New devices call for new way of thinking

iPads supplied to all school staff

Last year a deputy principal from a school in Australia informed us that they supplied iPads to all their staff and inquired whether it’s possible for them to use Prime Timetable on iPad. In an instant, we had 50 teachers browsing Prime Timetable on their tablets. But how exactly have we handled that? We added device detection which redirects all tablets and smartphones to our web timetable viewer, avoiding plugin app which doesn’t work on those devices. And we felt that we could do much better than that…

New timetabling devices - Photo Credit: ebayink via Compfight cc

Answering customer support requests

From time to time our customer support had to send emails related to installing Microsoft Silverlight. Although we provided detailed instructions, around 10% of our users didn’t know how to install plugin and start the application. Just when we instructed one user how to install, we encountered problems with users he shared timetables with. So the issues multiplied…

Admins don’t seem to like plugins

Occasionally a teacher would approached us with a request for non-plugin software. It’s a bit weird that admins of school network seem to allow downloading and installing desktop apps, which implies much greater risk, whereas they forbid using plugins, which is considered much safer. So we had to deal with such restrictive policies... Hey admins, plugins are ok :)

Such issues made us question our core technical decision:

Why plugin in the first place?

For a good reason! Plugin enabled us to develop a complex and demanding application inside any browser so our users can use it from anywhere (school computer, laptop, home PC....). Microsoft Silverlight brought desktop-like performance online, inside the browser and even offline, delivering superior user experience our customers are enjoying today.

What about tablets and smartphones?

One major disadvantage of using plugins is that they don’t work on tablets, smartphones or any new devices emerging every day. So, how to reach these users was the question we asked ourselves and we started imagining…

Reimagining timetabling

Imagine picking any device you might have, start the app and actually generate a whole school timetable. What if dragging cards could be as easy as playing puzzle for toddlers, moving pieces around with just a touch of finger... and all that without having to exclude even the most complicated features like instant validation, extra views and many more. Does that sound impossible? Would you like to use such an app? Well, we certainly would and therefore we are inviting you to join us in our quest for a superb school scheduling solution that will work on any device out there… Stay tuned!