Savvy Public Beta - January 26, 2016

Thomas -

After a great Private Beta we just released a new Savvy version. And, to make it extra, extra special we call it a "PUBLIC Beta" because that's what the cool kids use these days. You are likely one of them - why else would you be reading our Release Notes? We're not going to quote Urban Dictionary's definition of "Beta" here but instead tell you about the awesomeness we just added to Savvy: From "a" like "automated timezone setting" to "z" like - uhm - Gift Card:)

 

NEW FEATURES
We've received a lot of amazing feedback from our teachers and learners about the Private Beta. They loved all the new features and improved stability in our Private Beta. And because they love us as much as we love them, they gave us the gift of many, many more awesome requirements. We've worked tirelessly, bribed our office squirrels to work overtime and fed our engineers with energy drinks and pie to make the magic happen. Here's a list of all the awesomeness we've just released in the Savvy Public Beta:

New Homepage Makes It Easy To Discover Savvy Teachers

The all new Savvy homepage now allows interested teachers to join easily and helps interested teachers connect with the best teachers:

  • Home is where the heart is. We redesigned our online home for Public Beta to make it look much nicer and to give visitors a better idea of what the Savvy experience is like for teachers and their learners. We make it super easy for interested teachers to sign up for our Beta - oh, and we send them a super nice welcome email. Love, Team Savvy
  • Teachers can sign up directly from the Savvy homepage by clicking "Teach" and "Get started"
  • Learners can now find the best teacher for the topics they are interested in. Our new browse feature allows discovery by categories and based on specific requirements like expertise level, style
  • Learners can find teachers based on their preferred session time (matching teacher availability) 
  • We have an updated logo and our new homepage uses an updated color scheme and visual design

User Messaging, Savvy Teacher Page and Profile Creation
Savvy teachers now get guidance on setting up their own Savvy pages, upload and edit their video and photo and update their teacher profile:

  • Messaging: interested or current learners can now easily message teachers right from their Savvy page. The communication protects the learner's and teacher's privacy.
  • Teacher Profile: pages now look awesome when shared on Facebook and Twitter
  • Topic Pages: Now every topic you teach is clickable on your Savvy page and has its own landing page. For easy sharing and for targeted outreach, especially for teachers who offer a range of different topics
  • Free Sessions: We can now address special requests to set certain topics to a $0 price - e.g. for free introduction sessions teachers want to offer.
  • In-person teaching: we now allow teachers to mark whether they teach a session online via live video or in person (incl. address and map details included in the reminder emails to the learner)
  • Teacher Profile: to make their Savvy page look more beautiful and attractive to learners: when teachers don't yet have a video uploaded their Savvy page now shows a larger version of their profile picture as a nicer placeholder
  • Profile Creation Wizard: the updated savvy.is/teaching wizard guides new users to creating their Savvy page and connecting their calendar in under 4 minutes.
  • Teacher Profile: Video auto-plays muted, on click it unmutes and restarts
  • Teacher Profile: we've improved the image and video uploader
  • Teacher profiles: you can now copy text from the page to paste it somewhere else, e.g. for copying topic text

Real-time Calendar Updates

  • We love when things are fast. We just made calendar synchronization so fast we call it "real time". When you mark a slot as available on your Google Calendar or edit an existing slot it now takes no more than a few seconds to reflect your new availability on your Savvy Page. So use that shiny smart device of yours to touch and tap and flick around your calendar so your learners see instantly when they can book time with you. Sweet.

User Dashboard

  • In the Private Beta we added a new control panel and we made it smarter in our latest version:
    • Dashboard improvements: teachers can see past and upcoming sessions and manage their learners easily. Learners can see their teachers, past and upcoming sessions, details of their goals, and easy access to rebook a session for a weekly occurrence.

Easy Booking and Rebooking for Weekly Sessions

  • Rebook: it is now possible to book weekly sessions with a teacher with just one click. For a series of sessions the learner only pays for the first session at booking time and gets notified and charged for future sessions 48 hours prior to the respective start time.
  • Booking: learners can now book sessions 12 weeks into the future, based on the teacher's availability
  • Booking: learners can easily explore a teacher's availability by navigating to next and previous weeks
  • Booking page now has a progress indicator so the learner gets a visual feedback while the payment is processed.
  • Booking confirmation: we now separate email threads for every booking confirmation email (before they all got clustered by Gmail into one thread, regardless of the learner). This makes learner management easier.
  • Booking flow: clicking on the teacher image now takes the learner back to the profile page for easy navigation
  • Booking buffer: by default teachers can be booked for sessions that are at least 12 hours in the future. We can reduce this buffer to 1 hour for each teacher individually upon request
  • Booking a free sessions now doesn't require the learner to add a credit card anymore
  • Cancel Session: we added a feature to allow teacher and learner to cancel sessions easily when needed. For now cancellations are email based. We're working on an integrated solution. Our Cancellation Policy is here, btw. Thanks for asking.

Gift Cards and Discounts

  • Gift Cards: anyone can now gift a Savvy session by purchasing a gift card right from the teacher's Savvy page. Teacher and Buyer receive confirmation emails. Gift cards can be downloaded, printed, or sent directly to the recipient. 
  • Discount Codes / Coupons: we can generate coupons / discount codes as per a teacher's request for a fixed amount off (e.g. $20 off for one session) or a percentage off (e.g. 50% off your next booking). Coupons can be configured to be limited to a specific learner, a specific teacher, for a specific timeframe and with an expiration date or maximal number of uses.  Discount codes can also be applied for rebooking / booking a series of sessions.

Video Session Improvements

  • Video Session: created browser-specific guides to get ready for a video session. Providing better guidance for Safari plug-in installation.
  • Video Chat: learner and teacher now see an on-screen reminder 5 minutes before their session ends and non-dismissable on-screen message when they are past their booked session time (helping teachers to stay within the scheduled time)
  • Video chat: detecting connectivity problems, audio and video issues, manage poor video and audio quality and guide users on fixing those
  • Video chat: the text chat is now smarter: it recognizes web links and you can minimize it to move it out of the way when it's not needed.
  • Video Session: user can close the session from a link in the header
  • Session goals show in the top bar of the video session and can be updated by the teacher and learner

Usability Improvements

  • Automatic timezone setting: teachers and learners get their time zones set automatically. Session times always show in local time in the user interface and in all confirmation and notification emails
  • The Savvy navigation bar now shows details of the user when signed in and makes it easy to access profile management, account settings and the learner / teacher dashboard.

Security and Payment

  • Reset Password: we made it even easier and safer for all users to reset a forgotten password
  • Booking and Payment: we now show more detailed messages when something goes wrong while processing a learner's card

Technical Improvement

  • Many (many!) technical improvements "under the hood" to make our platform faster and even more robust in all popular web and mobile browsers.
  • We moved our tech to a highly scalable framework that keeps pace with our rapid feature development and user growth while keeping the app very responsive and easy to use.

 

Oh, and we updated our Terms of Service with the rules for the new gift card / discount code feature and including details about our secure payment provider.

 

FIXED ISSUES

Some call them "bugs" and give them exotic names like "#91964576". We don't name them as we don't want to get too attached. Instead, we get rid of them pronto. Here are the ones that are no longer bothering us:

  • Teacher Profile: Editing the title starts playing the video
  • My Profile and My Account: layout broken on iOS
  • Some very large profile image file sizes make profile pages slow to load
  • Scrolling a form on iOS and Android sometimes reveals hidden content
  • Incorrect plural form on the rebooking page
  • HTML code showing in the UI when booking a session
  • Mobile layout issues with input field spacing
  • Audio issue: teacher hears an echo of their own voice
  • Video chat: learner and teacher online but aren't getting connected
  • Video chat: Mic gets muted if the user had used Skype before the session
  • Beta signup form: button layout issue on Firefox
  • "You are already signed in" warning
  • My Topic partially cut off for long descriptions
  • Safari: profile pages and side page can be scrolled sideways
  • Video upload: need to set time limit to 10 minutes
  • Video Chat: Android mobile chat is covered by the self-view video
  • Booking on iOS: can't proceed to the payment screen
  • Video Chat layout issues on Windows Internet Explorer
  • Video Chat layout issues on Windows Edge Browser
  • Don't show days when teacher only has 30 minute slots available to learners who intend to book a full hour session
  • Savvy ignores Google Calendar event with a specific color (weird, I know, but that did actually happen)
  • Top bar stays open too often - make sure it moves out when mouse pointer isn't near the top of the session window
  • Sync problem with all-day availability
  • iOS homepage layout skewed on iPhone and iOS
  • Some teachers didn't receive email confirmations for booked sessions (temporary issue with email job queue)
  • Teacher Profile: Google Calendar shows as "linked to Savvy" even though all app permissions got removed and the calendar got deleted
  • Name and Title overlap in profile editing
  • Clicking on Payment edit icon causes JS error
  • Catch all card declined errors
  • Safari browser: self-video is too small
  • Gift cards: "Review Gift" button should show a warning message if there is no valid TO: email address
  • Validate gift card / code before confirming the booking
  • Don't offer to use Gift Cards for FREE sessions
  • Pre-fill from: and email fields when the gift buyer is signed in to Savvy
  • Gift Card Purchase: preserve values even if user uses browser "back" button to navigate between pages
  • Gift Card Preview is hard to close
  • Gift Card Layout: footer is not visible, layout is off on iPhone 6s
  • Gift Card Layout: layout is off on iOS in landscape mode (iPhone, iPad)
  • Gift Card: not rendering special characters
  • Gift Card: applied gift card amount isn't updating if user switches to a different session length
  • Gift Card: can't "unapply" gift card before booking
  • Gift Card booking: confirmation email shows total gift card value instead of redeemed value for the respective booking
  • For anonymous gift card buyers (not signed in) the Credit Card submit button should say "Enter" (instead of "Save")
  • Gift Card: server error when user is not signed in
  • Gift Card: need to show credit card typ on gift payment page
  • Gift Card: make CC number, expiry and CVV fields smarter
  • Gift Card: buyers should be able to use "back" button to navigate to the previous page without losing context and data
  • Gift Cards: remove "Apply" and "Cancel" buttons on the purchase confirmation screen (those were from the *booking* flow)
  • Gift Cards: "Get another gift" link is broken
  • Gift Cards: make code more user friendly by making it up of the user's name
  • Gift Cards: show a message when the card has no balance left or is expired
  • Gift Cards: post-session email says teacher gets paid but that isn't true if a gift card was used
  • Teacher Profile: Windows Internet Explorer shows footer on the top
  • Add new maintenance and error pages: in the unlikely event of a server downtime or critical error users will now see a more useful message.
  • Confirmation email times are off (timezone issue)
  • More user-friendly error message with helpful and actionable guidance
  • Security: only logged-in users can see their own appointments
  • Replace payment iFrame for increased compatibility and reliability
  • Fix multi-timezone isssue with multiple session bookings (rebook) - taking different DST dates into account across different regions
  • Video Chat: Error message shows "microphone isn't connected" when really the user didn't allow their browser to use their *cam*
  • Booking with gift card or coupon: user can book a session without entering a credit card if their
  • Polish: available sessions for rebook spill over beyond their fields
  • Beta signup skips profile creation wizard
  • Signing in shows confirmation of payment method (iFrame issue - solved by removing iFrame altogether)
  • Applied discount not showing in booking confirmation email
  • iPhone booking confirmation screen clips confirmation button
  • Vertical spacing on free session confirmation screen
  • Footer moves up when resetting password
  • Confirm button not showing
  • "Apply Discount Code" makes no sense for $0 sessions
  • Only allow one username per email address
  • Daily Calendar Refresh: cleanup task to remove dead events
  • Usernames: remove filler words
  • Auto-generate unique usernames
  • Show message if a user tries to create an account with an email address that already exists in our system
  • Booking flow: show the "proceed" button only when all selections were made (prevent users from skipping)
  • Endless spinner when applying discount code (add timeout)
  • Invalidate reset password token on first use. Detect outdated password reset link and guide user
  • Gift cards: don't ask redeemer for their credit card if the gift card covers the total session price
  • On payment screen show "complete" button as inactive until payment info is entered completely (currently it is invisible until all info is entered)
  • Reserved bookings are added to the teacher's Google calendar twice.
  • Timezone is not being updated unless user quits browser (this affects users who keep their Savvy booking session open while traveling across timezones)
  • Hitting "back" from confirmation screen breaks layout
  • Booking: harmonize visual design of buttons
  • Harmonize terminology: "Sign in" (instead of "Log in")
  • "Cancel Session" isn't showing for sessions that start in less than 24 hours
  • Teacher Profile: Savvy page title should show the name of the teacher e.g. "Learn from Molly Mahoney" 
  • Video Chat: when learner enters trailing blanks to their name the video session link (constructed from the teacher and learner name) becomes invalid.

 

KNOWN ISSUES

Whoa, there are still some features that aren't quite working the way they should. And that's a nice way of saying "we know there are some bugs we haven't completely fixed yet". There, we said it. Most of these have simple workarounds (see below). But, we totally get that they can be pretty annoying, so we're working hard on getting these fixed:

  • Video chat not working in old versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome
    • Update your browser to the latest version to avoid incompatibilities
    • Switch on your browser's auto-update feature so you always use the latest and greatest.
  • Video chat: microphone not working
    • The other person can't hear you at all while you can hear them well. Check your audio settings: is your built-in or external microphone connected, unmuted? Does your microphone work in other apps?
    • In some cases restarting your computer may be necessary to unlock your microphone and webcam.
  • Video chat: in some browsers, temporary slowness of the internet connection can cause echo cancellation to fail.
    • reload the browser tab or window the active video chat is in
    • use headphones to avoid speaker/mic echo
  • Video chat: video freezes to a still image for one of the two parties
    • reload the browser tab or window the active video chat is in
  • Teacher calendar: Google calendar contains the Savvy video link but also adds a Google Hangout video chat link, which can be confusing
    • That's a user-specific setting in your Google calendar settings: when active, Google calendar will auto-add a Hangout link to every appointment you create. You can either ignore the Google Hangout video link and just click on the Savvy video link inside the appointment, OR switch change your settingin GCal → Settings → (scroll down)→ Automatically add video calls to events I create → [x] No. All done.
  • Chat History: text chats between teacher and learner get lost when reloading the page and when ending the session
    • We're working on preserving all chat messages. In the future we will offer the option to receive a transcript of chat messages for each session.
  • Video upload and processing is slow
    • We're looking into options for a faster video upload and processing

 

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