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Improving Image Manager with Real User Feedback

Steve Krug, a well-known user experience professional, has been quoted on many occasions for saying, "Don't make me think." It's true that users shouldn't have to puzzle around to find what they're looking for or to complete a task. Product usability is equally important to fancy features and technical capabilities because unused products eventually become shelf-ware. Rather than having users adapt to what we think their behavior should be, solution providers need to wrap the User Interface (UI) around user behavior. That's what we've done with Image Manager. We're taking real user feedback from design to release, then post-release, because 1. We realize we're not the average user and will make design flaws along the way, and 2. There's always room for iterative usability improvements at every stage of development.

Image Manager is a tool that automatically optimizes images and videos for the best combination of size, quality, and format tailored for each end user and device. Users link one pristine image or video and Image Manager does the rest. At its core, it's designed for simplicity - offload complex image transformation and delivery workflows to the Akamai Edge. And while users can leverage out-of-the-box default settings, they can also choose to configure advanced custom rules through the Policy Editor UI. In the interest of extending simplicity from the backend to the frontend, improvements were made to the Policy Editor that include an enhanced auto-refreshing preview pane, intuitive rules ordering, movable panes, and a whole new layout.

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Figure 1: Policy Editor UI

Image Manager customers also expressed the need to monitor, fine-tune, and easily present data to executive and business stakeholders. We took this feedback to heart and created new reporting dashboards designed to show both granular and aggregate byte savings, insight into utilization, and overall product efficacy. These dashboards help bridge the gap between IT and business stakeholders with key metrics that baseline for context, map digital assets to business impact, and influence behavior with accountability and ownership; and of course, these dashboards will continue to evolve over time with additional testing and user feedback.

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Figure 2: Reporting Dashboard

The goal of these user-centered enhancements was to increase use and customer loyalty with meaningful changes that improve overall efficiency and satisfaction. The latest Policy Editor UI and reporting dashboards take Image Manager from 'automated and intelligent' to include 'easy-to-use'. To learn more about Image Manager and how image and video optimization can help power your digital experiences, register for a complimentary Image Weight Impact Report today.

Charles Choe is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Akamai Technologies.

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