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A lot has changed since our servers crashed last year

November 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

A lot has changed since our servers crashed last year. Our data center charges growing by 300%. We moved into a new office. And our team grew by 5x (3 people to 15 people, FWIW)!


Over the last three months we’ve been working furiously behind-the-scenes to make our product powerful, yet simpler.


Today is when we start rolling out the result of this hard work – starting with our first set of changes – a complete revamp of the tour creation wizard.


The problem


Responding rapidly to customer feedback in our initial days, we had ended up with a user interface, which, while functional & powerful, was very intimidating. Form labels were either too confusing, too verbose, or worse, both. Much like TV remote controls, rarely used settings & “knobs” were given prime real estate on the screen.


So, we took this important part of our product back to the drawing board to see what we could simplify, remove, or re-design.


Multiple product types


Pressing “New trip”, now, does not launch you directly into the wizard. You need to select a product type first. This allows us to set intelligent defaults and change the wizard interface to be more relevant to the chosen product type. For example:


* A short tour/excursion will assume that you need to provide start & end **times** for each time slot in your schedule, whereas, a multi-day tour will assume that you can do with just the start & end **dates**

* A short tour/excursion will have “nouns” set to tour, departure, and passenger, whereas, a lession will have “nouns” set to course, class, and participants.


There are many such tweaks which make the tour creation wizard easier to use.


Overall visual refresh

The first thing that you’ll notice is how much shorter the new forms are. We’ve moved all help text and verbose instructions to tooltips. Not sure what a field does? Just hover on the small question mark against it.


[insert screenshot of new and old forms side-by-side]


Simplification of rates


Instead of showing all pricing options for all tours, we now show only those that are applicable. For example:


* Short tours will be able to define per-person and per-group rates

* Long tours will be able to define twin-sharing matrices and accommodation based rates


[insert screenshot of ‘rates’ tab]


*We have decided to pull back the twin-sharing pricing matrix and component-based pricing, till the time we polish and relaunch them. In case you’d like to use them in their current form, drop as an email. We can enable them for your account.*


Special rates & capacity for individual time slots


You no longer need to define tour variants just to have different rates for different seasons; or to have a special rate for long weekends & holidays.


You can now do it easily while opening time slots:


[insert screenshot of ‘Calendar > Open time slots’ modal]


Or, by clicking on an existing time slot:


[insert screenshot of ‘Calendar > Time slot popover’]


Simplified settings


We’ve fussed over every word on the new “Settings” tab. Fields have been logically grouped together; and rarely used settings have been hidden, unless needed. This tab has received the maximum visual relief with all the help text moving to tooltips.


[insert screenshot of ‘Settings’ tab]


There is a ton of spit & polish that has gone into this, which we are sure you will notice. Or, probably not. As they say, the best design is invisible.


We’re always looking to improve. So, do give us a shout-out if you feel things could be made even better.

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