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Improved Anaplan Experience with new UX

Anaplan has recently introduced it's new UX after classic UX (User experience) which is aimed to provided best user experience for the users to view and edit data (note: although Classic UX is still available for use), resulting in improvement in productivity of a process/organization. App - This is a collection of related pages in the new UX which are focusing the businesses on priority. The end user is getting a chance to look into the planning at a glance without losing an hour, causing an imperative success to their business. With the upcoming intense business competition and a huge uncertainty created due to this pandemic, Covid-19, organizations want to rely more on streamlined business processes which can give result within a moment's notice. This has become the new normal. Hence Anaplan is also looking for an excellent user experience through KPIs and other highlighting factors at the click of a button through both desktop and mobile app. The target behind this approach is not to recreate the excel intuitive interface once again, but to show companies how they can plan more easily with their planning, which would be more user friendly and adds more value to the organization.

The best thing about apps content page is that it can contain multiple pages from different workspaces at the same time. Each page uses 1 workspace and 1 model. Anaplan automatically categories pages as Quick access panel (to scroll directly within the main panel), Most recent (recently accessed pages), Favorites, My Pages. The focus behind designing Anaplan new UX are:

  • Enabling connected planning - Here it is no longer limited to only one model at a time. Users can seamlessly work across multiple models at the same time across any workspaces if he has access.
  • It can perform well across different devices, responsive to device size across desktop & mobile with no extra configurations.
  • It offers best possible user experience, user can handle/edit data across models for planning.
  • It helps user to use fast and easier to handle, leverage end user customization.
  • It has variety of page types - board and worksheet, to analyze data in different ways.

Overview:

The new UX includes page role which is assigned by Tenant Administrator. Page builder is responsible for creating apps and pages & making page designs. He creates initial boards and worksheets for end users to use. Page builders can create a My Page and later it can be converted to App Page.

To work on Anaplan new user experience, one should have different roles accesses:

 

 Model Builder

Page Builder

End UserTenant Admin

Enabling My page in the Model

 

ü   

 

 

Building apps and pages

 

 

ü   

 

Customized Views

 

 

ü   

 

Building My Pages

 

 

ü   

ü   

Convert My Pages to an App

 

 

ü   

 

Manage Page access by Roles

 

 

ü   

 

Page View

 

ü   

ü   

ü   

Share/Export Pages

 

 

ü   

ü   

Page View Access on Mobile

 

ü   

ü   

ü   


How a Classic UX user can identify terminologies in new UX:

Classic UX User

New UX User

Comments

Model

Application

In new UX, different models from separate workspaces can be seen at the same place

Dashboards

Pages

 

Modules

Worksheets/Boards

 

Saved Views

Charts/Grids

 

Model Roles & Security - User roles, selective access and dynamic cell access

Model Roles & Security - User roles, selective access and dynamic cell access

Remains same

Functional Areas

Categories

Grouping of pages


New UX Terminology:

Navigation Bar - It makes the UX easier to locate to the other location, it can be found at the top of the app to navigate to other page/other app or return to the current page from the dropdown.

  1. Page - it is designed within new UX to access data from models. Any individual app page can be shared with anyone through sharing link icon via email. However, any personal page can't be shared with other. The page can be created in two ways. Either, it can be created as personal page which will exclusively available to the creator or, the page can be created for all available app users. After creating the page, different type of cards can be added like text/grid/chart/KPI/Image/Field/Actions.

Two types of Pages can be created through Create a Page from Landing page -

A. Board - This is used as traditional dashboard for performance management and reporting. End user can find high-level information and can navigate to more details. Each component from the board page is referred to as card. Users use context selectors to adjust/filter data which can be found from the top of the page.It allows to choose label and selector from card option, and gives option to page builders to select which are the items to show/hide.  User can also access KPIs which are designed to access key performance indicators at-a-glance. Another feature from Board is Grid Card which displays data from model and users can have access to edit/change the data, navigate to a linked page and view charts. And lastly Chart Card which helps to display different charts to ease data visualizations. Users can get the previous results by clicking on Reset options. It also helps users to visualize synchronized and hierarchically synced data across grids and cards. Editable text is purple in nature. Users can create a personal copy and also can find the source model from the right top corner of the app page. As an end user, import, export, process and forms can be created which can be launched from action card on a board or worksheet toolbar. End user(having page builder access) can design board by adding & configuring cards (Text/Grid/Chart/KPI/Image/Field), then adding actions(through import/export/process/forms), adjust context selectors, setting up hierarchy sync between grids and publish the changes that the card designer has done. Board layout has also been easier in terms of position by dragging the card and hover below/between to resize cards on the board. The board can have maximum 6 wide and 4 high in a row.

B. Worksheet: It's an interactive page for planning activities using detailed data. It helps to create links between data similar to Board. Context selector is also similar here like board. Main content area is similar like grid card which is also used to change or edit data by end users. Users can refresh, filter & search a grid. HE can export the view from here in .xlxs,.xls, .csv,.txt or .pdf format. Additional insights tab is used to navigate to different pages created from the model.

2. Card - This contains data and content components on a page.To Edit a card in the library, one can do it through renaming or edit from dropdown or make changes in color and card design. The page builder can also delete a card from the library. 

3. Forms - It is an action which allows end user to add list item, only a page builder access holder can create this form. It helps end users to submit data directly to the models.

Landing Page - It displays only those apps which the end user has access. Description sections are provided to add notes to brief about the app. In Quick access panel section, categories can be created with maximum 60 characters and unique in name. Create App option is present here to create an app with name and short description. End user can also Delete app and duplicate app or move page to another app. User can also restore a deleted app within 90 days from manage app section. Under this section, show models will show all the related models and pages here. My Pages are the personalized pages which can be created by end users if he has been given access by workspace admin. Users are facilitated to change one page or multiple pages from one model to other by changing workspace and model name, if it has the same structure.

All the definitions for the new UX can be found in the left bar under GLOSSARY tab. New UX offers end users to personalize the worksheet which an end user can use/modify to track the data. Users can also create My Page using existing views or cards and personalized contents which can be pushed to app as per requirement.

For Mobile Use:

Only primary view can be opened on a worksheet by default, quick links and additional insights are opened as needed. Worksheet grids can be optimized for landscape with adjustable column width and headings for mobile use. Context selectors are located at the bottom of the mobile view.

Advantage of Worksheets over Board for End users:

A. It provides additional insights panel which helps to understand and analyze data, it can be collapsible. Quick links which are related to the app helps to navigate to related page. User can open/expand/adjust secondary view , they can use click back arrow to return to the worksheet.

B. Worksheet toolbar helps user to check cell history, filter, sort, show/hide any column/row, launch available model actions. Configure Worksheet actions can be done through editing toolbar actions. It helps to create pivot from the customized view which can adjust dimensions shown in rows, columns and context selectors. Like Board, worksheet also helps to create import, export, processes and forms.

Restrict Page Access:

To restrict the page access, from the page options dropdown, select Restrict Access, then selected roles will have the access only to that page.

App Page Creation Approach:

  • Review user stories and existing dashboards to identify what are the new UX ideas that can be introduced and what should a page builder include in the page that can help end users to analyze better. 
  • Identify the existing data to create apps and also understand whether it should be suitable for board or worksheets based on the users and their roles in the organization.
  • Try to understand the wants of end users and what information should come to the dashboards, to decide what are the navigation links needed to synchronized between data. It will help page builders to prioritize what are the necessary information that the end user might need to access or view.
  • Based on the models and modules to be used in the new UX, what should be the best format(grid/chart/text/KPI/card) and whether the board or worksheet meet the criteria of the end users in a best possible way.
  • Page builder can also leverage end users to edit/change data according to the need of the models.
Board vs Worksheet Comparison:

Board

Worksheet

What should End user Access?

    *   

 

Review High Level KPIs

    *    

 

Review High Level Data

  *

 

Advanced formatting or charts

   *

       *

Compare data from multiple modules

 

        *

Review detailed data

   *

       *

Edit Data

 

        *

Filter Data

 

        *

Drill down to detailed area


Good Practices to follow in new UX:

  • Use Categories on App content page to differentiate between pages.
  • Write description to provide hints about model or what to do next - use tooltips and text cards.
  • Use Boards to get key metrics of any organization/department/business at-a-glance.
  • Use Worksheets to deal with big chunk of data, get detailed analysis with an option to edit.
  • Use editable grid and field cards for changing drivers and assumptions.

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