Every now and then we can all benefit from a refresh. A detox, a clean out and a thorough rejuvenation to turn us into a better version of ourselves.
PractiFI is no different, which is why we’ve refreshed its user interface from the ground up. The result is the PractiFI Spa Experience, and as a PractiFI user, you’re invited.
If you’re picturing a yoga retreat with daily massages and body scrubs, I’m afraid you’re off the mark. This spa experience is here to work: harder, faster and better than ever before.
The Spa Experience is PractiFI’s brand new user experience (or “UX”, in techie shorthand) and I’m seriously excited about it. We designed our existing UX back in 2013 and it’s served us beautifully and effectively since then. But the world of web technology moves at breakneck speed and in the intervening few years, new techniques have emerged around the concept of a Single Page Application (hence the “Spa Experience”) that we’re now exploiting heavily.
Plus, as we’ve evolved, we’ve received tremendous feedback from you, our clients who use PractiFI every day. You told us that you wanted more configurability, richer functionality on a tablet and super high performance. We’ve really heard you, and we want the same things.
The Spa Experience is a completely new UX that’s more elegant, more powerful and much, much faster. And it’s coming very soon. To help you understand what it’s all about, talk to your engagement manager, or check out the Spa Experience FAQ below.
What are the main benefits of the PractiFI Spa Experience?
- Performance performance performance: The Spa Experience brings a step change in performance; it’s the #1 reason we created the Spa. Every load of a new record – a client, an employer, a fund member, a business division or a team member – is much faster. Once you’re on that record, navigating to the tabs within it – say to view all tasks for a team member or all assets for an advice client – is also way quicker.
- It runs on more devices: The Spa Experience is intended for tablets, laptops and desktops, giving you a common user experience at your desk, in a cafe or at the airport. Salesforce1 Mobile remains our recommended solution for using PractiFI on your smartphone, but the Spa Experience will now cover all your other devices.
- It’s more configurable: PractiFI has had a huge amount of configurability built in for some time now. But the Spa Experience takes configurability even further. Configure any page to your specification, even Basics. Create as many custom tabs as you like, and remove standard tabs. Rename and reorder side navigation tabs. Configure custom menu items that click through to predefined list views or that create records with preset field values.
What else do I get in the Spa Experience?
- Unique URLs for every page: every page now gets its own URL, so you can send notifications that link to a specific task, or policy, or asset, or anything.
- Broader search results: you can now use search to quickly find and navigate to just about any detail record: tasks, interactions, policies, member accounts and more.
- Better theming: we’ve made it easier to customise the colour scheme in PractiFI. Plus we’ve made it easy to set custom colours to differentiate between different client stages, segments, service types, task stages and many other categories.
Is it going to be a big change for our team who use PractiFI every day?
Not really. The basics remain the same as today. The PractiFI top nav bar, side nav bar, Launcher menu and Settings menu that you’re used to are present in the Spa Experience. A few subtabs in certain pages have been moved into the side nav bar, but not many. The biggest change is that some sidebar content, such as sidebar notes and client contact details, have moved to the new context header section. But we’re sure you’ll get the hang of these minor changes quickly.
Will our existing PractiFI custom configuration still work in the Spa Experience?
Yes, but some configurations may need adjustment to work well in the Spa Experience. We’ll provide guidance on how to make those adjustments and will advise through PractiFI Success as always.
Will our existing PractiFI integrations still work in the Spa Experience?
Any data integrations (that is, that communicate to PractiFI through the Salesforce APIs) will be unaffected by the Spa Experience, being as it is simply a user experience change. Integrations that link to existing PractiFI URLs or to existing PractiFI page structure (e.g. screen scrapers) may need adjustment. We’ll provide guidance on how to make those adjustments and will advise through PractiFI Success as always.
I’m a system administrator. Will I have to relearn how to configure PractiFI?
Not at all. You’ll just have more power at your fingertips. PractiFI Spa Experience is still built using Skuid, and I know many of our system administrator users have started to do some amazing things using Skuid to do custom configurations of PractiFI. You’ll be able to use that knowledge to configure the Spa Experience to do more than ever before.
When is the Spa Experience coming?
We’re aiming to make the Spa Experience available as an optional feature in our April 2017 release. Your system administrator will be able to enable Spa selectively across your organisation at their discretion.
Can I stay on the old PractiFI Classic Experience
For a period of time, yes. But the Spa is better in every way, so you won’t want to stay classic for long. We won’t rush you, but once we make the Spa Experience available, we’ll cease development of the Classic Experience, pushing new features only into the Spa. We’re aiming to have all clients transitioned to the Spa during 2017.
The Spa Experience is a huge step forward for PractiFI and I’m tremendously proud of what my team has created. I’m sure you’ll have questions about it, so please talk to your PractiFI engagement manager or get in touch.