What Happens in the Phone Booth? The Story Behind Our Costume Change
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.