While the Veridian software has been constantly changing and evolving for the past decade many of those changes have been under the hood. That is, Veridian is now dramatically faster and more scalable than it was even five years ago, and has many new features including access rules, crowd sourced text correction, comments, tags, and more. It’s also constantly being updated to support changes in web browser technology, and has been compliant with HTML5 since early 2016.
To the casual user though the software has looked very similar for a number of years, but that is about to change!
We’ve done a lot of work in the first half of 2017 to completely redesign and update Veridian’s user interface, and intend to roll out that new UI to our existing Veridian customers in the second half of 2017 and during 2018.
Why the change?
There were four key reasons we identified for undertaking a significant redesign of Veridian’s UI. We’ve listed them below, in roughly the order that we think is least to most important.
A newer, more modern, cleaner look!
Everyone wants their web content to look nice, and to look like it was designed this year, not five years ago! So one of our goals was obviously to update the way Veridian looks, to make the design cleaner and more modern.
Having said the above, the UI redesign work we’ve done is about a lot more than just putting a new shade of lipstick on Veridian! Read on…
Much better web accessibility
Over the past few years we’ve done a lot of work with the American Foundation for the Blind, and we’ve learned a lot about practical web accessibility. Veridian has always complied with core web accessibility guidelines, but we’ve taken it to the next level with the new UI, by applying the lessons learned while working with the AFB.
Don’t fix what isn’t broken!
The feedback we’ve had over a long period from many users of Veridian-based systems is that the old user interface works well, is usable, and people find it easy to learn and to navigate. We’re also conscious of the large existing base of Veridian systems, and that really dramatic changes to the UI of those sites may not be welcomed by some regular users. We’ve therefore done our best to tread the line between achieving our goals for the new UI, while retaining a lot of the layout and usability of the previous generation UI.
Much improved support for small screen devices!
The rise and rise of mobile devices was perhaps the most pressing and urgent reason for a significant upgrade and redesign of Veridian’s UI. Internet usage from small screen devices like smart phones now surpasses that from desktop and notebook computers. There is also a growing body of evidence suggesting internet users browsing habits have changed dramatically, with many users accessing the same content from more than one device. For example, people often discover websites of interest on their smart phones, then switch to a tablet or computer to explore that content in more detail.
Another change in recent years is that Google and other web search engines try to detect websites that display well on mobile devices. They then boost those sites in the search results of those using mobile devices. The end result is that if a website doesn’t display well on an iPhone those users searching Google on their phone probably won’t discover that website!
While Veridian’s legacy UI does work well on phones and other small screen devices it is not as usable as it could be. And in some cases Google flags it as not being mobile-friendly, affecting how it ranks in search results, and ultimately having a negative affect on how many people visit your Veridian-based website.
The new UI is designed from the ground up to be as usable as possible on small screens, without losing any functionality for those using large screens.