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Building a brand new app

In this series of articles we’re taking a look at version 4 of our iPad app, how it came about and the changes it’s bringing. If you’d like to read more about what’s new, you can read our ‘20 changes coming to version 4’ article here. If you have any questions around the release itself, you can find our developer Q&A here.

Backstory

Work on (what would become) version 4 started at the end of 2018 when the team spent a few days of their holiday break reimagining how Sign In App could look as we moved into 2019 and beyond. As the year progressed, the scope grew; incorporating more and more ambitious ideas. By the summer of 2019 it was clear that a whole new app was needed and following six months of development and three months of testing, we’re now ready to release version 4 into the hands of our community.

Continual evolution of the product and platform is part of our DNA. If you’re a Sign In App subscriber or have followed us for a while, that won’t surprise you as you’ll have seen the fruits of the team’s labours each and every month. We look at where workplaces are heading and build useful features, releasing them at no additional cost to benefit our Sign In App community.

While no-one could’ve predicted the challenges we’re all facing today, we’re glad to hear that so many of you are using Sign In App to adapt; whether that’s switching to remote working with confidence, building detailed health questionnaires for contractors and staff or producing daily rundowns of key workers still signing in to the site.

We understand that visitor management might not be at the top of everyone’s agendas as we release version 4. But just like remote sign ins, each new feature gives our subscribers more ways to customise the product, adapting it to suit their needs at the time. With that in mind here’s a quick overview of version 4 and why we feel it’s our biggest step forward to date.

Supporting new features

The team behind Sign In App are ambitious, talented and imaginative. Our roadmap is packed with ideas that we can’t wait to release and share with our community. Because the product evolves so quickly, it’s already radically different from the version 3 which released at the start of 2018. Back then we were introducing GDPR features and visitor groups for the first time. In the months since, we’ve added events, companion app, Sign In App Tap, personal fields and many more.

By building a new app with version 4, it gives us the opportunity to take everything we’ve learned from a period of rapid growth and optimise the app, streamlining the code to create a new platform to support future projects. With a clear roadmap ahead, version 4 is ready for many new features to come. At launch we’re introducing video messages, message documents, video welcome screens, new evacuation reports, support for multiple sites and lots more. To read about 20 changes coming in version 4, click here.

More ways to customise

We’ve always been passionate about providing the best sign in experience in the market. We do this by having a wide range of customisation options, a stable, secure platform and the simple sign in process that’s become our trademark. We’ve been amazed by the ingenious ways people use Sign In App, from signing out keys to signing in dogs, we’re constantly impressed by how our community uses the customisation options available to them.

As we continue to grow Sign In App, customisation will remain at its heart with even more options to customise the sign in experience for your staff, contractors and guests. The new sign in experience in v4 adds an optional ‘light mode’ theme and support for videos throughout the application to give you more ways to stand out, promote your brand and share important site information.

Improved accessibility

Our team is proud of the feedback we get around Sign In App’s usability and intuitiveness. That applies across the board from the online portal, to our companion app for smartphones and of course our iPad app for receptions. Many people who sign in to site via the iPad are using the product for the first time, so it’s critically important that the experience there is simple and self-explanatory.

It’s equally important that the app itself is accessible, allowing guests of all ages and levels of technical experience to sign in unaided. It’s one of the main reasons we chose a touchscreen (iPad, for its familiarity at home) and suggest using landscape orientation (for the largest onscreen keyboard). This has helped Sign In App become popular in sectors such as care homes and charities where the user base is wide and varied.

Never content to rest on our laurels, we want to do more to ensure Sign In App is the most accessible visitor management solution in the market. Version 4 introduces improvements across the board with larger and heavier fonts, clearer buttons and audio feedback such as button sounds and spoken messages. The optional new sign in experience takes this even further with larger custom fields and more accessibility options including button and font sizing.

We continue to work with our clients who regularly sign in visually impaired guests to ensure the changes we’re bringing are helpful and encourage feedback from our community around any accessibility issues you’d like to address.

Version 4 of our iPad app is a leap forward in accessibility and usability, with more customisation options than ever and an interface that’s still simple to use. We’re looking forward to getting it in your hands and remember, version 4 and all the new features are included at no extra cost as part of your Sign In App subscription.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at support@signinapp.com or start a live chat online and the team will be happy to help.