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Blog Events

User Experience Testing at re:Invent to Drive Log Management Forward

By Nick Cawthon 07 Nov 2014

One of the practices that we preach here at Loggly is a constant cycle of feedback for our Product and Design teams: Feedback that is ongoing to inform the next generation of the world’s most popular cloud-based log management solution. Every time there’ s a conference, we try to offer an open forum to any customer or attendee who wants to sit down and provide feedback. We know our product certainly has room to grow, and hearing from customers keeps us focused on the areas that will have the most meaningful impact.

One reason we recruit participants directly from conference floors is because it gives us the most streamlined way to target our busy users: the Developers, SysAdmins and DevOps people who gain the most value out of Loggly’s log management solution. I always take a few hours before any event and see who on the social media sites is excited about meeting other people. Then I offer motivation to come and visit me at the booth for a one-on-one.

Past Lessons Learned About Customer Experience Testing at a Conference

We often pose rhetorical questions to users as they poke around our interface – often seeing Loggly for the first time. Even subtle notions like mouse actions, eye-movement or verbal cues are noted. After asking a dozen times (often more), trends start to reveal themselves on what we think of as common tasks, such as setting up an alert or creating a dashboard widget.

The two areas mentioned above, specifically, were takeaways from past conference sessions:

  1. We found that the participants had little concept of the relationship between Saved Searches and Alerts, and that our previous flow of having to create one before the other was flawed. Now, with today’s Loggly, you’re able to create an Alert from whatever your existing results page displays, saving the user a step and making the process more efficient.
  2. We also have seen that when having a field in mind from which the user wants to create a widget (say, a Pie Chart), they’re not instinctually drawn to the Trends / Charts tab. Instead, the user first wants to find the listing of that field in the left-hand navigation and take actions from there. With the old left-hand navigation, that was never a possibility, as our understanding of that component’s purpose was completely different.

However, we’re building upon the much-praised release of Loggly Dynamic Field Explorer and extending it further with field-specific actions. In an upcoming release, as you’re viewing your list of values, you’ll be able to initiate charts and timelines from within the second column displaying a value list. In doing so, we’re saving the user several clicks and again streamlining their log monitoring process.

Our Goals for Next Week’s Customer Experience Sessions

AWS re:Invent is going to give us an amazing opportunity to do more investigation into how we can bring more simplicity to the often complex task of finding insight within one’s own log data by giving users easier ways for users to visualize log data and navigate through it. After discussing the best way to get users up and running (something we’re constantly trying to improve on), we’ll be going through Loggly Dynamic Field Explorer in more detail with participants who haven’t yet experienced it, as well as seek any tips for refinement from existing customers who have been using it since it launched or during its beta period.

If you have interest in booking a 30-minute usability study with me in the Exposition Hall in between sessions on Tuesday or Wednesday, follow this link and grab an open slot on my calendar. We offer compensation for your time in the form of Amazon gift cards – of course!!

Happy Logging, and I’ll see you next week!


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Nick Cawthon

Nick Cawthon