It has been over a year since the skeleton of a website we now call VeriSky was first placed online. The first version was nothing more than crude lines of data as we began to build the discipline management technology. Now, over a year later, as we get closer and closer to our public launch, our focus has shifted from data to design. A quote from Jeffrey Zeldman, entrepreneur and web designer, comes to mind:
"Content precedes design.
Design in the absence of content
is not design, it's decoration."
Jeffrey couldn't be more right. For months we focused our energy on developing a technology that worked. Ensuring that every button led to the correct page; that every ounce of data entered into the system was properly stored and secured; that every bit of feedback from our beta testers was analyzed and new features were developed that benefited our loyal users. Without a properly functioning product, what good would a pretty website be for our users? Well, as the wise monkey Rafiki once said in The Lion King, "it is time!" Over the next several weeks below are some of the design changes you can expect to see.
Headers, Buttons, and Pictures, Oh My!
One of the first things you'll see is a cleaner, more visual design to the dashboard. The header has been shrunk so that it doesn't take up so much space, the VeriSky logo has been simplified, and all of those blue links that seem to blend together have been turned into buttons. As we add more features to the site, look for new buttons to appear on this navigation bar. The "account" link has now been replaced with your profile picture. Hovering over your picture will bring up the account and sign out buttons. If you do not have a profile picture yet, click on account, edit your account info, and then update your picture with Gravatar. Gravatar is a third party site that links your email address with a picture of your choice and then automatically links that picture to thousands of websites including Google, Wordpress, and many others. If you don't like Gravatar, don't worry, we will be adding an option for you to upload your own picture right on our site.
We want you to visualize your progress as you use our discipline management system. Whether you are an administrator overseeing the disciplinary sanctions of 35 chapters or a chapter president trying to complete your educational terms on time, you want to be able to see the progress that you are making on a daily basis. The addition of completion bars for each sanction, allow you to see how close you are to completing your goals.
Oh yeah, and administrators, you now have the ability to copy sanctions to use on another project. Do you have 20 chapters all serving an academic probation with the exact same requirements? No need to create the same sanction 20 separate times; just create it once, copy it, plug in the new chapter name, publish it, and watch those fancy progress bars as your chapters begin to reach their goals. Talk about a time saver!
Over the next few weeks you will begin to see other design elements implemented within the dashboard. Blue links replaced with buttons, the addition of icons to help guide you through the site and add some consistency to our core features and user types. Also look for continuous improvements to the submission and verification system as well as the chat feature. As always, your feedback is much appreciated, and helps us to make crucial decisions as we decide what to do next.
Did someone say new website...
The old public marketing site at www.verisky.com is being tossed in the trash and replaced with a brand new fancy schmancy one at the same address. For now, the old website will serve as a placeholder for our existing users to log in, but beyond that, it doesn't serve much of a purpose. The new site will provide current users and future users with all of the information they need to make the most out of their VeriSky experience. As we get closer to launching our new site, check back for updates and some teasers of the new design.
Other Notable Updates This Week
- Added a scroll bar to all of the notifications on the left-hand side of the dashboard
- Welcome email now sent to administrators when they register for the site
- Changed the weekly update email to focus on progress of existing chapters
- Added several new design features (with many more to come)
- Bug with due dates has been fixed to more accurately determine when a term is past due
- Several bug fixes and backend updates to improve the user experience and speed of the site