Wild Apricot Software News November 2010

Dmitriy Buterin 05 November 2010 2 comments

We are not afraid to borrow a good idea when we see one -- so after watching how Google changes their homepage logos for some time, it dawned on us that we can -- and should -- do the same. Even more so since we are lucky to have a great artist on our team, Denis Fokin, who is not easily stupefied, even when ask him things like, "Can you please create an avatar for Jim, Fluid Apricot?" or "Can you come up with a play on the Wild Apricot logo with some Thanksgiving flavor?", not mentioning easy things like a Halloween logo. 

And he delivers:

Apricot Avatars and Logos

From left: Fluid Apricot, Jim's new avatar; Dancing Apricot, Lenna's new avatar; Halloween Apricot logo; Thanksgiving Apricot logo

Of course, there are still big challenges; for example, deciding whether to confuse our American clients by displaying the Thanksgiving logo around Canadian Thanksgiving in October...or to confuse Canadians by displaying it around US Thanksgiving in late November...

October flew by very quickly, with a (not unexpected) spike in requests to our customer service / technical support team after the Version 4.0 upgrade. So unfortunately, we ended up with slower than normal response times and a higher proportion of calls which went to voicemail or were abandoned by callers (vs. the ones we managed to pick up). This probably was a big factor behind a drop in our customer satisfaction ratings for tech support in October:

Support Ratings for October

The volume of calls and emails has subsided a lot since the upgrade (thanks to quick reactions from our development team, who worked tirelessly to track down all problems and released 7 patches to update urgent problems), but we know we could have done better. So we had a good discussion in our support team reviewing current bottlenecks and came up with a number of changes in internal procedures to tighten our ship and improve our response times. 

In the meantime, our development team kept progressing on our next update: Version 4.1 scheduled for January 2011.  You can look up the list of key changes scheduled for the upcoming version in our last month's update. The only thing from that list which we unfortunately will have to sacrifice is the ability to set limits on individual event options, because this item no longer fit into our release schedule due to the extra development time spent on 4.0 patches.

Want a quick peek into one of the new features? We're developing a new functional page for a subscription form.  You can customize the settings of the form, including what information you collect, and who gets a confirmation e-mail. Then later, you can do an advanced search of your contact database to filter out the contacts you got through that form, so you can send them relevant communication.

We have also published a very nice upgrade to our discussion forums (Roadmap and Wishlist) - which are making it much easier for our clients (as well as for ourselves) to contribute to our ongoing product planning process. Here's an illustration -- it used to be that if you went to the Wishlist forum, you would be immediately dumped into the overall list of almost 350 threads, and your only way to find something relevant was by text search. Well, there are many ways to call the same thing so we ended up with many duplication and overlap in posts.

Now, when you go to the wishlist forum you will see a list of key functional areas:


And then you can click through into a particular area and see a much shorter list of discussion threads. For example, if you are interested in the Event calendar, you will see this short list of threads:

Wishlist: Events 


I am looking forward to getting your input into Wild Apricot product roadmap and all the best to all of our readers and clients.

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.
Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Posted by Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Published Friday, 05 November 2010 at 6:39 PM

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.

Comments

  • Matt Adlai-Gail said:

    Wednesday, 17 November 2010 at 9:34 AM

    That's really a bummer that you are dropping the "ability to set limits on individual event options" for 4.1.   When do you expect that to be done? Thanks!!  -matt.adlaigail@gmail.com

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 18 November 2010 at 3:34 AM

    Matt,

    Sorry can't say about the limit feature - it has not been moved to a particular release yet. We will publish updates here and on our release history page https://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Release+history

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.