Since the beginning of time (1998), the entire team here at PaperCut has worked hard to continually improve the software with every release. Version 17.0, our first major release of 2017, brings in a fresh, new look for the PaperCut NG and MF admin interface by our UI design team, comprising of Senior UI Designer Mat Wiseman, Visual Product Designer Tom Beresford and Design Lead Jeremy Smith. We’re all very proud of the new design, and I would like to take you behind the scenes and explain the journey of how this all came about. First let’s check out the changes…
Fun Fact: The first release of the year always takes its name from the year it is released in!
It all started just over 12 months ago, with the birth of our first cloud-based product, PaperCut Views. When developing PaperCut Views, the goal was to ensure the solution was easy to use and modern, but also something that reflected PaperCut’s quirky nature. What the UI design team produced was an application with a look and feel that was different to anything that had been done before at PaperCut. The challenge was set for anyone to find a better looking software application…….
PaperCut Views provides printing insights for small businesses and home offices.
As CEO Chris Dance points out, “the reliance on mobile devices in everyday life has changed the way people view content and interact with software. People expect software applications to be intuitive, visually appealing and consistent with the way they use mobile technology. So at the top of our minds whenever we develop software, we naturally have our users, the SysAdmins, their users and the overall print experience. We are always trying to up the ante and deliver the latest in technology and push the boundaries of best practices in the industry. And importantly, we always try to be different. We are never satisfied doing what everyone else is doing, we want to do things the PaperCut way.”
After completing work on PaperCut Views, the attention moved to our core products PaperCut NG and MF, and working to apply those same design goals to them.
As Design Lead, Jeremy Smith explains, the team wanted to ensure the branding and illustration felt like part of the new software, rather than a separate afterthought. “It was a great collaborative process. We were really keen to inject some of our personality into the new design. So we used the illustration as a way to do that and we had a bit of fun with it too, hiding a number of PaperCut “stories” throughout. There is a big storytelling culture at PaperCut and I hope you’ll discover some of those hidden stories for yourself as you become more familiar with it. I think my favourite detail is the happy camper on the phone. He represents our brilliant support team who are second to none in our industry. They always have your back even when they are away camping for the weekend!”
Maybe taking our PaperCut name to the extreme, the approach in the conceptualization of the new look and feel is simply paper, cut into something that truly represents our direction and ambitions for 2017 and the future. Jeremy continues, “Our challenge was to capture our great stories in a way that complemented a beautiful user interface and the leading technology behind it. These colors, textures and concepts are set to bring a fresh experience that we are confident you will love. We’ll keep sharing more of the stories with you along the way. If you have a PaperCut story which you believe is a worthy inclusion, let us know and we’ll see if we can work it in.”
I hope this gives you an insight into how we’ve approached the change to the new design. The new user interface presents a more intuitive, streamlined and efficient user-experience and I think this is definitely THE best looking software application around. I’ll let you decide that for yourself.
For 17.0, PaperCut have focused on making it easy – easy for SysAdmins and easy for end users. From simple printing from BYOD and mobile devices to the latest in UI design, we’re making PaperCut as easy to use as child’s play.
The addition of PaperCut MF Integrated Scanning for Toshiba MFDs (MDS v3) and Epson Multifunction Devices makes it easy to configure and manage Scan Actions, allowing users to securely scan to authorized email and folder destinations. On Sharp and Kyocera MFDs (and others soon) we’ve added a new optional “Guest Access” button providing easy one-click access to the device under a guest user account. So…let’s get into the detail!
Mobility Print – Make mobile & BYOD printing simple again
As IT has shifted from managed desktops over to BYOD and mobile devices, a whole new set of complexities have appeared. Print environments in particular have felt this, with fragmented solutions needed to support all the different platforms and devices available. Wasn’t technology meant to make our lives “simpler”? That’s why we created Mobility Print! It takes a few clicks to set up, new printers are automatically published, and most importantly, no more support calls about finding print drivers or joining domains!
After brewing in the percolator (under the codename Project Banksia), release 17.0 lifts the curtain on Mobility Print. Building on our existing mobile and BYOD solutions, PaperCut is bringing the simplicity of print management back for SysAdmins – having the software do the heavy lifting so printing “just works” on any end-user device. We’re making it easy!
Mobility Print gives users the choice and freedom to print from whatever device is at their disposal, providing a native print experience across all platforms (iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Windows MacOS). Whether on smartphones, tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks, users can quickly discover and print to any published printer, meaning SysAdmins get more time “playing with infrastructure” rather than dealing with frustrated end users.
And of course, PaperCut will continue to support existing Mobile & BYOD options such as Web Print, iOS printing, Google Cloud Print and Email to Print, providing greater choice for SysAdmins and end users alike. This flexibility is especially helpful if you are encouraging BYOD at your workplace or implementing a 1-to-1 (1:1) laptop program at your school.
As we push ourselves to deliver the latest in technology, we always have SysAdmins, their users, and the overall experience at the top of our mind. Drawing on the latest UI designs and UX workflows, we have refreshed the interface of PaperCut NG and MF to present a more intuitive, clean, and fun new look.
A few changes you will notice straight away are the main navigation menu has moved to the left hand side and the Actions menu is now at the top right hand side. On a high resolution screen, you will be greeted with clearer icons and an actions menu that is always in sight, giving you a warm fuzzy feeling about that 5K screen you just bought. As an added bonus, you’ll now have time for an extra coffee or two with the ability to bookmark your commonly used pages and a quicker way to select or clear admin rights for users.
The refreshed Admin web interface is just one of the modern enhancements we will continue to deliver. With more room on the navigation menu, there is no limit to how many new features PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF can contain!
We’ll be sending out a couple of blogs over the coming weeks telling all the little stories behind the picture. Keep an eye on our blog!
Guest Access on Sharp and Kyocera using PaperCut MF
There are some times when you need to bend the rules! PaperCut MF now allows SysAdmins to easily enable a button on the device login screen authorizing anonymous user access to the device. This provides a quick and easy option for users and/or guests wanting to copy and scan on otherwise restricted devices without logging in or being charged. A nominated user account can be associated to the “Guest Access” button, allowing tracking of all copy, print and scan usage with device-specific and user account configuration.
Getting started on PaperCut NG has never been easier!
While PaperCut NG has one of the best documented products out there, our manual is over 1000 pages long – and we know no-one really likes to read through that many pages no matter how much you like techie stuff! We have developed Getting Started Guides for Windows users to get you up and running quicker! Tailored specifically for Education, Business, and Professional sectors, each guide provides the key information required for a standard install.
Have you heard the story about 150,000 printers being hijacked? Unfortunately, this one was not a joke as many offices discovered earlier this year (read more from the BBC in “Hacker briefly hijacks insecure printers”). Cases like these highlight the increasing importance of printing security – after all printing is a business critical function which handles sensitive information.
PaperCut’s heritage is in education, a tough security environment (students do like to hack!) and security has always been a core value. We’ve now pooled our security knowledge and lessons learnt over the past two decades to bring you a new white paper: Securing your Print System.
This paper provides practical and tested advice on how to secure your print system end-to-end from before a print job is printed, through securing the print workflow, to safeguarding your printed documents.
For the latest on PaperCut’s security, check out the PaperCut security knowledge base article.
To help you digest all the updates, we’ve detailed all features, enhancements and fixes, in the 17.0 Release Notes for PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF.
And of course, the “Fine Print”
If you have a current subscription to Premium Upgrade Assurance, your upgrade to Version 17.0 is already included. Otherwise, one-time upgrades may be purchased via our online order system or through your PaperCut supplier. And hey, added bonus – upgrading now will entitle you to all of the releases in the 17.x series throughout the year!
Before you get involved in your first ever Hackathon (an opportunity to step away from the day to day, be inspired, think big and collaborate with people you might not normally have the opportunity) you definitely have an idea of what it will be like… innovative, fun, memorable and AMAZING!! It’s no wonder I was excited to be involved in PaperCut’s own version, and first of its kind – Constructival 2016! Working in a team of such talented technical people though, I was still a little on the nervous side – what on earth could someone from the People & Culture team really do?
With a few weeks to go I buddied up with Tom, one of our user experience designers, to put together a video to capture the two days! All sorted. I would help with the concepts and documenting the video that was captured and Tom would do the videoing and editing! You can imagine my dismay as this sound proof plan started to crumble the day before when, regardless of how much he tried to troop through it was becoming evident the best place for him was to be wrapped up in blankets sleeping!
Before I’d even had a chance to come up with an alternative group to join, people were stepping up to help. First things first – an introduction to the camera: the on button, this is how you zoom, keep it steady like this and “this one here… that is record”. My first practise recording was in fact the kick off – and the glimmer of what the next few days would entail. Having a ball I ran around for the next two days with my camera, bumping my tri-pod into door frames, getting insight into what all the teams were doing from conceptualising to prototyping with lots of frustrations, smiles and laughs along the way.
Of course a video isn’t just the footage… but again, I wasn’t going to be left in the lurch and after a quick 101 course from the support team I was off on iMovie – choosing what clips to use, cutting shots, speeding up footage, adding sound and captions. Not only was I capturing PaperCut’s first ever Constructival I was also learning a whole lot of new things that I would never usually have had the opportunity to day to day. More importantly though I was beginning to understand what it feels like when you need to be brave, when you are operating outside of your comfort zone, when you let your imagination run wild and get creative.
It may not be a studio production quality feature film, nor will it be in the running for any notable awards in the film scene. It most definitely wouldn’t have been possible on my own or without everyone featured. But by goodness, if I can do this, just imagine what else is possible! Without further ado I present to you my project for Constructival 2016:
Keen to find out more about PaperCut’s first global Hackathon? Check out this blogall about Constructival and this one from the team that built a robot!