Earlier this year, our team released the redesigned MediaTemple.net, our first major site redesign in more than five years. We shifted the focus away from our servers and data centers, and toward our customers and employees — the people that make this company so special. This was the first of several phases in a larger redesign effort. As promised, phase two is a redesign of the Media Temple Account Center.
Since its debut a dozen years ago, Media Temple’s Account Center has grown from a modest control panel to a full-fledged admin portal with more than 450 individual pages. But, while its features and options have stayed up to date, its design and development framework have not. We were tempted to scrap the whole thing and start over, but two things persuaded us to limit our scope. First, there was no real need to approach the project as “all or nothing.” After all, a modern, responsive, editable framework would make any future workflow improvements much easier to implement. Second, we didn’t want to derail our customers’ productivity with a complete ground-up redesign. We know how many people rely on the Account Center as a critical tool to run their businesses. So we looked carefully at how our customers, many of whom have been with us for years, actually use the Account Center. We decided to make these much-needed design and back-end improvements without forcing any major workflow changes on our customers.
Even so, we know that any kind of change can be challenging. And we’ve definitely made a big visual shift away from the current design aesthetic, aligning the Account Center with our clearer, simpler MediaTemple.net experience. For example, the Control Panel pages previously contained 20+ icons for individual actions. Now, instead of showing five different icons for different email tasks, we combined them into a larger Email Management section and moved it into the side rail. In place of the “comedy/tragedy mask” icon that used to symbolize email aliases, you’ll now find a text-based list of actions. We were happy to hear, during our closed beta, that this improvement was one of the things our users appreciated most.
Based on advice and feedback from our customers, we’ve simplified our Add a Contact and Add Email User pages considerably. We’ve cleaned up our Support Center and Billing pages, removed banner ads from the Overviews page, and moved the Add Service page out of the Domains drop-down and into the main navigation. All these interface and user experience tweaks probably won’t change your life, but they should make using the Account Center more pleasant.
So what’s next? First, we’ll continue to listen closely to our customers, our support agents and employees (who are all Account Center users themselves) about what’s working and what needs more work. We’ll also review feedback and user statistics to see where to start with workflow improvements. We have a long list of targets already, including the File Manager, DNS Zone Management, and plenty more. We’re also working on making it possible to log into all of your Media Temple accounts with one username and password, eliminating the need for a primary domain at login.
In the meantime, the redesigned Account Center will be active as an open beta while everyone gets used to the new look. Please log in and hit the SWITCH TO NEW AC button at the top of your Account Center to get started. Our work philosophy is all about designing and iterating out in the open, so please take a moment to use the Give Feedback link at the top of your Account Center and tell us what you think. We want to hear from you.