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Category: Development

User Interface Improvements

For v4.25, we’ve made a number of small but significant improvements to the user interface. These include..

New Default Font

Since MIDAS v4.20, the default font used in our software was “Geneva” on MacOS systems and “Tahoma” on Windows systems. Different platforms have different default fonts available, and we wanted MIDAS to look as similar as possible regardless of the OS being used. “Geneva” and “Tahoma” are quite similar in appearance, which is why we originally chose them.

Geneva Font
“Geneva” Font
Tahoma Font
“Tahoma” Font

For other systems where neither of these fonts were available, MIDAS would fall back to the closest sans-serif font available.

However, from v4.25, the default font is instead “Open Sans“:

Open Sans Font
“Open Sans” Font

This font comes included with MIDAS, meaning that our software should now look identical on every operating system!

Larger Font Size

Following customer feedback, we’ve also increased the font size in many areas of the software.

MIDAS v4.24 Login Screen
Previous Font Size in MIDAS v4.24
MIDAS v4.25 Login Screen with increased font size
Increased Font Size in MIDAS v4.25

New Drop-Down Lists, Checkboxes and Radio Buttons

You may also note from the previous screenshot a couple of other changes. We’ve fully styled and themed drop-down (select) lists, check (tick) boxes and radio buttons in MIDAS v4.25. Previously, these input elements would be styled by the user’s own browser/operating system. This led to MIDAS looking slightly different for users on different browsers and operating systems.

System default styled Check (Tick) Boxes and Radio Buttons in v4.24
Styled Check (Tick) Boxes and Radio Buttons in v4.25

The new styled inputs for v4.25 look consistent across supported browsers and operating system. Coupled with the increased font size, these new-style inputs are now even easier to select/toggle than before.

Default Template Improvements

We’ve updated a couple of the default templates for v4.25. The “Public Booking Requests” and “Public Web Request” templates have been updated.

Previously, these template defaults made use of an HTML “table” for laying out the header. This worked fine on regular screens, but on smaller mobile devices, it could result in the header being truncated:

Public Booking Request Default Template in v4.24, using a 'Table' Layout
Public Booking Request Default Template in v4.24 on a mobile device, using a “Table” Layout.
Note how the “DEMO” logo has been truncated

So to improve their appearance on smaller screens, for v4.25, we’ve dropped the use of tables in favor of a “flex” layout instead. Here’s the same screen as before, but using a “flex” layout instead. Now on smaller screens, the header components will “wrap” where necessary:

Public Booking Request Default Template in v4.25, using a 'Flex' Layout
Public Booking Request Default Template in v4.25 on a mobile device, using a “Flex” Layout.
Note how the header components automatically “wrap” on very small screens

We would ideally like to migrate all the default templates (email, invoice, etc) within MIDAS over to a “flex” layout model. However older email clients don’t fully support “flex” rendering in this way. This would mean that an invoice emailed to a customer may not display correctly in their email client. We do however plan to one day update all default templates to the “flex” layout model. In the meantime, as templates within MIDAS are editable, user may choose to do this themselves!

These improved templates apply to new installs of our software. They won’t be retrospectively applied to existing MIDAS systems. However, existing customers can reset their templates to these new templates via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Templates → Reset Template.

These are just a few of the new and improved features for v4.25. Keep following our blog as we unveil more on v4.25 in our next posts.

Reddit You can also ask questions and discuss the new features of v4.25 over on Reddit.

Coming soon in MIDAS v4.25…

The world has been seemingly grinding to a halt over the past couple of months due to COVID-19.

As a small and agile UK business, we’ve been fortunate in that our day to day operations haven’t been adversely affected. We’re still promptly responding to pre-sales questions and providing support to customers to the same high standards as before.

But we’re aware that many of our customer’s operations have had to temporarily be put on hold. If your business is one of those affected, remember we’re here to help. Please see our blog post from March for ways we can support your business in these challenging times.

During these past few months however, development of MIDAS hasn’t stopped! In fact, it’s provided us with a unique opportunity to devote additional time to development of our software.

As you may know, MIDAS has been in active development for some 15 years now. Throughout this time, we’ve been regularly releasing significant updates at least three times a year. Each significant updates always includes new and improved features.

Following the release of MIDAS v4.24 back in March, we’ve been hard at work on v4.25 during the UK lockdown.

We’ve added dozens of new features and improvements for this next release, which we’re really excited about!

There’s so much to share, which is why over the coming posts here on our blog, we’ll be taking a closer look at what you can expect in v4.25. Here’s what we’ve announced so far:

Reddit You can also ask questions and discuss the new features of v4.25 over on Reddit.

Coming Soon: Reviews Addon

With the latest update (v4.24) to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software fast approaching, we’ve been introducing some of the highlights of the new update over the past few blog posts.

In our previous post, we revealed a new editable “Booking Feedback” template and options to allow your MIDAS system to automatically send clients a post-booking follow-up email. This could be used, for example, to thank them for their recent visit and to encourage them to use your facilities again soon.

To further enhance and extend this new feature, we’re also introducing a new optional “Reviews” addon, which works in conjunction with this feature. This addon allows you to automatically collect feedback, ratings, and reviews of your facilities/business on leading independent review sites, such as Trustpilot.

Initially, the new optional “Reviews” addon supports four leading independent review platforms;

Collect Reviews

How It Works

The “Reviews” addon works by automatically notifying an independent review collection platform after a client’s booking has taken place at your facilities. The review platform then in turn sends out a review invitation by email to your client asking them to leave a review or rating of your business on their website.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. A client’s booking in MIDAS takes place.
  2. Shortly thereafter, MIDAS automatically sends the client a post-booking email (the content of which is customizable via a template)
  3. When this email is sent, it is also transparently BCC’d (Blind Carbon Copied) to your chosen review collection platform
  4. The review platform in turn sends your client an invitation to rate/review your business on their independent review platform

What you’ll need

In order to be able to take advantage of the functionality the optional”Reviews” addon offers, you’ll need the following:

Complete documentation for the new Reviews addon is available online.

Once MIDAS v4.24 is released, new customers will be able to purchase the “Reviews” addon through our secure site.

Existing customers with valid subscriptions running MIDAS v4.24 may add the optional “Reviews” addon to their system by upgrading.

Are there any other review platforms you’d like to see included in this addon in the future? Let us know!

In past few posts, we’ve been revealing some of the new and improved features on the horizon in the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software, v4.24.

In this post we’re revealing a new automated email notification that can be configured to automatically send to your clients shortly after their bookings have concluded.

Those familiar with the extensive email notification capabilities that MIDAS has will know that you can already configure MIDAS to automatically send clients booking confirmations, reminders of their upcoming bookings, invoice payment reminders and more. In fact there are no fewer than 10 different email notification types available in MIDAS, each of which may be individually customizable through templates.

For v4.24 we adding in an additional email notification template to the list – that for “Booking Feedback”. The idea being that a short time after a client’s booking has taken place, MIDAS can automatically send them a courtesy follow-up email. This could simply thank them for their visit, or invite them to provide feedback on their room hire experience at your organization.

New “Booking Feedback” email template in MIDAS v4.24

As with all other editable templates in MIDAS, the new “Booking Feedback” template may be freely modified and customized to suit your particular requirements. Templates are accessed and modified via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Templates. Your templates may be customized to include simple HTML code and placeholder variables.

(as a side note, eagle-eyed viewers may also note from the above screenshot that we’ve also now made the Template Preview and Template Code areas vertically resizable! Previously these were both a fixed height)

Once you’ve customized your “Booking Feedback” email template, you can then enable it and control how after a client’s booking has concluded to wait before MIDAS should send the email. These settings may be configured via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Scheduled Tasks.

Enable a Scheduled Task to automatically send an email to a client after their visit

For these post-booking emails to be automatically sent to your clients, you’ll need to have Scheduled Tasks correctly configured on your server. If Scheduled Tasks are correctly configured, the “Last Run” time indicated in the above screenshot should show a time within the last 60 minutes. All our cloud-hosted customer’s MIDAS systems are pre-configured to run scheduled tasks, however for self-hosted customers, if you’ve not yet configured Scheduled Tasks on your server, please see the following KB article: How to configure your server to run Scheduled Tasks.

We hope our customers will appreciate this new notification and template addition to the forthcoming v4.24 update. In our next blog post, we’ll take a look at how the functionality of this new “booking feature” feature can be further enhanced with a brand new optional addon… so stay tuned to our blog to discover more in the coming days!