It’s often the case that companies in our industry use custom control panels which are clunky to use and which look dated. Our own control panel is over 10 years old now, clunky and dated are amongst some of the words we’ve had used to describe it. So, it’s been long overdue a design and functionality overhaul in order to deliver on what our customers expect of an easy-to-use, intuitive control panel. Ultimately our goal is to make a simple account management interface which is quicker to use and which can be used on all devices whilst behind the scenes making use of the best web technology available.

To begin, the Control panel revision we have rebuilt the billing and renewals area  – the area of most concern to our customers.

New functionality

The new billing & renewals area is now a “Single Page Application”, meaning that whatever you need to do on your account you don’t need to navigate away from the page you’re on, so it’s much quicker than before and whilst it may not seem like the most exciting thing in the world it represents a big change for us and is a big change for anyone who used the old billing and renewals area.

A lot of our customers have many services with us, so we wanted to make seeing the services that require action in the immediate future, easier. By introducing fast filtering and sorting facilities, the services our customers are looking for can now be found simply and quickly. The page has been optimised so that the status of all purchased services can be viewed and you can easily find any particular service within the account.

We have also added the functionality to add a new card to your account without the requirement to renew something or to buy something.

The technicalities

Designing and building the “Single Page Application” model has significantly reduced page to page load times and the way our server sends all relevant data to the web browser and from then only the minimum of required changes are relayed back and forth using Javascript.

We chose to adopt a new client-side framework, it has greatly reduced the amount of work involved not only for speed of development but also for security and for maintenance, such pages can otherwise result in a complicated codebase and a huge amount of development time, taking our time and focus away from other aspects of the website.

Further to this, a significant amount of effort has been made turning anything that can be reused into a component. This ‘componentisation’ has a huge beneficial impact on the amount of work required to update the rest of the control panel, making adding new functionality a breeze.

In summary                                                                                      

The billing and renewals overhaul is the first step of many in making our control panel work to its full potential. We are committed to a steady roll out of enhanced functionality over the months ahead.