Devblog: Branda Fall 2020 Update
Branda matters even more now. Hours have changed, shuttles are running at reduced capacity, and so on. We remain committed to providing a central place for all of the information you need to get on with your day at Brandeis — even if your day looks a lot different that it did last semester.
The Fall 2020 devblog is brought to you by Ian Smith ’22, who is majoring in computer science and history.
On Android 8 (Oreo) or later and iOS 13 or later, Branda will now follow the system theme.
We accomplished this using a combination of Native Base’s built-in theming tools, the
react-native-appearance package, and manual styling tweaks. It is not particularly elegant, and we will be looking to streamline how we theme the app in the future.
On the Map page, there is now an option to toggle on and off wheelchair accessible routes. The amount of routes is currently very limited, and we hope to add more in the future.
In addition, we have improved the experience for users who are colorblind, or use screen reading technology. We followed React Native’s documentation on this matter, as we lacked familiarity with it. https://reactnative.dev/docs/accessibility
Accessibility is a very unfamiliar area for us, but it is something we want to get right. If you or someone you know uses these features, or knows how they can be improved, please contact us. We would love to work with you to make your experience as smooth as possible.
Gosman Schedule Visual Update
Many users have expressed frustration in the past that Branda does not provide detailed scheduling for the various facilities at Gosman. With the Fall 2020 update, we have added times for three of Gosman’s facilities — the weight room, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and Linsey Pool. This information is collected from the same schedule you would see at https://www.brandeisjudges.com/facilities/schedule.
Note that the Linsey Pool schedule is not displayed because none is available. When a schedule is added for Linsey Pool, it will be displayed in the app.
We are also introducing a new UI — a calendar that allows you to see what the schedule for each facility will be up to a week in advance with cards for each facility displaying that day’s schedule. In addition, on Android devices, tapping on the card will bring up the schedule for the week.
Development issues aside, we will continue to refine this new UI and are considering bringing it to the Library and Dining pages as well.
In keeping with our mission, we want this vital information to be easily accessible to everyone in the community, so a link to the Brandeis COVID-19 information page is now included in the menu.
We are considering adding more comprehensive information about Brandeis’ COVID-19 response, but Apple and Google’s strict policies about COVID-related misinformation combined with our small userbase and lack of affiliation with the University may make this difficult.
Other Visual Updates and Changes
We made tweaks to iconography and fonts.
The app header is now a unified component, with consistent styling and behavior. This reduces the amount of per-page code and gives us more flexibility in the future with regards to styling and behavior. The best examples of this are the Map and Profile pages.
The login and logout process is now more streamlined. When loading the app when you are logged in, the app will no longer momentarily display the login screen. Instead, you will see an animated loading screen, followed by the home screen.
The Shuttles page now has more consistent icons that correspond to each schedule’s time during the week. In addition, the icons of the footer was changed to better match the system style.
The Laundry page now has better behavior. We are working on an overhaul to this page that we hope to share with you soon.
The icons on the Home page are now more consistent with the system style.
Background changes to improve the push notification experience, including a status bar icon for Android devices.
Android users running Android 8.0 (Oreo) or later should now see that the Branda icon is adaptive. https://developer.android.com/guide/practices/ui_guidelines/icon_design_adaptive