Loupe 4.0 Beta 2 - Feature Complete with new Dashboards, Wizards, and User Focus

We’ve just published the second beta of Loupe 4.0 - our next major release!  If you have your own private Loupe installation, feel free to read the release notes and download it.  If you’re using our Loupe SaaS you’ll need to wait a bit longer to give it a go, but read on for all of the good stuff we’ve got in store!  We’ve already covered a lot of new ground in Loupe 4.0 Beta 1- Expansive new Web UI, better Desktop and Server integration so go there first if you haven’t read it.  In the last two months we’ve been building on top of that with some big new features as well.

Central View of Everything - Your Loupe Dashboard

One key from our user interviews is that few people really knew how much Loupe could do.  Simply put, there were too few clues available to prompt people to drill in and uncover the good stuff.  With Loupe 4.0 we’ve doubled the amount of information available, so the problem would be magnified if we didn’t rethink our approach.  To address this, we’ve created a new default primary dashboard - Your Loupe.

Your Loupe Dashboard

Every significant feature of the web UI is at least teased in this new view.  We’ve modified the metrics shown for each application to emphasize reviewing events and issues.  Application Versions and Release Types show up with it showing the latest versions for each applications.  The top 5 latest events and sessions the system has received are highlighted, with links off to their details and a full list making it easy to see that data is arriving.

We’ve also pushed to move beyond grids to more useful card/strip forms to present data.  Grids are the data presentation easy button - and we’ve got a lot of them.  But, they have some real limits with how much data can be effectively presented in a small width.  With this new dashboard we’ve been refining an idea of breaking free of grids and laying out the data the best way we can.   The results are promising so we’ve started pushing these new forms into other areas of the app.  This isn’t the end of grids, but we will be narrowing where we fall back on them.

We use Loupe every day ourselves to support our customers, and we really love this new dashboard. Now we’re looking forward to everyone else’s feedback!

Haven’t stayed on Top of Things?  We’ve got your Back

Loupe has always been designed for the real world.  On one hand, it’s nice to think you’ll have time to thoughtfully review each unique error as they happen and calmly prioritize and assign relevant ones to your team to review.  Back in the world we all live in, that’s just not going to happen.  Maybe you inherited an application with a lot of problems, or this is the first time you’re digging into how it behaves in the real world.  Either way, when you drop into Loupe you might find a sea of errors you need to triage and that’s just no fun for anyone.

Application Event CleanupWith Loupe 4, we’ve added two cleanup wizards that let you safely and quickly triage all of the problems for an application and even quickly resolve a large number of issues when you ship a release.  These wizards work with the way Loupe will re-open problems when they occur again in newer versions and re-queue problems for triage to let you safely dispatch a large number of items with the confidence that the important ones will pop back up on their own.

It’s not as good as reviewing every item, but it works with the real world where not all problems are equally important.

Most of the time, it’s all about the User

While doing a user experience review with a Beta customer we got into a long discussion about what was most important - the number of sessions an event happened in, total occurrences, or perhaps computers affected.  As we dug into it, we saw that these were really just proxies for identifying the user.  If you knew how many users a problem affected you’d prioritize for that virtually every time.

In the past we didn’t feel we could accurately tag events back to users so we hadn’t given this avenue much consideration.  After talking it through with a customer we went back to the drawing board and worked it out.  The result is a transformation in how you can use Loupe, particularly for application support:

  • Search for a User: You can put in part of a user name and find the list of matching users.  Pick the best match to drill into
  • View Applications, Issues, Events, and Sessions by User: See what applications they’ve been running, any recent problems and an overview of their recent activity
  • Prioritize by Users Affected: Issues and events can be ranked by how many users they affect so you can focus your team’s energy on the issues that are hurting the most.  The specific affected users are also listed so you can see who exactly is most impacted.

Application User

You’ll see that users are showing up all through the web UI; it’s a great way to browse through all of the data Loupe collects.

Sounds Great, What’s Next?

We’re publishing this beta to get feedback from real customers on how effective our new dashboard and user views are.  We want to have a high confidence they work as well for other folks as they do for us.  It is a beta, so we have ignored defects that we felt don’t get in the way of evaluating the effectiveness of the software.  That means there are a range of styling issues, spacing, and other operational errors we want to clean up.  While we’re gathering this feedback we’re going to be doing some performance optimization and address the other cleanup items to have the best release we can.

Barring something dramatic showing up with our beta users Loupe 4.0 will ship in late August.

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