5 March, 2019
Our new interface is here
To celebrate the launch of our beta version of our new interface and its release in most markets, we interviewed one of our developers, Philip von Schirach, about how it came to be and what you can expect from it.
To simplify things, we will refer to the current interface as View 6 and the new interface as View 7.
Question: When were you first thinking of changing View 6 to View 7 and why?
Answer: Discussions about a new interface started back in 2015/2016. The discussions transitioned into interviews and workshops in early 2018. The actual implementation then started in the autumn of 2018. One of the main goals for us was to help teachers to make quicker assessments and improve the overall analysis process.
Q: How did the process of imagining a new interface look like?
A: The process started with discussions and interviews with already existing users from all over the world in order to pinpoint the possible improvements of the old interface. We also took the help of an agency as well as external experts and started a so-called Design Thinking process. One part of that process was, for example, something called the Double Diamond Approach where you start with a very broad vision of a problem to narrow it down only to broaden your perspective again.
Q: What did you learn while developing the new interface?
A: Our focus was to build an application that was easy to update and maintain. What that means is that it will allow us to push out new features and improvements more often. This approach meant that we learned a lot about how to approach design from a UX and Design Thinking perspective, what we need to take into consideration when building a new interface and when it’s time to kill your darlings.
Q: It sounds like a big project to undertake and I am sure it wasn’t always easy. What would you say was the biggest challenge and maybe even still is?
A: One of the biggest ongoing challenges is to re-think the old functionality and implement that into the new interface. We also need to make sure that users who are using the current interface feel that there is a natural transition to View 7. Therefore, feedback is very important for us so that we can continue developing the application in the direction that our users are happy with. As opposed to View 6, changes will be on-going and View 7 will evolve more and more based on the feedback we get from its users!
Q: Speaking of the old and new interfaces, what would you say is the biggest difference between View 7 and View 6?
A: One of the major differences is the Quick Overview feature that you get when a report is loaded. The idea behind is to help teachers and instructors make a quick assessment on whether they have to spend more time on a report or not. That also entails that there are now several different ways of how you can go through the analysis process. Another new and important feature is the Findings View, which allows you to get a specific view of the findings you want to inspect or take a closer look.
We also implemented something called Whole Document view, which is similar to the side by side comparison in View 6. By implementing different ways of viewing the report, the user can create and maintain their own workflow when going through the report.
With View 7, we want to have a more interactive interface that can give tips and explains some information we think is important to have. We have therefore also developed a little bot, which we internally call Urkbot and which is meant to function as some sort of personal assistant. It also can scan the status of the report and give useful tips and insights based on that.
Q: Speaking of changes, what will remain the same?
A: During the implementation of the new interface we made sure to extract the matching text-segments in the same way as in the old interface. This includes the highlighting of quotes, brackets and detailed text differences for example.
What’s important to mention is that the new interface provides a more tailored experience for the user but the core functionality will stay the same. We are constantly working on quality improvements within the whole system to provide the best possible service.
Q: What are the advantages of View 7?
It is an interactive system which allows for change much easier than the previous interface. The quick overview is one of our new highlights which we believe will make the life of teachers and instructors easier when deciding if plagiarism has occurred or not. We are also working on the new and improved findings view. The new way that enables you to go through the report without having to scroll through the whole document is also something we are really happy about.
Q: When do you think that we will switch completely to View 7?
A: The whole idea with releasing the beta version is to get as many users trying it and to collect as much feedback as possible to be able to make the changes needed to release the full version.
So please give us your feedback as it is so vital for us so that we can improve and develop possible missing features.
Q: What do you like most about View 7?
A: The previously mentioned Urkbot is a fun and useful addition as well as the modern look and feel of it. The workflow is easier and more coherent now. We have also divided the report into different sections to have it look less cluttered. Further on, we improved the mobile version if you need to have access to a report quickly and “on-the-go”.
Q: To balance things out, where do you still see room for improvement?
A:We are currently focusing on deciding and developing how to display the different sources that were found during the analysis process. We want to create a simple but powerful way for the users to enable, disable and change what sources should be included in the report. Otherwise, I am happy with the current version and we have a lot of ideas for new functionalities which will be added over time.
That sounds really exciting, thanks so much for the interview Philip!
If you are equally as excited as we are, then please take a look at the beta version which you can access through your current View 6 log-in or take a look at our example report here. As mentioned by Philip, we REALLY need your feedback on View 7 so please click on the pop-up where it leads you to the feedback form.