Squirro announces new user interface in Birch 2.5.0 Beta

July 3, 2017

At Squirro we know that an intuitive user experience is crucial for your customers and users to drive value from complex data environments. Over the past 2 years our team has identified what is important to you and we are delighted to introduce you to the new user interface, released in Birch 2.5.0 Beta.

This release is a groundbreaking step forward in how you engage with data, personalise your experience and collaborate with your teams. With this and further 2.5.x “Birch” branch releases, we’re taking Squirro to the next level.

Introducing a new design language

With 2.5.0 Birch Beta, we’ve introduced a design language to Squirro based on Google’s Material Design. The results speak for themselves – a cleaner, clearer and more intuitive user interface. Material Design also provides us with a foundation for the future to ensure we have a consistent experience as Squirro evolves. We’re sure you’ll love it!

A clean look

Material Design emphasises minimalism as a design goal. A clean and simple look. Generous use of whitespace and a reduction in “information overload” to avoid cramming too much on screen. You’ll notice we’ve applied this in Squirro 2.5.0 in the following places…

Beautiful, simplified layout

We restyled UI components laid out with enough white space to offer you relaxed experience while using the product. App bar, lists, tables, forms and all other components have enough breathing space around themselves.

Easier on the Eye

We’ve done a number of things to make it easier to read content in Squirro. We’ve introduced Roboto – a new font typeface – with many styles that allow us to better highlight and contrast words in the content, making it easier to read overall, especially on mobile devices. We’ve introduced more subtle grey shading of the content that makes it easier to see which items are new and which you’ve already read. We’ve also improved the tag styling to make them clearer and more visible.

Intuitive icons and actions

We’ve added a new set of geometrical icons with a consistent look and feel that help make Squirro more intuitive to use. In addition, we’ve used outline icons to reduce the feeling of “visual heaviness” and placed a “floating action button” clearly and visibly throughout the app.

A unique identity

We’ve applied just the right amount of Squirro-orange across tabs, floating buttons and loaders to make sure Squirro stands out on the desktop without being too loud.

It’s alive

By adopting Material Design CSS3 animations and motions we’ve been able to make the whole application come alive with subtle transformations, ripples, and ease outs, all of which help make this user interface more pleasurable and intuitive.

An intuitive user experience

When it comes to the experience of using the product, we’ve painstakingly reviewed everything we’ve learned from working with Squirro customers over the last two years and used that understanding to review every element of the product. We believe we’re making a groundbreaking step forward in offering a user experience with clean and intuitive interaction patterns. Some things you will notice…

Organised by role

To make it easier to find the features you need, we’ve organised features into what we call “Squirro Spaces”. The first space – Dashboards – is where you can access graphs and visualisations you’ve created and easily share them with others. The second space – Setup – allows you direct access to Explore your project data as well as guiding you through the Squirro workflow, from loading data all the way through to visualising the results. The third space – Server – allows you to administer your Squirro instance managing which users and groups get access to which projects.

Birch 2.5.0 - All Spaces

Clear navigation

We’ve made it easier for you to find your way around Squirro. The app bar at the top helps you navigate between different projects, spaces and to user profile and settings. Below the app bar is the nav bar, which helps you move around within a chosen space. As you drill down within a space, “breadcrumbs” appear on the navigation bar to help you track your path back and the “floating action button” helps you focus when adding and editing entities. Overall we’ve laid out information in hierarchical order making navigation and browsing easy.

Birch 2.5.0 - Entity Load

Fits better to your screen

By aligning content centrally in the Setup space, we’re able to offer a better experience on all screen sizes. Tables and the forms have a maximum width that ensures they remain usable on really big screens.

Quick access to Trends and Smart Filters

We’ve organised trends and Smart Filters so they’re easy to find and edit inside the Setup space.

Birch 2.5.0 - All Tabs

Easier to Explore

When exploring data in your project, alongside Facets, Smart Filters and Favorites (previously called Saved Searches), we have a new section called Trends to make them easy to access in a search context. We’ve made applying these features to your search more intuitive and easier to control with checkboxes and cleaned up by restyling the facet list and fly-out. As you apply filters they are now “collected” on top of the filter panel, making it easy to adjust which filters are in play or remove them all at once.

Birch 2.5.0 - Explore

Friendlier Dashboard Editing

When you enter dashboard editing mode, you’ll find we’ve reduced the “visual noise” by hiding all features apart from the editor tools. Together with the navigation bar, this makes it easy to quickly jump in and out of editing mode. We’ve adjusted the colour scheme to help you focus on the dashboard itself and what will be shared with its end users. Widgets themselves are now packed into “Cards” making it easier to understand which information belongs to which widgets and bold titles on the widgets help draw the user’s attention to more important information.

Birch 2.5.0 - Dashboard

Wonderful Widgets

We’ve also brought many elements of the new design to our library of widgets, such as ensuring the different modes of widgets employ the same style, applying consistent design across the “Reset” widget and the filters in the Explore screen and applying an attractive new style to the bookmark and time selection widgets.


In Summary

Overall we believe design is a differentiator especially when it comes to enterprise software, where it often takes a back stage to other priorities. We want our customers and users to love the experience of working with Squirro – great design is an integral part of delivering actionable insights.

You can get more information about the new design as well as other new features released in Squirro 2.5.0 – Birch – by visiting https://squirro.atlassian.net/wiki/display/DOC/Squirro+2.5.0+-+Birch+-+Release+Notes

Why we codenamed the release Birch?
Imagine the Squirro hopping across from an aspen to a birch which means there are some new acorns to be discovered…

Try the new interface now, click here


And finally…

A big thanks to Shivani – our lead designer – and Wiktor – our lead frontend engineer – for doing an amazing job in pulling off this redesign. They’ve worked tireless for many weeks to make it happen. Congratulations!

Shivani Visen Wiktor Starczewski