Via the user community and a workshop which was held last week in our office in Hamburg we gathered some feedback regarding the launchpad. We would like to use the user community to document the feedback, open a discussion and keep you up to speed about the current status of the development.
Basically the launchpad has some good qualities: Customers like being able to administrate it and set global company bookmarks as well as having personal bookmarks, all of it independent from using a browser.
It also has some flaws - most of them having to do with a lack of good user experience and user interface:
- titles are cropped, the space is not used effectively, images take up to much space
- the current launchpad does not work well with large quantities of bookmarks: scrolling is slow, labels and icons are too codensed
- editing of bookmarks is tiring: the option is hard to find and having to change links can be tedious and has to be done manually without a search function. A bookmark that is assigned to multiple categories has to edited multiple times
- Some options (like editing) are very hard to find
- The launchpad is quite hidden which is the reason for many users not to use it
So, we gathered some ideas how to change that:
- Review the user interface and design in general
- Make the use of the launchpad easier (especially with many bookmarks): improve use and display of categories, add search and filters
- Make the launchpad easier to administrate (e.g. the edit button is way to difficiult to find, provide options to copy and move bookmarks)
- Add new ways to sort bookmarks for your need, make it possbile to create your own categories
- Create easier and more personal sorting options, allowing users to tailor the links to their needs
- Direct bookmarking when seeing an element in COYO, e.g. by having a bookmark icon on elements
- Integration with O365 apps
Let us know what you think about this proposal and we'll keep you updated about the progress.
I’ve got some awesome news for you: our shiny new launchpad just went live to the cloud with version 20.X.X.
Besides a much more modern look & feel, the following aspects can be seen as the most obvious improvements:
- Gateway to O365: As part of our O365 integration, the most crucial O365 apps are integrated prominently into the launchpad so that users have those productivity tool always on hand.
- Administration of links:
- An icon and a title will be automatically suggested when adding a new link. Users can also get those auto suggested contents when editing an already existing link. As we’ve introduced a respective button into the top navigation bar, admins can add links to categories regardless of where those categories are placed in the launchpad.
- Users are provided with a category navigation in order to be able to explore and access all available links quickly.
- With the new layout, we’re able to show longer link titles (and even the underlying url). This in turn gives admins the possibility to describe “their” links in a far better way than before and it of course makes it easier for the user to distinguish links from one another.
- ‘Empty’ managed categories won’t be visible for normal users anymore.
- The new launchpad can be used much more comfortably on mobile devices compared to the former version.
Finally, I’d like to encourage all of you to check out the new launchpad intensively and of course let us know (via opening new suggestions!) what might be the next most important improvements in order to make our launchpad even more shiny in the future.
Tobias Wolter commented
the new version is a great step forword. However, we cannot replace our current App-Launcher with the Lanchpad. Here are the reasons:
1. no search
In order to find an app in a flash, the user needs a search box that filters the available apps in real time.
2. description field
Without a description of the link, the user may not find the appropriate app. The name of the link says nothing about its target.
I'm happy to be able to give you an update on our launchpad initiative: we split it into several topics that we currently plan to tackle one after the other.
- First one will be to improve the current launchpad focussing on user friendliness. Links and the regarding information will be addable more comfortably & the launchpad in general will be much more fun to use and look at. We're currently finetuning the concept for it and development will start soon.
- Second in line will be circling around integrating O365 into the launchpad. We plan to give (O365) users the chance to jump into 'their' O365 apps directly from the launchpad (most probably to be enabled via admin).
As Sven already mentioned in this thread, there are more launchpad related things that we might put a focus on in the future. However, the two above mentioned topics are the ones we decided to tackle with priority.
Hey Laura, yeah that's one of the ideas to make the creation of bookmarks in the launchpad easier and the results much nicer to look at.
Laura Zichnowitz commented
Would it be possible, that pictures will be transferred automatically to the icon? / the bookmark uses the favicon of the marked website?
It is much easier looking for a known logo than read through all the titles
Hey Sina, unfortunately there are no news abut this topic. We are finishing up some other topics, right now. As you can see on our roadmap this topic is still planned: https://community.coyoapp.com/internal-roadmap
Two months later since last update - any news on this?
Hey Nik, concept is done and I am just waiting for development resources to become available to gest started on this topic.
Nik G commented
Hey Sven, Any update on the timeline by when this feature will go live?
I have got some bad news. Unfortunately we need to postpone this feature by 1 quarter. Our current estimations show that we won’t be able to deliver this feature in time. This is caused by a delay in providing releases from last quarter which was the result of unexpected complexity in the development and deployment process.
I am very sorry for everyone who is waiting for this feature.
yeah, that makes sense. We were planning on making it possible to assign bookmarks to multiple categories. That way one wouldn't need to alter a link in multiple categories if e.g. the URL changes.
Though, this wouldn't work if different admins could administrate different categories - if they change one bookmark that is assigned to multiple categories, he or she would alter the url for all categories.
Therefore we were thinking about just giving admins access to all categories and bookmarks.
we´ve set up several bookmark categories for our different regions, units and companies. The categories are currently assigned to different admins. So the responsible colleagues can easily adjust the bookmarks within the category, once a link changes or a new link should be added.
I got a question that came up lately: Are you actually using the option to assign admins to launchpad categories so that those admins can manage the bookmarks within those categories?
Wouldn't it be sufficient to give those users permissions to manage bookmarks in general (via admin backend)? We are thinking of simplifying the administration of the launchpad by removing the feature to have specific admins per category. But we wouldn't do this if it were an important use case to you.
Thanks for the feedback!
@Sarah: there was short downtime since I had to copy the files around. Do you still have problems downloading the files?
@Ester: Thanks for your feedback - can you specify what you don't like about the new UI? Is it that too much changes in general? Is it the change from a dark to a bright scheme?
In the COYO Roadmap was an example for Q3 which I liked better.
It is too much change with a completely new interface.
The design doesn't match the intuitive interface of the user.
Hi Sven, links are running into an error messages.
We got some updates on the launchpad and would like to present you the current version of the concept. We tried to consider most of your feedback and after multiple iterations we would like to propose the following.
The launchpad will bet a completely new look that is brighter and appears much friendlier. Every bookmark gets more space so that titles and descriptions are not getting cropped. Users can still add their own bookmarks (which will be inserted to "My bookmarks") and can mark bookmarks as favorite. Favorite bookmarks are always on top and can be manually sorted by the users. Adding a search for the launchpad items should also help to find the bookmarks quickly even if their is a huge quatity of them. Additionally, there will be a category navigation in the left hand side for a better overview.
The administration will mostly stay the same but will get two great improvements. For one, admins will be able to create the bookmarks within the admin area. Secondly, a bookmark can be added to multiple categories. This way the admin does not have to switch forth and back to the launchpad and the administration and can manage the same link for multiple categories (and therefore multiple user groups).
To make the launchpad look great in the result it is very important to add icons, titles and descriptions. At the moment, this is very time consuming task and with the update of the launchpad we would like to change this. As soon as a user or the admin provides the URL of the bookmark, the application will try to fetch all available information from the target and prefill the creation form. So, best case scenario will be that you provide the URL and COYO takes of the rest choosing an icon and setting the title and description. If this automatic task fails or you are not pleased with the result, you can still edit the settings and chose another icon / image (including the cropping tool).
As always this feature will be available on mobile devices as well :)
Please let us know what you think! We hope that we were able to take all your feedback into consideration and we are excited about this new upcoming feature!
Looking forward to this improvement!
One think I would like to point out: I like the idea that you can bookmark any kind of content, but I think we might mix up two use cases:
a) I bookmark places I visit often (like my team community) and this bookmark is used as a quick link. (Launch pad)
b) I bookmark things I want to read later or just save it, so I do not have to search for it at a later point in time. I would highly welcome for this a "mark for later" function. And I would not like to see all these items on my launch pad, which would become even more messy.
Isabell Wenz commented
We definitely need the icons, cause we provide links to more than 30 of our websites and serveral internal tools in different categories. In this case the icons provide a good overview.
Drag´n drop ist also very needed to make sorting more easy.
If a wiki article, a content app or a form: I'd like to bookmark any kind of content with just one click. The bookmarked stuff should appear in an own widget or maybe in the launchpad.