Affino 6.0.15 Release - Ecommerce, Usability and Recruitment
This release is the culmination of seven months work on the new Optimised Affino Checkout. During the course of the last six months we have rolled out dozens of incremental improvements (and fixes) to the checkout process to drive higher conversion rates. The checkout experience has been taken to the next level with a complete revamp for simple, fast checkouts. We’ve also rolled out a new ecommerce engine, greatly simplified the ecommerce setup and made many nuanced enhancements to the whole ecommerce experience.
We continue our focus on Usability with in-context Help and Feature guides in each Control Centre. We have also greatly improved the process for setting up and running multiple Affino sites on a single Affino instance. Hundreds more elements have been made more intuitive than they were previously, and a lot of rough edges have been smoothed in this release.
Recruitment also sees a great leap forward with dozens of essential enhancements, including a great new Job Search Design Element, recommended jobs, refined CV handling and much more.
Affino’s style has also subtly improved in this release. Many elements now look better than before, in particular Affino Design Elements, but also the font sizes and proportions, many notifications, most ecommerce and recruitment elements, member search, the funding platform and events.
This is a Major update which sees amends to everything from registering, logging in, adding to the basket, checking out, member’s profiles, all Design Elements and much more. It is essential that you set aside time to review your site after the update. Ensure that you liaise with your Account Manager prior to the update and update during Comrz support hours to ensure a rapid response to any issues.
Note: you are strongly advised to become familiar with the new checkout on Public Staging prior to updating to this release. It is a complete reworking of how it works and it’s essential that you are prepared for the changes.
It is essential that you run through the complete update process starting with the Affino Updater, followed by the System Update, Re-Initialise Site, Design Element Update, Skin Update and finally Clear Guest Cache; all of which are available on the Settings > Update screen.
The optimised checkout has been under development for over half a year and this release sees the official launch after a great deal of testing. There are four key aspects to the new checkout: a completely revamped ecommerce engine, which now manages the shopping basket in a much more scalable and reliable manner; greatly improved management which means that we’ve taken hundreds of settings out and made it possible to edit them now in-context whilst the remaining settings are now organised in dedicated Store, Checkout and Basket profiles; and the completely reworked Checkout which has been rewritten using JQuery so that it works across mobile devices and tablets as well as the web.
The checkout experience has seen dozens of subtle improvements for every single element including in-page address editing; a reveal whereby only relevant elements are presented on the screen at any time; combined shopping basket, login, profile management, registration, and checkout; greatly improved help and hints to guide users; instant Ajax updates; dynamic prompts and refreshes; lightweight CSS for fast presentation; two column option; cleaned up interface; and much more.
This release sees major updates to the entire recruitment experience. The new Job Search Design Element allows you to set up powerful job searches, and the job listings and details have been considerably refined. Many elements have been subtly improved to provide a much improved overall experience when searching for and managing jobs.
Other enhancements include: desired salary is now a drop-down so it can be used for job matching; recruitment briefs can be multi-displayed to an All Jobs listing (for a comprehensive jobs search); better looking jobs listing; it is now possible to see the date that candidates applied for a job; Affino now presents Recommended Jobs for the first time on the recommendations screen and Design Element; users can at any time hide their ID from the other members; CVs can be made required for job applications.
Member Profile DE v1
For the first time it is now possible to personalise every page with the member’s own Avatar and personal details using the new Member Profile DE. This takes personalisation to the next level and means that the ‘My’ gateway pages have that extra level of user engagement.
Multi-site Management Improvements
There are a host of improvements in this release for setting up multiple sites on Affino. Dozens of interfaces have been updated to make it easier to identify clearly which Zone, Store and Community content, products and members belong to.
We have also refined many interfaces to make it easier to set up, search, import, sort and list out elements when using multiple Zones on a single Affino instance.
Design Element Enhancements
The new Design Element showcase on Comrz.com highlights most of the key Affino Design Elements on one screen. To create it though and have all the Design Elements running white on black on the same screen has meant that we’ve needed to do a great deal of work to make them all work together on a single Skin and still look good. Check out the showcase for inspiration on what you can do with Affino Skins.
We’ve implemented the new Design Menu padding so that you can frame the Design Elements much better, dozens of elements have been tweaked for consistency and some have had to have their display code completely re-written so that they can work with multiple instances on the same screen and with white text on black.
New Content and Media Webservices
Affino has taken some big steps forward when it comes to providing content to 3rd party solutions with the release of the new Article and Media Webservices and the new Token based authentication system. Get the latest Webservices API documentation for the detailed integration guide.
When used in combination, Affino can feed out the latest content and media to third party sites whilst automatically authenticating inbound links to secured content on the main website. In this way content can be fed to external sites, but large or complex content can be viewed directly on the main site without the users having to log in manually. The content is delivered using REST / JSON and the authentication happens via OAuth / Tokens.
Account Management - project tracking is greatly improved in this release so it’s now much clearer how much time has been spent on each project thread, as well as the total time spent on all of each Account’s projects
Article Export - now greatly more scalable and has Zone, Channel and Section filters for more granularity
Article Import - including an email address allows Affino to automatically match the content with the users / creators; keywords can now also be imported
Campaigns - it is now possible to have in-page campaign rotation, i.e. banners rotate every x seconds whilst a page is being viewed; Affino now also has a new Video Ad Creative Type which allows for video ads for the first time
Community Tools DE - new Job and Profile Update buttons
Control Navigator - now automatically pulls in the latest Control Interfaces with each Affino release, no need to push the refresh button
Currencies - Affino now supports three decimal point currencies such as the Oman Rial
Design Menus - it is now possible to put padding on the Design Elements which makes for greatly improved layouts
Events - are now significantly more customisable with four new custom panels each with full WYSIWYG content; it is also possible to specifically select event speakers if you’re looking to highlight just a small subset of the total
Feature Scroller - new icon navigation option for selecting features
Fonts - we have updated the standard font sizes in Affino so that the Heading fonts now scale with the general text fonts
Forums - a considerable number of improvements when running forums on multiple sites an communities; making this an essential update
Funding Platform v1.5 - multiple updates and fixes make this an essential release for the funding platform; we’ve also added a Funding Project To Do List
Groups - now looking better
Help - we now have in-context links to the Help Guides and Features Guides from each Control Centre; the Feature Guides are a great new resource to help you get the most out of Affino; the help guides have also been re-organised and updated considerably
Lead Generation - it is now possible to export the leads; also see Online Directory below
Member Campaigns - improved targeting so that it is now possible to target by specific interests, countries and sectors as well as the previous demographic filters; display and management also greatly refined and considerably more usable
Member Listing - improved formatting and presentation; members can now only connect with members at their level or below
Message Boards - improved styling and highlights Design Element mean that the Message Boards are now considerably better looking
Online Directory / Lead Generation - it is now possible to designate Lead Managers on Online Directory entries. These members receive the notification for all the leads generated from the content on their online directory entry; these leads can now be send real-time or on a daily / weekly / monthly basis
Product Drill Down Menu DE - improved display logic, now displaying drill-downs more intuitively
Recommendations - have gotten smarter in this release, they now recommend jobs and active members and don’t recommend products you’ve already bought; greatly improved setup process; no longer recommend members you can’t connect with
Rotating Backgrounds - now work better all round; improved buttons, rotation and management
Security - it is now possible to see which security groups each member has purchased access to
Selectors - we’ve removed all the annoying ‘did you really want to select this’ notifications throughout Affino on the assumption that probably you did and don’t need to be asked all the time; we’re keeping the helpful ones though which save you from blowing up your site; sort ordering is now also more obvious
Shipping - it is now possible to specify specific permitted delivery days for full management of when products are / aren’t being shipped
Site Analysis - improved Zoning of Site Analysis, user content now also Zoned
Slide Show DE - now has the option to open slides into the light box view
User Export - User Exports become a great deal more useful in this release as it’s now possible to filter by dated Conversion Events, registration dates, and Accounts; using the Conversion Events in particular allows for a great deal of new reporting in Affino
Users - names are now intelligently capitalised even if users don’t do it; users can now have 2nd email addresses and telephone numbers
Ztorm Integration - major updates throughout making this an essential update: now only pass USD as currency to Ztorm, irrespective of purchase currency; only updates items with fresh information; My Software link added to notifications
Fixes are elements which didn’t work as well as they should, and have now been made to work better. Minor enhancements provide subtle improvements that most people won’t notice, but which nonetheless improve on the overall Affino experience.
Article Highlights DE / Article Listing DE / Article Management / Article Profile
Badge Highlights DE
Blog Profile / Blog Highlights DE
Campaigns / Campaign Theme / Campaign Statistics
Catalogue Import / Catalogue Items
Comments and Ratings
Contact Listing DE
Conversion Events (Notifications)
Cover Flow DE
Events / Events Listing DE
Groups / Group Profiles
Invites / Invite Friends DE
Leads / Lead Generation
Login / Login DE / Login Profile
Media Detail DE / Media Listing DE / Media Library / Bulk Media Uploads
Member Search and Listing
Message Boards / Message Board Highlights DE
Meta Information DE
Micro Blog DE / Micro Blog Profile
Newsletter Subscriber Import / Newsletter Messaging
Online Directory Notifications
Online Forms / Online Form DE
Password Reminder Profile
Product Drill Down DE
Public Profile / CVs
Recruitment Navigation DE
Scheduled Tasks (all)
Sections (Auto-Multi Display)
Slide Show DE
Users / User Import / User Profile / User Update Notifications
Legacy eTicketing and Event elements (now handled by Store)
Abn (exactly) removed from Channels
These are integrations which have had essential maintenance in this release:
Affino benefits from using some great frameworks, here are the updates we’ve rolled out for these frameworks in this release:
JQuery updated to 1.7.2
JQueryUI updated to 1.8.20
HighCharts updated to 2.2.3
TinyMCE updated to v220.127.116.11