So after a bit of feature freeze months we are back with new features as well as a few UI tweaks.
– Schedule View Draft Mode:
Previously the conference schedule had to made public (published) in order to get the look and fell of how the schedule will look on the conference view page. So we decided a draft mode for the conference schedule was necessary. Now every user will have a complete view of how the conference view will look without publishing the schedule.
– Hide Empty Halls:
In addition to the hide empty rows, we added this feature lets the user hide the halls which will be empty for the day.
– Export Schedule in CSV Format
After reviewing some of our feedbacks it was found that an export feature for the published schedule was needed. So we added that.
Now the end user will be able to get a CSV export for the published schedule. The CSV will contain:
- Talk Title
- Talk Description
- Speaker Name(s)
- Hall Name
- Talk Timings
- Talk track and type
– SignUp Page:
For an application, it is important that the sign up (registration) happens with as few steps as possible. Though in shdlr.com it was a 3 step process,
– Filling up the sign up form
– Using the credential generated to login.
– Enter Conference details to the setup wizard.
We thought can be made better, so we combined the 3 steps to just 2 steps. Now when the end user fills up the sign up form they are directly logged in, and can continue entering the conference details to the shdlr conference setup wizard (which is now the final step).
Also, there is a typealong feature in the sign up form which will generate the conference url alongside as the user keeps typing. This will help the get a better idea of how conference url will look even before signing up.
– Scheduling Page:
The admin side in which the magic happens has also gone through a handful of changes, keeping in mind the end user experience. In addition, to some popular demands from our users.
– New Smart Alert Modals replacing confirm boxes
We retired the default confirm boxes from the admin area, which appeared on each major actions like deleting or publishing etc., and used to asked the same question “Are you sure ?”, with just options of “Yes” and “No”.
Now, say hello to “Smart Alert Modals”. Hereafter every confirmation for those actions will be detailed with what will happen exactly if the user approves it.
Moving on to the conference schedule page we added a few UI tweaks which will help make the task of scheduling talks one step easier.
– Add a new talk from anywhere while scheduling.
The idea was allowing the user to add new talk while scheduling them simultaneously. Just drag drop over the hall and the time slot for the talk and now the pop-up window contains 3 options:
A) These are the old ones :-
– Schedule this Talk/Break (This is for existing talks of course)
– Edit & Schedule this Talk/Break (This is for editing an existing talk while scheduling)
B) This is the addition to the arsenal
– Add & Schedule a Talk.
This feature is also there while editing a scheduled talk. Previously it was just replacing a scheduled talk with a different un-scheduled talk. Now, add a totally new talk over a pre-existing scheduled talk right there from the schedule page.
– Added support for accented characters
shdlr.com now supports accented characters. Maybe we are not multilingual application (yet!) but totally support multilingual data.
– A couple of shifting of pages took place.
A) Accounts Settings Pages now contains –
a) Personal Details (Edit)
b) Admins (Add/ Edit/ Delete/ View)
c) Delete Conference -> Delete action for the conference
B) Customize Website now contains –
a) Display settings for the conference
b) Custom Css settings for the conference
c) Theme Setting for the conference view
d) Embed Code Generation along with help.
e) Publish/Unpublish Settings for the Talks and Speaker Gallery
– Default unscheduled/scheduled talks and Speakers
We added two default talks and speakers for every conference.
Speaker Gallery was one of the most requested features in shdlr.com
A conference is judged by the quality of the speakers who are going to be there. In fact the speakers *are* the stars of any conference. Having a nicely formatted and informative page displaying the speakers who are going to be there at a conference can be a big selling point for a conference. Speaker Gallery was developed with exactly this in mind.
Take a look at the demo : http://demo.shdlr.com/speakerslist
This however was not the biggest change which we did in the code. The biggest change was also not something which the end users can see immediately but someday these tweaks are going to keep the site running for the end users when all other sites would just crumble under the load, check what the guys at http://seo-is-war.com/ said about it. The user facing portion of the app has been re-coded to use caching and the database can now be spread across many servers if need be.
Do use speaker gallery for your conferences and events. As usual feedbacks and comments are most welcome
shdlr.com wants to be the easiest conference schedule software/app. Continuing with the iteration of features we have added some new features and tweaks
The biggest re-factor was adding Speaker profiles, For the more technically inclined we have coded speakers as “has and belongs to many” talks. The UI for adding speakers to a talk has been kept as simple as possible, in fact it is very similar to adding recipients to mails in popular web-based mail apps. This re-factor also added vanity urls for the speakers, taking an example from the demo: http://demo.shdlr.com/speaker/tariquesani
Since we have speaker profiles we have given the conference admins an easy way to see speaker lists and export them as csv. The speakers can be filtered by speakers with selected talks, scheduled talks and a couple of more. This we see as being very useful for contacting speakers during various stages of talk selection.
For conferences with a large number of talks it is easier to select talks and then schdule them later. Ability to short list talks and publish them as a list of selected talk has been added
Even in a connected world there is a demand for offline/downloadable formats. As a starter, we have added download pdf of the schedule grid, More file and other schedule formats will be added soon.
We tweaked the embedded schedules and eliminated the ugly windows, now everything is done using CSS modal boxes
Every app needs a logo that is representative of what the app does. In addition we had requirement that the logo has to be just two colors and without gradients. We truly feel that we were able to get what we wanted with this logo!
At shdlr.com we strive to listen to our users and implement what they want in an online conference schedule maker or creator.
The feature which was most often asked was drag and drop re-scheduling of talks – this has been implemented and should be available for all the conferences.
Other features which were implemented in this release were:
- Ability to add a URL for custom CSS in the embedded schedules. This will help webmasters to match the colors, typography and any other style to their own website.
- Ability to hide empty rows in a schedule. Many conferences have registrations and welcome a day prior to the full day programs. This resulted in a mostly empty screen for the first day. To remedy this there is now an Option in the new Publish Settings to hide empty rows in the schedule.
- We have also added options to show the simple grid on your front page apart from being just able to embedding it.
- The new publish menu also allows you to decide what schedule formats you want to show or hide and then some more.
Do try out and holler if you find something missing!