ot can be easily fixed by clicking the column name… but why did you hide the modification dates?! :cry: They're quite essential to me so I can notice when one of other users edited something… Having the reports from Check and Zonefile inside the UI instead of as plaintext are a mixed gain… but I guess that you prefer people to use API for any kind of (semi-)automatic processing.

TL;DR: Old one provides quite a lot of details the new one doesn't, and in my personal opinion has a better look&feel too.

Sorry for not being all happy over the new one, but that's what I honestly think of the beta as of today.

PS. I know there are "workarounds", like linode ID in the RRDtool graphs and host ID in the Lish login tab… but that's not really the point here.

EDIT: Some of the typos.

53 Replies

I second most of rsk's findings.

Here are my suggestions:

  • reduce default font size or give a +/- control - this is way too large ATM.

  • Please please make domain view table columns sortable as well (A/AAAA records, CNAME records would be a huge addition to people like me)

  • 'This Month's Network Transfer Pool' meter looks ridiculously ugly. Don't waste your time for in-house development, let an UI developer do the job :twisted:

Additionally, although 'Trebuchet MS' is installed on my computer, it really makes me sick. I suggest going for simple 'sans-serif' definitions in css. But this is only me, others might just love this font. :roll:

@melon:

Additionally, although 'Trebuchet MS' is installed on my computer, it really makes me sick. I suggest going for simple 'sans-serif' definitions in css.
Seconded… now if I only could convince the webdesigner I work for about it…

Also, as far as I know Helvetica Neue is available only with Adobe's packages, and when it is available, it hits weird conflicts (being OpenType?) causing huge, fat, aliased letters to be drawn. That's not limited to Linode Manager, mind, I have this problem with a ton of sites, in both Firefox and Opera.

Getting details back is more important than having it look good… but both should be important from the business perspective, I think. After all, the manager panel is a new user's first impression of the service.

@rsk:

Getting details back is more important than having it look good… but both should be important from the business perspective, I think. After all, the manager panel is a new user's first impression of the service.

Absolutely. Although having it look 'good' should mean that the interface looks pleasant to the eye but still being usable and unobtrusive.

I agree with many of the comments. I'd add that for my site I specify fonts like this to favor Linux users but fall back for others:

font: normal normal 94%/ 1.0 FreeSans, Sans, Arial, Helvetica, sans-srif;

Our household has run Ubuntu Desktop for 3 years so yeah, no doze only fonts please.

The BW meter is ugly. There is a lack of supporting borders, everywhere, my eyes keep wondering around the pages looking for structure.

PS FreeSans, BitStream or DejaVu fonts look better than the Arial package that's available for Linux.

I use Liberation Sans. Looks cleaner than FreeSans to me. If you want to save some screen real estate (e.g. on a netbook), Droid Sans is also good.

I got the same feel from the interface, it felt as if it was trying too hard to look new, and it felt on the whole, less useful, with the interface sporting seemly less information.

On my screen the interface seems ridiculously narrow, and with the soft edge it just feels incomplete. I also seem to find myself scrolling far too much.

I'd suggest abusing the min-width property and going for a percentage width, possibly with some components willing to float themselves alongside if there is room horizontally.

I also support most of the points made above. Here's my version of things:

  • Get rid of the gravatar thing, it's unprofessional and looks extremely bloggy.

  • BW meter is hideous. Please get rid of that dashed borders in it.

  • The whole block with "div id=page" needs a border. Currently it seems like it's floating around with the drop shadow. Really disturbing to the eyes.

  • The old Linode Manager included a lot more info (IDs etc.), please make them available again.

  • Blue links on gray background (second level of navigation from top) sucks. It looks like a geocities site.

I'm gonna be the odd one out and say I like the new look!

The old interface, although functional, was a bit 'dated'…

Oh well :D

I have to agree with Mr Nod. I really like it and much prefer it to the old version. I don't mind gravatar either, BW meter is ugly though.

I'm sure there are a lot of web developers/designers here so a lot of strong opinions.

Good work Linode.

It doesn't disgust me, but it's a bit less functional.

I would like "Deploy distribution" on frontpage like old manager.

You still are the best :wink:

Thank you very much for mod date in DNS manager! :)

(Still hoping for return of other details in the future…)

N00b alert….

I've searched the forums, and can't find a link to where to try this Beta.

Was it invite only?

@ericholtman:

N00b alert….

I've searched the forums, and can't find a link to where to try this Beta.

Was it invite only?
Right side of the login page.

@jed:

Right side of the login page.

Man, I am stupid.

@ericholtman:

@jed:

Right side of the login page.

Man, I am stupid.
Nah, your eyes were just trained to not look there.

@rsk:

Things that I feel really, really should be back is displaying the physical host ID in list of nodes and the dashboard (generally, what was in the Host Summary widget in old manager).

I really liked seeing that in the old version… how much of one host cpu you were using, plus how loaded your host server was.

Sigh.

And, I really liked the smaller fonts and layout of the older version: more info per page is better.

I'd like to chime in with my own thoughts.

At first glance I liked the old look better. But I suppose that is because I got used to the old panel (you know, inertia to change). As I use the beta panel more and more, here's what I think:

PROS:

  • bigger graphs and cute graph history

  • cleaner host jobs list

  • advanced profile config is separate page

  • console and network tabs combined into Remote Access

  • display groups !!

CONS:

  • dashed border of bandwidth pool bar

  • no bandwidth bars for individual nodes (regardless of the pooling, methinks having quick info about individual node BW usage is a must)

  • no host load data

  • no cpu time used

  • node profile selection is dropdown instead of having them all shown with Boot Into (or Reboot for current) buttons.

  • inactive Linodes tabs (Dashboard, Remote, …) should be more clearly separated

  • oh gawd please get rid of that fluorescent green! Oh, my eyes! :)

$0.02

more cow bell!

But seriously I think I know why I like the older interface better.

1) I'm use to it

2) There's more contrast so it's just plain easier to read. Grey text on grey or white background = BAD

The thin blue text for the links is also hard on my eye, make it bold or some other color, or both

3) Smaller text so I can see more on the screen

4) In the dashboard, I really do miss the status panel on the right. I would love one place where I can view at a glance what's going on. I don't want to have to scroll or view multiple screens.

Oh and the neon green text when logging in is just horrible.

5) The light grey text on the grey background at the bottom of the dashboard = REALLY BAD. Is there something there you're trying to hide?

So instead of more cow bell, more contrast please (black on white or black on grey and bold text PLEASE).

I don't know if you've done changes in the last few days based on feedback or if I'm getting use to it, but things do look a little better than when I first logged into the beta version about a week or so ago.

But it's still hurting my eyes.

Things are looking better, and I like some of the direction it's going but right now the old manager is just so much more comfortable to look at.

There's also some inconsistent terminology. In the dashboard, you can select disk images to copy. On the surface to me I thought that meant I could make a copy of a disk image. Instead it takes me to a screen about cloning the image to another Linode either locally or in another DC from the looks of the screen.

Same for the profiles.

Hi,

  • I have to agree with the font issue. From the login page, through to all the tabs, the fonts are just so big and in your face, I feel like moving my chair further away from my desk just to compensate. Yuck yuck yuck.

  • The bandwidth bar is the ugliest thing I have seen in a long time. Remove the dotted line and make it sleeker (and smaller).

  • The graphs suffer from the same "in your face" problem as the fonts. While I'm on the graphs, rather add a 7-day view for the graphs (something that's been outstanding for a really, really long time).

  • Suddenly my 22" screen feels used up, I have to scroll around more to get an overview of what's going on - especially when viewing the graphs.

  • I don't have more than one Linode, but I would certainly want to see each Linode's usage separately from the other to judge traffic usage.

  • I'd like to see the "My Profile" link moved to one of the main tabs - it just gets lots on the far right, top of the screen.

  • The new manager seems almost bland … like it needs a bit of salt & pepper. Lack of borders and too many places where there is not enough contrast between the text and the background (eg. grey text). Even the alternating column shading has gone missing. It seems hazy and devoid of function and detail - maybe it's because everything is so spread out and overly large.

On the whole, I hope we have the option to rather use the older manager as an option when they take the new manager live. I don't see any advantage in the new interface, only disadvantage.

--deckert

I just took a quick look; it's mostly easy to navigate (took a while to find the current whitelist) and is an improvement over the previous version in that respect. But it's fugly. The sort of thing my websites would look like :-)

On a completely unrelated note, I just took a look at the graphs page and realized I've been here for almost a year now. Time flies.

On topic, and I apologize in advance that there is absolutely nothing constructive about this pov from a technical standpoint; I absolutely hate that bright green splashed across the top. I realize it's the green from your logo, but I think the whole effect would come across a lot less kool-aid if that was taken down a few notches.

When I'm using the control panel, I have something to do. I want to get it done, and I just keep staring at that green.

I think it just blinked.

Since everyone else is adding their £0.02 I thought I'd join in.

Personally I don't give a monkey's doodar what the layout is.

However I do beleive that if there's to be a new manager then new features should be added not taken away i.e. the host usage, individual bandwidth graphs etc

Apart from that it's fine.

i don't see much functionality changing, so why not just run the CSS ruler over the current manager to freshen up the look?

Also, I wouldn't have REBUILD as a front line menu option, this should be nested away to stop particularly stupid people like me from using it..

For the Host Job Queue, the 'Show more Jobs' feature has disappeared. Please bring it back.

+1 for losing the dotted line round the bars for bandwidth, disk usage. It serves no purpose and it's fugly.

I'd be interested in seeing a return of the "Last Generated" in the DNS Manager.

Also, while it isn't a work of graphic beauty, I don't mind the new bandwidth bar. If I were looking for pretty pictures, I'd go to an art show. I can clearly see % used, % available, raw used, raw total, raw remaining, and total.

Function > Form. (imho)

Why is it companies insist on changing perfectly good application interfaces that everyone has become used to, and can use with their eyes closed, for something, err, "better".

MS Office is the perfect example. The interface was relatively unchanged till 2007, after which you couldn't find a dammed thing. It hasn't been more productive for me, or most other people in our office.

Change for change sake. Yeah, that's what we need nore of.

@kangaby:

Why is it companies insist on changing perfectly good application interfaces that everyone has become used to, and can use with their eyes closed, for something, err, "better".

MS Office is the perfect example. The interface was relatively unchanged till 2007, after which you couldn't find a dammed thing. It hasn't been more productive for me, or most other people in our office.

Change for change sake. Yeah, that's what we need nore of.

Don't hold back, tell us what you really feel. :)

Office 2003 had a lot of functionality that was hidden behind various menus and sometimes in locations that did not make sense. New users to Office love the ribbon, those that had memorized where everything was located absolutely hated it because they had to relearn the application. Once you learn the new interface, the ribbon is clearly more elegant and now any new features can now be presented when appropriate.

I know where everything is in the current Linode Manager. Stepping into the sneak peek is painful, because:

  • It's unfamilar and weirdly different. We are all so used to how comfortable, simple, and powerful the existing UI is.

  • Large freaking fonts | weak colors | Removal of borders | Gravitar, really?

  • There is little new, why throw out the existing UI?

Presumably the idea was to freshen it up and make it more 2010 with regards to competitors. But Linode, we loved you for being smart, not for trying to look sexy. Keep your smart nerdy outfit; it looks good on you.

@Donovan:

@kangaby:

Why is it companies insist on changing perfectly good application interfaces that everyone has become used to, and can use with their eyes closed, for something, err, "better".

MS Office is the perfect example. The interface was relatively unchanged till 2007, after which you couldn't find a dammed thing. It hasn't been more productive for me, or most other people in our office.

Change for change sake. Yeah, that's what we need nore of.

Don't hold back, tell us what you really feel. :)

Office 2003 had a lot of functionality that was hidden behind various menus and sometimes in locations that did not make sense. New users to Office love the ribbon, those that had memorized where everything was located absolutely hated it because they had to relearn the application. Once you learn the new interface, the ribbon is clearly more elegant and now any new features can now be presented when appropriate.

Office is a bad example because all the old menu commands still work. If you had them memorized (like I do on a bunch), just type alt-whatever and it works just fine.

I haven't finded another way to subscribe the thread so I posted on it to do it :)

@sblantipodi:

I haven't finded another way to subscribe the thread so I posted on it to do it :)
Unless you've changed the theme, its the link directly below the reply button.

I was using a misconfigured screen at university, the other day, but I hadn't really noticed it until I loaded the beta linode manager. Because of the choice of colours, the tabs became completely invisible against the background, just because the balance of one of the colours was ever so slightly off.

@KHobbits:

@sblantipodi:

I haven't finded another way to subscribe the thread so I posted on it to do it :)
Unless you've changed the theme, its the link directly below the reply button.

I was using a misconfigured screen at university, the other day, but I hadn't really noticed it until I loaded the beta linode manager. Because of the choice of colours, the tabs became completely invisible against the background, just because the balance of one of the colours was ever so slightly off.

oops, thanks, I'm sorry for the OT.

Seems like it's changed quite a bit since I last looked at it, but I think I still prefer the old version. Not to keen on the layout of this new manager. Where's the Host Summary/Storage Summary, plus I feel it needs a smaller font and one of the things that I most dislike is grey text on a white background. The whole UI feels a bit wordpressy. Sorry guys for the hard work you put into it, but if it's not broke don't fix it.

By and large I can't say I'm overly impressed with the new look but I guess I don't hate it either. Which may be the best sort of response expected when changing the look of something everyone has become so accustomed to.

I do think that a control-panel situation is permitted (and to me, even desired) to be "dense", whereas I think the redesign is going a bit the other way. Even on a large screen stuff I used to see right away now requires scrolling. And information previously right on the main dashboard screen now requires clicking to secondary screens. I wish a redesign had chosen a more dynamic layout that could use all available width, but grant that doing so cleanly can be tricky.

I do definitely appreciate that it appears you can finally have pages open against more than one Linode simultaneously. And little touches like being able to group Linodes beneath a group name is nice. The display group setting seems to bleed into the old panel display, though I can't see any way to actually change it there.

Interestingly I do find myself missing the current month CPU average usage from the old dashboard more than is probably reasonable. There appears to be no direct replacement; the dashboard graph is one day, and the detailed graphs (an extra click away) are missing a "current month" option - just has "last 30 days". I suppose an argument could be made that current month is less useful early in the month, but personally I'd leave both choices in there, and put some information on a longer period back up in the main dashboard display.

It also appears that we've lost the ability to observe more job information than just the last 3 or so. Some actions (migrations) enqueue many more jobs than that, and I know I always used to expand the job listing in those cases - sometimes after completion to gauge performance of the migration.

– David

I am big fan of Linode. But sorry, I do not want this. By all means, add features or make changes to the existing interface. But changing the whole thing doesn't make sense. Maybe I'm missing the point though. Linode, what problem are you trying to solve?

The one where people don't understand how bandwidth is pooled (solved by only showing bandwidth usage on the page with the list of Linodes).

The one where people try to boot multiple config profiles at the same time. Where the interface wasn't consistent across the manager. Where the code was ancient, bolted onto year after year, and was difficult to maintain - making it hard for us to push out new features that we have planned…

@caker:

making it hard for us to push out new features that we have planned…

See, why you gotta go and do that. where's the drooling smiley?

I just noticed that the new manager seems to have lost the ability to view older support tickets, not just recent ones. Is that an oversight or a feature actually being removed?

– David

Find ten differences haha :P :

http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/4016 … rences.png">http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/4016/tendiferences.png

@db3l:

I just noticed that the new manager seems to have lost the ability to view older support tickets, not just recent ones. Is that an oversight or a feature actually being removed?

– David

"Show All Tickets" link, located under the "Recently Closed Tickets" table

Or add ?Last30DaysOnly=false to the URL

@mwalling:

"Show All Tickets" link, located under the "Recently Closed Tickets" table

Or add ?Last30DaysOnly=false to the URL
Yeah, that's what I meant I'm missing - I don't have a "Show All Tickets" link on the default support screen for the new manager. I do in the old manager.

Adding the suffix query parameter does show them in either, and ironically the "Show All" link then shows up in the new manager (when it's no longer needed).

Probably just a small buglet somewhere in choosing when to display the link.

– David

whoa, so just as i thought everything was looking good the gradient banner returned… ouch…

I can't believe there's so much criticism of the appearance here…

The Linode Manager has not changed in appearance for the entire 6 years I've been a customer. It's needed a face-lift for a while now.

There's nothing wrong with the fonts at all. The important, dynamic information is much more visible now, and the smaller fonts taking up less space now is just the stuff that you'll look at the first few times you login just to remember where it is, then you'll completely ignore it just like how many people who have logged in recently still never actually noticed the new manager beta on the right of the login page. This is something you will completely forget you were complaining about within a few months of launching the new manager. There might still need to be a few small tweaks here and there, but this is far better than the old manager.

The best part of the new design that I like is that it's all finally been freed from the ridiculous section and table borders and the millions of table header gradients. It no longer feels constrained and cluttered.

Digging the disk image table and settings deeper below the dashboard was a good move. Who actually makes changes to their disk images so often that it needs to be on the front page there?

The revamped Console/Network pages into the Remote Access page is great! Much cleaner.

Also, I love the new Graphs page. Much more detailed for the graphs I care about the most. They might be the graphs on a sub-page in the Linode Manager, but they still are my main graphs I care about (my sub-graphs are managed on my linode with Munin).

And I can't really put my finger on exactly why this is, but the top level menus just flow better overall. I think it might have something to do with the main menu now being black, and the submenu being light. Probably because the main menu active tab color is now actually the main page background, and the submenu is only the fixed width.

As for complaints…

31B96E really is a bad choice for the remaining colored headers. The teal color doesn't mesh with the Linode green colors we're used to, too much blue in there.

And this last point is more of a suggestion…

Now that the sidebar on the Dashboard is much shorter, and the bottom of the Job Queue section almost lines up perfectly with the bottom of the sidebar (assuming you have at least 4 actual jobs entered into your linode at some point in the past), I really think you should just make the graphs on the Dashboard clear the sidebar along with the job queue, and make them the same size as on the new Graphs page. The space below the sidebar now just seems wasted.

Currently, the DNS manager shows the "last generated" info on the front page and not only "last modified". It'd be nice to have that on the Beta manager as well.

Well, "last generated" is just last modified rounded up to nearest 1/4th of a hour plus tiny 0-3 minutes delay… and isn't really much useful.

@rsk:

Well, "last generated" is just last modified rounded up to nearest 1/4th of a hour plus tiny 0-3 minutes delay… and isn't really much useful.

While that is true, it is still nice to see. Especially for people who don't know (or remember) that zones are only regenerated every 15 minutes.

@Dianoga:

@rsk:

Well, "last generated" is just last modified rounded up to nearest 1/4th of a hour plus tiny 0-3 minutes delay… and isn't really much useful.

While that is true, it is still nice to see. Especially for people who don't know (or remember) that zones are only regenerated every 15 minutes.

Exactly my point. I can figure out myself when it got updated but I'd rather have Linode tell me.

The DNS Manager domain view page has a bug. The old version has trimmed down versions of very long records (showing '…' after the trimmed string)

This new beta shows the full record value and may break the layout if the record is very long (for example DKIM records)

In general, I have to say it's getting more and more usable.

Fonts look mostly good, the whole seems to be made wider than when I originally complained (even if it didn't change in reality), most of the functionality is there…

As of today, all I could complain about is the fact that job queue view still limited to most recent 4.

Besides that, there just two visual comments… first, the icon next to disk images looks kinda weird there, as no other thing in the manager has icons… second, the gravatars.

Not only they do feel unprofessional (IMO), they ARE kind of a privacy leak - gravatar.com now knows that someone with the email address has a linode manager account. Bah, they even know what domains he opened in the dns manager, thanks to the referrer header. Please, consider removing those.

@kg1866:

Linode, what problem are you trying to solve?

The one where people get confused about which IP is theirs and open tickets when they can't ssh to [email protected], the one where people need to read a library article to start up the rescue image, the one where you can't look at more than one linode at a time, the one where there's a lot of pre-Xen vestigial stuff (host load, anyone?)…

There's more than a few problems with the current dashboard, that's for sure.

@ericholtman:

I really liked seeing that in the old version… how much of one host cpu you were using, plus how loaded your host server was.

If it makes you feel better, the host-load bar graph has been irrelevant for a number of years now.

Also, the % average CPU is available on the Graphs tab; the first graph in the default view (last 30 days) effectively has that number.

p.s. has anyone mentioned the Rescue tab yet? ;-)

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