New Portal Updates Going Live TodayMark Sauer
Lots of new code has just been published today. Please report any bugs or issues on our support site by opening a support ticket.
So, what’s new and what will be affected? Let me just take a moment to describe the direction things are going with the overall web interface of the portal software.
JQuery UI – (Going Away)
First of all, “what the heck is JQuery UI?” It’s okay if you don’t know, and you really don’t need to know. But what you should know is that while it’s still a good UI framework for the web, it has actually been falling behind a bit compared to some of the others that are in use today. It’s time for a change.
The GoToMyAccounts portal web interface is going to be built around the Bootstrap framework. First of all, Bootstrap is simple. But it also makes it very easy to build interfaces fast that look great and are consistent across the application. The problem we are encountering right now is a lack of a solid standards for the user interface. We have actually given our users a lot of control over the stylesheet including fonts, colors, sizes, etc. While this is good for flexibility, it is very hard to maintain a consistent experience when we update the code on our end.
Can you still customize the portal user interface for your portal? Yes. Absolutely. However, we are going to change the customization settings pages. For the average user, they are way too complicated, and it really doesn’t need to be all that difficult to change up a few colors and add a logo. So that will be very simplified when it is rolled out. The remainder of the user interface will be standardized though. Font sizes and panel sizes will be fixed so we can update code, add enhancements without breaking existing user interfaces.
Phased In Changes
The changes to our code will be phased in as each page is updated to accommodate these new standards. Why can’t we just change over all at once? I honestly wish we could do that. And it would make the life of us programmers so much easier. But, we currently have a mix of JQuery code and Bootstrap, and the two really don’t play well together. It’s actually miraculous that we have found a way to actually do it with this phased in implementation. But, it does require setting up our environment so that both types of pages can exist together as we convert them over.
So, you will definitely see some pages that look different. The new Bootstrap pages have a distinct look (which I am sure you will find more pleasing and intuitive), and the old pages will pretty much look like what you have seen before.
The End Game
The web portal interface as well as the features we implement will always be changing with new ideas being added over time. But the “end game” with all of these new updates is a cleaner, more standardized look and feel. Once it is complete, we will also be moving the entire interface to a “responsive” full screen width layout. We are testing it even right now as these new pages are being converted. All of our new pages are being coded to work seamlessly in that new design. I have included a screenshot below showing the current “revised” page and how it might look in the new full screen width layout.
This is the direction we are going with the new full screen width layout. We are still developing and testing this layout.