Development Blog

Courtyard Redesigned

The Courtyard team is pleased to announce our largest update to the Courtyard website and web application since we originally launched in April last year. We've gotten a lot of feedback from different people and have learned a ton. This is our first effort at integrating some of these new ideas.

If you look around, you'll notice that just about everything looks a little different. While the core functionality remains the same, we've gone through every screen in order to bring Courtyard to a higher standard of usability and visual design.

One thing you may notice is missing is a login form on the public Courtyard website. This is because we realized that since every directory is a private space for its members, it would make more sense for each directory to have its own login screen. If you are a member of an existing directory, you should have received an email informing you about this change, and where you can find your directory's private login screen.

Another big change was the way we rearranged the Directory Dashboard screen. It now features a log of recent updates to the directory, which we think you'll find to be very useful. Every time somebody adds or changes some information in your directory, you'll be able to see it on the dashboard page so that you can update your personal address book accordingly.

As a part of this redesign, we spent some time thinking about printing and exporting and our conclusion was that people are more interested in printing out personal hard copies than they are in publishing an authoritative version for the whole church. What this means is that we changed the printing section to allow anyone to download directory and photo PDFs separately. We think this will make printing more useful to directory members, while simplifying the interface considerably.

While we were reorganizing the printing section, we decided to go ahead and add a mail merge feature for those of you who send mass mailings to your members. This is something that we never thought of ourselves, but came from a terrific bit of feedback we received when we were showing Courtyard to potential customers.

If you have any ideas or complaints about Courtyard we would be eager to hear what you have to say. Our main concern is to serve our customers and improve our product. We hope to be able to release a lot more frequently in the future, and we would love to be able to integrate any suggestions you might have.

Posted by Austin Taylor on 08/18/2009