Just like fashion, hairdos, and wallpaper, a website can get a little dated. What once was fresh and innovative becomes a little stale and *gasp* boring. The last time we gave the PBISApps website a new look and feel was a while ago. It’s time for a makeover.
On Tuesday, May 25, we’re bringing you a more modern, more informative, more interactive version of us. Before we get into the details you’re here for, we have a couple of nuts and bolts to go over. We’ll start the release at 4:00 p.m. PDT that Tuesday. If you’re logged into any applications or just exploring the site around that time, you may experience a brief interruption that would require you to log in again. It should only take us 30 minutes to launch the new site. So, use the time however you want: Check your email; take a nap; hydrate. When you come back, things are going to look a little different.
Ready to hear the exciting parts?
When we sat down to design the new site, we knew we wanted to keep a few things front and center. Based on feedback we heard from all of you, we wanted to:
- Tell our story better: Whether you are brand new to PBISApps or have used SWIS for more than a decade, we wanted the new site to offer up relevant content for everyone.
- Make resources easier to find: With so many resources available, we wanted our site to help you find what you need and discover new content you never knew existed.
- Create something exciting to look at: Websites look different now than they did eight years ago; the new site needed a vibrant, modern twist.
With all of these ideas in mind, here is what you can expect on Tuesday, May 25.
To-The-Point Product Descriptions
We love being so closely connected with current research on making schools work better for everyone. We also know that academia comes with language that isn’t always conversational. Everyone who comes to our website should know exactly what our products can offer their school. Every product description has been re-written to highlight the big features that set our apps apart and the smaller features that make doing your job easier. Whether you need a quick way to bring a new administrator up to speed or you heard about us at a conference and want to learn more, the product descriptions will help you explore all the ways our apps can support you and your students every day.
Familiar Login Experience
With all this new stuff, we know what some of you might be thinking: “Will the login process change, too?” No. Too many changes all at once can be overwhelming. So, when the new website launches, your login experience stays the same.
A Farewell to Internet Explorer
With the launch of our new website, we are also bidding farewell to supporting Internet Explorer. Microsoft released the last version of Internet Explorer in 2013 and in November last year they announced as of this summer, they will no longer support it as a browser. That means they don’t plan on updating that browser's security ever again. To ensure our site, our apps, and your data are as secure as possible, we no longer support Internet Explorer, either. The good news is there are lots of options available to get the best experience possible out of our products. We continue to support the current versions of Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, as well as Safari 13 and 14. You probably already have one of these browsers installed on your computer. If not, talk with your IT department for more details on how you can get started with one
Updated Search with More Detailed Results
We all have those resources we go to all the time. Finding them shouldn’t be a hassle. After using the current search function on our website, we knew we could do better. Check out the search tool at the top of any page to look up any topic. Each result includes the type of resource it is (video, news, manual, etc) along with a brief description to help you figure out if it’s the resource you need. The experience is so much snappier, more intuitive, and ultimately more useful. You can find what you need and get on with your work.
Filters to Explore Publications and Videos
We didn’t stop at updating the search.
What if you need quick access to the SWIS User’s Manual and don’t want to rifle through any articles, videos, and forms to find it? With the new site, the Publications and Videos sections both come with filters to narrow down those resources to exactly what you need. Each filter you add builds on the previous ones. So, to find the SWIS User’s Manual, you would head to Publications under the Resources menu. Click SWIS from the Product filter and then Manual under the Type filter and voila, you’ve narrowed down the publications to just manuals related to SWIS! (There are three of those, by the way.) Videos work the same way, except instead of a Type filter, you get a Series filter helping you jump directly to the set of videos related to a given topic. What a slick feature.
We’re excited to bring you new content every month. We want to make that content available to you throughout the site. At the bottom of every resource page, we give you ideas for more things to explore related to the page you’re looking at. Check out the relevant manuals, blog posts, podcast episodes, or other resources to help you explore the topic further. With discoverable content, you get quick access to related resources you never would have thought to explore before.
Simplified Overview of Data Integration Options
You told us you wanted more information about the options available for integrating the SWIS Suite with your student information systems. We listened and we think we found just what you need to figure out the solution that will work best for you. The information has always been there; it was the layout that needed improving. Now, options are divided into two groups – Import and Export – and their features are described in a grid. We think the layout helps you make more efficient decisions about which options will work best within your context. Once you decide on a data integration solution, the website also points you to the next steps for starting that implementation. Look it over and share it with your school. Let us know what you think!
Are you excited, yet? We are! We’ve been sitting on this news for a while now and cannot wait to show you what we’ve been working on. This makeover is all about giving you a better experience finding the resources you need and discovering more content than you knew was available. We think you’re really going to love the way it looks, too.