The Newest New Relic: Learn about Our New UI

As New Relic continues to grow its functionality and product suite, we work hard to expose these new features to our customers in a consistent and intuitive manner. We are pleased to announce that in addition to our launch of Key Transactions, we have also included a redesigned, simplified user experience.

As we grow, our biggest challenge is how to add functionality to New Relic without increasing complexity. When considering new design ideas, we must strike a careful balance between “pushing the envelope” and maintaining familiarity and consistency for our customers. We also strive to help our newest customers introduce themselves to the product, while not getting in the way of experienced users who use New Relic every day.

Many of the changes we made are based on direct feedback from customers and usability testing we did over the last few months. We also made some choices to accommodate features yet to come!

New New Relic navigation

Figure 1

So, What’s Different?
Our first order of business was to improve the interaction of the navigation menu. In the previous navigation menu some users found it difficult to know which section of New Relic they were in due to the amount and organization of the menu items.

We’ve made things clearer in our new interface. The top level products menu has been moved to a left vertical navigation (these appear as a narrow strip of icons if you are inside of an app).  This makes it easy to switch between areas, such as Applications, Servers, Key Transactions and Custom Dashboards throughout the entire New Relic application. And once you’ve navigated within a product area, such as when you have selected a specific application under Applications, a double row horizontal navigation menu at the top of the screen presents all of the monitoring tasks or views for your app. (See Figure 1.)

Browser Monitoring
In our previous user interface for application monitoring, we had separate sections for Real User Monitoring (RUM) and App Server Monitoring, including separate overview screens for both. We’ve simplified this experience by combining elements of browser and app monitoring onto one overview screen. You can toggle visibility of browser monitoring (versus app monitoring only elements) by clicking on the app/browser toggle button above the main overview charts. Having both browser and app server data on the same screen provides a single place for you to get a high level end-to-end picture of your application health.

Toggle over main Overview charts

Figure 2

Web Transactions, Transaction Traces and Slow SQL
If you’re familiar with the previous New Relic interface, you might be asking yourself “Where did Transaction Traces go?” or “Where are my Slow SQL statements?”

Transaction Traces (both browser and application) are now integrated in the Web Transactions screen, while Slow SQL is now featured in the Database screen. Previously when exploring a Transaction Trace, users had to bounce between the Web Transactions screen and the actual transaction trace in the Diagnostics section to understand how the Transaction Trace related to the aggregate app performance.

We’ve improved this flow by keeping these features tightly bound in the user interface. Now you’ll find a table of your recent Transaction Traces on the Web Transactions screen. You also have immediate access to Transaction Traces (both browser and app) of a specific web transaction once you have selected the specific transaction from the list of web transactions on the left. (See Figure 3.)

You can easily switch between browser and app data for your web transactions by using the same toggle we’ve introduced on the Application Overview screen, or by clicking on the App performance or Browser performance tabs on a drilldown panel for a specific web transaction. When the browser segment of your web transactions is enabled, the individual web transaction bars show you the total request response time including backend app server time (blue) and frontend browser time (yellow).

Web Transactions screenshotFigure 3

We’ve used this same interaction for Slow SQL from the Database screen. There is an app level list of Slow SQL statements on the default Database screen and after you’ve selected a SQL statement from the list on the left you have access to related Slow SQL statements for that specific query.

With these changes we’ve been able to greatly improve usability by decreasing the number clicks and page loads required to diagnose and troubleshoot complex web apps. Most, if not all, of your transaction level monitoring and troubleshooting now occurs from within the Web Transaction screen.

Most monitoring related screens are accessible from the Monitoring tab or a newly introduced Events tab that contains screens for Alerts, Errors and Deployments.

Simple, Consolidated and Faster Tuning
The simplified and consolidated user interface and navigation structure makes using features like Browser Monitoring, Transaction Traces and Slow SQL more efficient and easier to use. You’ll be diagnosing and fixing app performance problems faster, with fewer steps than ever before!

As always, we welcome and appreciate your valuable feedback. We’ll continue to make improvements to your New Relic experience!

Watch this webinar to see the new UI in action:'

As Director of UX Design at New Relic, Etan Lightstone oversees a team of talented designers, leads the user experience design strategy, and on occasion gets the opportunity to contribute to the product codebase. Etan has a special interest in data visualization and analysis, as well as surfing, guitar, and photography. View posts by .

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