Design decisions – User Interface | Khaos Control Cloud

Hello and welcome, to this, my first post on the development of Khaos Cloud. Let us start by saying how very excited about Khaos Cloud myself and the whole team are and how we are looking forward to bringing you news of our new Cloud ERP solution's development as it happens.

In these posts, I would like to talk about some of the core features of Khaos Cloud and some of the design decisions we have taken to ensure the end user experience is world class (and, of course, totally awesome – sorry we could not resist, we did say we were excited!!).

So what is Khaos Cloud?

Well, essentially it’s an ERP system with a web client interface.

In the past having a web interface to an ERP solution has been hard to do (well, hard to do properly!), because of limitations in the browser with regards to user interface options and functionality. These days that is no longer true as modern browsers offer much richer feature sets, which make writing a truly interactive and intuitive interface a reality. Being web based Khaos Cloud will of course be available from anywhere in the world, making accessing your business data that much easier.

So, in this first post, we’d like to explore the UI (user interface) and how we got to where we currently are and what’s left to do.

What we hope you can see from the below (work in progress) screen shot, the UI design and the users’ experience is something we are taking very seriously.

UI Design

When designing the framework for the UI we wanted it to have the following attributes:

  1. Accessible

  2. Mouse and keyboard friendly

  3. Pleasing to the eye

  4. Fast

  5. Responsive

You May Have Heard of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

CSS is great to work with these days, making it much easier to create development UIs that react in a fluid way.

With CSS it is possible to implement some cool styling and make use of transitioning effects. This allows for things like fading, animation and scrolling, making for a more powerful user experience. Five years ago, if we were having to code for tab sheets, popup dialogs and interactive effects, then it would have been nigh on impossible to achieve. Now, however, we have been able to write a UI that users will actually want to use! Plus, for those that like to configure their own colours (we know you exist!) there will be a host of options available for theming your UI design just to way you like it.

It was mentioned above that we have kept in mind that many users prefer the use of keyboard than mouse.

This is especially true of a system that will be used as part of people’s jobs; for example, a telesales operative taking sales orders, will soon want to stop reaching for the mouse for every action and want to instead increase their own efficiency by using the keyboard to lookup stock items, change quantities and prices, etc. We know from our existing experience in ERP systems that there are some ultra-fast users out there and they all use keyboard short-cuts! But of course this is 2015, so the mouse needs to be just as powerful, because mouse clicks on a desktop become finger touches on a tablet device! We are going to be making sure that our device UIs include touch and swipe control mechanisms too. So no matter the device, the UI is being designed in a way that makes it easy for you to control your business data and stay on top of those many orders!

We Stated That We Want Our UI Design Will Be Fast

This is being achieved by careful use of HTML.

If a web page is slow it’s usually because of the mechanism used to fetch and display HTML files. We are making sure our HTML is as efficient and compact as possible, making loading times very fast. Our designs will all be fully responsive which means the pages will auto scale to smaller screens automatically. Likewise when someone zooms into our pages, for a larger desktop view, then the UI will auto-scale as required, as per this screenshot.

UI Design - Khaos Control Cloud

We still have work to do on the UI, so the innovation will be continuing, but we’ve already made a healthy start and are confident we are 80% there with the core UI design mechanics.

So, with Khaos Cloud on its way, we hope you’ll check back to see what progress we’ve made in the coming weeks. Until then please do sign-up for a free demo.

Please Note: This article was edited on 21/02/2018 to reflect Khaos Control Cloud's updated process re: trials.


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