Delighting Users With Addition Through Subtraction

We all know that first-class UX is about delighting users. As designers and developers, we usually think about what we can ADD to our interfaces to wow our customers: responsive layouts, spinning widgets, and lightning-fast load times probably top the list of ‘must haves’ for a UI to be considered ‘modern.’ What we don’t usually consider is what we should SUBTRACT from our applications to make the user experience a great one. This article is a quick run through of how we improved an unpleasant user experience by removing cumbersome steps and unnecessary clicks followed by a slightly deeper dive on the technical steps we took to do it.
The Problem
At DataPortfolio, we build tools that help DevOps do more with less. One module of our product monitors the progress of batch workloads; series of actions with inputs and outputs that combine to accomplish a larger task. We call each of those actions a ‘stage’ of a ‘pipeline,’ and stages within a pipeline can be arranged in a Directed Acyclic Graph.