Its been out for about 3 weeks so I thought I would do a quick write up of the changes for this version. Essentially its been completely re-designed and modernized. Our goal was to simplify the user interface and make the key features students used most more efficient to use and easier to access. We streamlined navigation, put more popular features in easier to access locations within the menu.
Some key improvements are;
- Schedule provides students with their schedule for up to two weeks in a very easy to navigate user interface. They no longer just get just the current days schedule.
- Grades shows students their entire academic history in an easy to scroll user interface and its much faster then previous versions.
- We added a *new* Course list feature which shows future courses students are enrolled in as well as past courses.
- Schedule, Grades, Courselist, Exams and Booklist are viewed by one click rather then having to surf all over the app to find that content. The *new* Courses feature shows all of this content in one easy to navigate user interface.
- Exams provide more details for students and the interface is better organized.
- We simplified the feature set for the mobile app and removed features that were not used. This reduces the clutter and hopefully will make finding features easier.
- We chose to move from an icon based desktop like home screen to a more modern menu style. Key features are located at the top of the menu for easy access. The new menu style will make it easier for students with visual disabilities from expanding the font size of the menu thus improving their app experience. With the current app, students with visual impairments had to go into settings and change the desktop appearance to a menu view in order to be able to use the app.
- Maps is now using a new mobile web application with a fresh new look and feel. It is still in Beta.
- Transit, another “face lift” and many feature improvements.
We also re-wrote the server that the mobile app connects to to retrieve student data and login with. This improves performance of the app by improving response times between the app and the mobile server considerably. This new architecture also improves stability of the mobile server so there should be less crashes, hopefully none, unlike the old system. Its also much easier to write new web services for the mobile app to access as well as maintain overall.
We think this is our best version yet and puts us in a great position for improving the application going forward.
I look forward to continuing to improve upon this version and hopefully finding new features that will add value to students.