UX feedback -- Reporting

UX evaluated the reporting feature demonstrated at https://bluejeans.com/playback/s/d345SPzgrbPqsZL20wPVQ7YSG2EK0NlPYeKW9Q7JF4CJRMmqKCqTEAu6HVg4ZSFr
and created a set of feedback, organized into the following categories:

  • Design solution included
  • Usability issues identified
  • Patternfly issues identified

Our feedback includes comments on:

  • Viewing default reports
  • Creating a report
  • Finding created reports


Design Solution Included

Issue 1: Not sure where to create a report/find a report or what the difference between the first two accordions is: Saved Reports, Reports.
31 PM


  • If the Saved Reports accordion can only contain one type of content (i.e., one parent node), eliminate the parent node and list the customer reports directly underneath.
  • Rename “Reports to “Report Templates.” The word template provides an invitation to create a report.


Issue 2: Empty accordion control appears where it shouldn’t. Also, when I navigated away and back to this section, the tree that I had opened was closed.


Suggestion: Remove empty accordion. If we continue to persist the last section visited when navigating, Reports tree should be expanded (or be in whatever state it was when I left the section).


Issue 3: Pie chart legend is hard to read/map to slices.

Suggestion: If possible, move the legend to the right of the pie chart, as shown in PatternFly: http://www.patternfly.org/pattern-library/data-visualization/pie-chart/#/pie-chart-with-right-legend.


Usability Issues Identified

Issue 4: Creating a new report is challenging. Locating a report you created is challenging. E.g.,

  • Add new report appears under the button “Configuration.”
  • Why is previewing a new report the last tab that appears? Do customers have to change the inputs there? If I do choose to change the defaults, what do these choices mean and how do they change the report?
    • E.g., Consolidation tab…what does this mean. What is a “menu name”? What does group records by up to 3 columns mean? What is the outcome?
    • What does the filter tab do? Filters what? How is this different than choosing fields in the consolidation tab?
    • How do I know where my report will be saved – RBAC access changes where it appears?
    • Change available fields to column choices or something like that? Need better titles for shuttle selector.
    • “Base the report on” – why is there an asterisk?
  • Which choices are dependent on other choices?

Suggestion: Reporting needs a new design.

  • UX should work with Product Management and Development to understand reporting use cases and personas of those who create them. With that information, UX should create design proposals for addressing primary use cases and the needs of target personas.

  • UX should consider a wizard format for non-advanced personas. The wizard could show what’s standard and what’s optional editable and even advanced? Preview should be an action button


Issue 5: There could potentially be many reports/templates in each tree. How does a user find a particular report?

Suggestion: UX and Development should investigate search and filter capabilities.


Issue 6: Cannot modify default reports, but there’s no visual indication that these are locked.

Suggestion: UX to investigate and get back to the team.


Issue 7: Why is the page title here “Custom Reports” when Virtual Machines is the node selected and the accordion section is called “Reports”?

Suggestion: UX and Dev should investigate descriptive/clear naming conventions for Reporting.


Issue 8: There’s no setting to automatically delete reports at a specified threshold (eg, if they are taking up too much storage space). User has to manually delete them.

Suggestion: Provide this capability to users. Work with UX to design.


Issue 9: In saved report, what are these irregular rows? They look like repeats of the content in the Name cell above it.


Suggestion: UX and Dev should investigate better report format options.


Patternfly issues identified

Issue 10: In the Add Report tabbed pages, some drop down controls have many many entries. Do we have a limit # of items in the drop down? These are typically hard for users to manipulate.

Suggestion: UX should investigate.

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My inputs and suggestions on reports:

  1. Perhaps move/allow access to the reports in each provider space.
    What I mean is - right now all users go to one place with all the reports. Most of the reports are irrelevant for users if they have only provider of type X, and so even running them will bring empty data if no providers of relevant type are defined. (so if a middleware user is not interested in containers or virtual machines reports, or don’t have any container/vm data, they still get a huge list of all the reports). What I suggest is, in the middleware provider UI, allow access only to middleware reports, similar to specific dashboard/topology that is present in the provider’s UI, not in a central place for all.
  2. The reports/add new/copy options are indeed confusing. I agree with all the suggestions above.
  3. The “configuration” drop down menu for reports is not intuitive, the menu options should be renamed to something more clear.
  4. Might be relevant for other places too, not only reports - I find right click menu options (when standing on a report/other entity) much more convenient than selecting an entity, navigating to upper toolbar for a drop down menu, then navigating down, selecting another entity, navigating up to the toolbar again, etc.

I’d also add that finding what you think is the correct field can be a challenge.

  1. There’s no search field so your stuck with scrolling though 1000’s of items
  2. When you do find what you think is the right field 7/10 it isn’t and it’s another field.

There needs to be a search field with a discription hover over for each possible field that your adding. I can provide examples if needed

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Appreciate it! Will be finding out more re: next steps on this. Will reach out then for sure.

random nitpicks on reports tree structure:

  • The “Configuration Management” name is confusing. I wouldn’t expect VMs, Hosts, Containers etc under “Configuration Management”…
    It’s doubly confusing since MIQ UI has a Configuration -> Management area for Foreman!
    Perhaps it should simply be “Compute”?

  • “Configuration Management” -> “Providers” and the reports under it:
    Unclear what types of Provider these cover/exclude.
    Eg. “Monthly Host Count per Provider” report filter excludes CloudManager and ContainerManager but you couldn’t guess that from its place & name.

If you don’t know where to find a report, it’s hard to scan the whole tree.
It’s pretty large (140 reports ootb.), starts all closed, takes like 40 clicks to fully expand…
=> Search within reports could be useful. And just starting out expanded could mitigate this.

(screenshot taken on master)


I also submitted a few UI RFEs in the past.

Top level/home page search box enhancement is most important, IMO. Busy admin just want to login and search a hostname quickly.

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