I have 7 PCs. 3 have Norton Internet Security: 3 have Norton 360: 1 has Bullguard - installed today for the first time ever I believe it is the latest 2014 version ... how can I tell - I dont think I have any other software which doesn't have Help>About .. and the version ID ...
I've used Norton for the past few years because it works very well and takes zero setting up - it just works. However, the interface drives me mad because whoever is responsible for the overall design hasn't got a clue. I don't even "use" the interface, because there is nothing to do - I just expect it to be functional first: pretty second.
So I wanted to try Bullguard, partly because it generally gets good reviews, parrtly it's a UK company (although, oddly, all the support staff seem to have Romanian-sounding names ...) and partly because it is supposed to be a simple interface.
Bullguard is advertised as "simple interface" and "Easy to use" ... - it's all relative, of course ...
However, on first viewing, I'm less than convinced. Easy and simple ? Perhaps it used to be simple. Perhaps the BG designers have been led astray by trying to make it look like Windows 8. (Quite why it needs to look like W8 I don't know: quite why it is the design to follow I don't know)
Firstly, on opening Bullguard, part of the screen is hidden ... - having to scroll looks like a half-finished product. There isn't even a Full Screen button.
I clicked on Firewall-Settings ... it show me Settings There is a coloured, square blob - hovering tells me nothing It reads "Turn Firewall Protection on or off" .... Why doesn't it tell me what state it is in now - on or off ??? I think it was telling me it was on, running, ok .... so why is it red rather than green ?? Surely green is the commonly accepted colour for a "good" state ... Isn't red a warning ... ? Hit X ... aah, it closes not the screen, but Bullguard - oh dear I guess I should have noticed that tiny black back-arrow - that's what takes me back to the main screen - why not make it more obvious ?
I clicked PC Tune Up-Settings - same comments as above
I clicked Antivirus-Scan ... oh dear, it runs another scan .... How is anyone supposed to know it's different ??? Why no warning ? Why no confirmation ??
I clicked Spamfilter-Configure contacts - ok etc etc
I did at one point see a report window ... There was a Log window - X to close works on that ... why's that one different ? Why is that a separate floating window ? I can't find reports now. Presumably, I can't see a report history ...
Back on the main screen, there are 3 "buttons" - 1 Update - ok, I understand that - 2 Settings ... That takes me to Settings ... Firewall takes me to Settings ... PC Tune Up takes me to Settings - if the interface is to be "easy" / "simple" how come 3 different buttons take users to the same place ?? I think "simple" is a logical, drill-down design, so users know where they are - and can see where they are rather than risk having users think there are 3 separate sets of settings ... (Bullguard is half-way to being like Norton ...) - 3 ???? that little red box with a number in it ... is that trying to tell me how many jobs are running at once ?
Once or twice I have seen an additional grouping in Settings ... "ALL" - I don't know how to make it visible ... what controls that ?? UPDATE - I've found it .. click on that little box with a number in it thingamee ...
I thought I'd try the Help. No help button. I'll try Support ... Strange ... the Support web page does have Help ... but in the most prominent position, at the top of the page, is chat and email support Interesting - it seems BG would prefer users contact them rather than help themselves ... But I prefer to help myself. Most companies would have a more prominent "Help" option - perhaps I shouldn't sound ungrateful ..
OK - the "little box with a number in it thingamee" is the "Messaging Center"
"Center" ?? In British English, that should be "Centre" ... My Account web page tells me the "Expiration date" ... I think that should be "Expiry date"
Anyway, I thought I should tell you my first impressions as I first ssee them
In summary, I think that Bullguard's interface has probably lost its way. Perhaps it used to be simple. If it is going to continue to refer to itself as simple and easy, it needs a bit of work. Functionally, it might work brilliantly. I wouldn't know. It is only on my netbook which gets very few outings.
I can't tell you which is a good interface to follow as I have used only Norton for a few years. Anyhow, the objective surely, is not to be less worse than the rest, it's to be really good. Bullgard interface is not really good. It's not simple. Someone at GB should try sitting with someone inexperienced and see what they make of it ...
When my Nortons expire, will I replace them with Bullguard ? No. If the interface is this bad, then I'll stick with an interface which is worse but one which I am very confident works very well.
I hope no-one is (too) upset by my views, but it's just my opinion :)
Many long-term BullGuard users feel the same as you about the user interface of BIS 2014, which is very different from that of previous versions, and for myself something of a retrograde step. Previously the interface has been very clean and uncluttered, but as you point out many features are now tucked away in not very obvious locations.
And that's not to mention several major bugs which testing seems to have completely overlooked!
BTW, BullGuard support are indeed Romanian; as is its anti-virus component, which is sourced from that country's Bitdefender software house. No issues with that, though - we're all in the EU!
As a very recent and new user of BullGuard IS 2014, I agree with Keep It Simple's observations on the user interface.
I'd like to expand on the matter of the default size of Bullguard main window cutting off the Vulnerabilites access panel. As I am a trial user, a BG marketing nag screen will appear from time to time when I open the Bullguard application. I find it both strange and notable that your marketing team is able to achieve a properly scaled pop-up message window with no scrolling required; and yet the same cannot be achieved by your Bullguard interface development team. Getting an application window properly sized and scaled is not new or frontier technology in this day and age. So, at least in this user's opinion, the strange size presentation of the main application window (and the inability to resize it) detracts from the visual appeal of your product.
I am ambivalent about the icons used in the main window, with one exception. That Parental Control icon is, in my opinion, hideous.
Also as noted by Keep It Simple, the use of the colour red is a counterintuitive and non-standard way to indicate an active Settings switch. I'd like to add an additional observation. The use of the colour to indicate status is inconsistent within the Bullguard application. In particular, the use of red to indicate ACTIVE Setting switches contradicts the use of green-coloured checkmarks for ACTIVE settings on Bullguard's main window. E.g., when the Bullguard firewall is active/on, a green checkmark appears in the Firewall panel. If the fireguard is off, a RED exclamation mark appears in the panel. Frankly, if you are going to use a colour to indicate an active setting, then implement a consistent colour standard that users intuitively understand and expect to see in a security product.
1) In my opinion if we need to explain the logic behind the user interface then, right of the bat, we very likely missed something. User experience should be intuitive enough on its own with as little to no explanations beside it. On that note, I'd like to thank you all for stating your views. Whether or not we agree with what you're saying or if we're tempted to say "You don't understand", that was your first impression, that was your initial reaction and while we may eventually be able to convince you that we made the right decisions when drawing up these changes it's very likely that other users will feel the same way. 2) Many of the things mentioned in this thread are already being discussed internally and will probably see their way into future product patches. Maybe not exactly as you suggested (you can imagine that not everyone has the same opinion) but we are, indeed, working towards improving almost all the things you mentioned (and more).
Now, to try and shed some light on things... The goal behind the interface was to make everything available right from the main UI. If you want to see the status of each module or if you want to do a specific thing with the product, everything is available right there from the main UI. You don't need to "Select Vulnerability Inspector" and then "Scan". Everything is there right from the start when it comes to tasks and actions that you may want to perform. Each module received a combo-box with quick actions as well as a quick shortcut to its relevant area in settings (hence, why settings is available everywhere).
Again, the main philosophy behind the new interface is to make everything available as fast and as easy as possible to the user.
On the topic of the infamous cut at the right hand side of the interface: I agree that it may be frustrating but in retrospect it only takes a quick scroll to see the other modules and use any quick action as opposed to the standard practice(s) where you either have a small number of modules grouped on the main UI and you need to scroll once or twice to get to the others or a tabbed view where you would have to click 3 or 4 times before you can do something in a module that's not in the main UI.
Again, all the things you mentioned are on our list to review and improve. I can't tell you for sure when exactly you'll see the changes happening but odds are they will be gradually deployed via patches over the upcoming weeks / months.
BullGuard aims to be the best choice when it comes to consumer security products and believe me when I say that you made the best choice by choosing a product that includes the best possible protection engines available as well as a company that's probably closer to its users than any other.
I don't appreciate "nobody is perfect" or similar "canned responses" so I will just say this: Thank you for being a BullGuard customer and, more importantly, thank you for being an active BullGuard customer. Your feedback accounts for a significant part of our planning and there's a very good chance you will see it addressed in upcoming patches.----------------------------------------------------------------- Alex Balan Head of Product Management email@example.com www.bullguard.com