Having recently moved to BullGuard I was surprised by some of the strange design choices in Internet Security 2014. My immediate thought was "oh god, what have I done? there was a money back guarantee right?" but then I came to my senses. BullGuard evidently has a lot to offer and aside from the interface I so far believe it is a quality product. So lets begin by having a look at this problem:
For some odd reason, the main features don't fit on the screen! This has been raised before here and here. In BullGuards blog they described this as follows: "An all-new user interface and improvements to usability means default functions for all the key tools in Internet Security are accessible with one click", which is great in theory, except some of the functionality is hidden away in this scrollbox for some reason. But that should be ok, you can just resi- , oh actually the window isnt resizable either, hmm . Well surely BullGuard are intending to fix this? Unfortunately it seems not, although this reduces usability and increases the number of clicks required to reach features, this is a "feature of the program which will not be changed".
Well OK, what can we do about this? The first course of action is obviously to vote on the feedback post raised by BullGuard User 31331887. But in the meantime is there anything a more experienced user can do? Ofcourse there is!
The BullGuard Internet Security 2014 is a windows application, just like any other. It is made up of windows, and scrollboxes, panels and buttons, just like any other. These controls ofcourse respond to WinAPI calls, so lets fix this! Included below is a small AutoIT script to resize the main window to sensible dimensions. Note that if you do not understand what this script is doing, you should not be using it. For your own security I would strongly recommend you always read through any scripts you run, if you don't understand the script, stop what you are doing and slowly back away from the computer.
; Get handle for main BullGuard window Local $hWnd = WinGetHandle("[CLASS:#32770]", "BullGuard")
; Get handles for main scrollbox and underlying panel Local $hScrollbox = ControlGetHandle($hWnd, "", "[CLASSNN:#327701]") Local $hPanel = ControlGetHandle($hWnd, "", "[CLASSNN:#327702]")
Tada! "Gee PoodlePatrol that was easy wasnt it?" yes, yes it was. Unfortunately until BullGuard decide to change the interface this is the easiest workaround. Now we can all enjoy BullGuard Internet Security 2014 without having to scroll around the screen unnecessarily. Just note that if you Exit BullGuard completely you will need to re-run the script the next time you open the window, and ofcourse the script requires the window to be open for it to work. The modification only affects the menu in the main window, but if there is interest from other users I would be more than happy to investigate updating the firewall rules window and the like.
If the forum admins feel it is necessary I am more than happy to discuss any issues they may have, but otherwise I hope this post helps BullGuard users and is accepted by the community with open arms.
Edit: fixed the array indexing for [ 1 ] and [ 3 ] which was garbled by the forum
Post Edited (PoodlePatrol) : 1/18/2014 5:47:05 PM GMT
Thank you. I'd still been using the 2013 interface when I had to rebuild my machine, and was totally gobsmacked by the new interface, and the fact that it didn't fit into the ludicrously small window pane the designers thought was trendy. It's just revolting and an embarrassment. I still can't find the gaming setup either as it's not intuitive. I bought my first version of Bullguard 4 years ago for the gaming features, I hope that they haven't removed it in this version, otherwise I will want to roll back this version for 2013.
In my personal opinion however, whoever within your organisation is forcefully pushing the issue that the main window should not be resizable from the corner (the standard mechanism most users are familiar with), and that the "maximize" button is needed such that you can also have a "minimized" view, should not be allowed any more input on UX matters because it is still a ridiculously unhelpful non-standard and unnecessary restriction which serves no benefit to the consumer. The same problem is present in the firewall rules window and many others, where users with high screen resolutions receive a poor experience for little reason. I understand this simplifies the software development as you do not need to re-flow the controls, but that is a design descision born out of sloth haste and apathy which gives an impression more akin to what you would expect from a software house in the 1990s rather than a security suite developed by experienced engineers building high quality user interfaces which are easy to use. If it is honestly this difficult to modify the UI this code is in desperate need of refactoring.
Basically, I have years left on my BullGuard licence and I intend to make the most of it. Currently there is still a lot which could be improved and when I get some time to post here I would prefer to give feedback which hopefully improves the product, rather than suffering in silence. It is great to see some progress has been made although it has taken quite a long time. In the grand scheme of things I understand if this change was a lower priority than the main security work you do but it does make a difference.
Although I imagine this is unlikely, if you had any interest in trialing user interface changes drop me a PM. As you may have gathered I would be happy to be involved
To better illustrate my point here is a quick screenshot. There is so much room to show the rules, and yet only a tiny little area of screen real-estate is being used. You must admit this is really quite poor. This is not even a question of "normal users" and "power users with multiple monitors", as such resolutions have been common-place in the industry for quite a few years now.
Post Edited (PoodlePatrol) : 8/16/2014 7:11:21 PM GMT