February 2020 Product Update

Upper hand – upper hand –
Our team leaped into February fully energized thanks to an abundance of positive feedback from last month’s innovations. In this February lineup you’ll find a brand new Kiosk Mode, UI enhancements to the calendar, and a *heavy* dose of under-the-hood refactors for improved stability, enhanced performance, and long-term innovation. Find all of our new features and details below! February 2020 Product Update

In this release:

All-New Kiosk Mode

We are thrilled to announce Kiosk Mode – a brand new interface that will allow clients to check-in to their classes and training sessions on their own. Available soon, this hands-free feature will simplify the check-in process and allow you to accurately track attendance and target your absentees without the need for staff to be present – reducing their workload as well. Once live, Kiosk Mode will be accessed through a new app you’ll find in the app store. After downloading, you’ll enter your login information plus a new group number and be able to select which program(s) you want to activate for check-in!
Kiosk mode check in
List of sessions
Kiosk mode check in
List of scheduled attendees
Check-in confirmation

New Calendar Card Event Statuses

We tuned up the calendar by adding your “draft” and “cancelled” events, giving you more visibility into your staff and resource availabilities when planning future programs. Draft events will appear opaque and bordered with a dotted line, while Cancelled events are highlighted light yellow with a solid yellow stripe. Active and Completed events remain unchanged. Learn more:

Product Refactors

Our purpose at Upper Hand is to deliver innovation through technology and design. This means moving fast isn’t just an option – it’s a mindset built into our culture’s DNA.  There are endless ways to write code when building new features, and a goal of engineering is to build an architecture that supports both the new features while planning for future features. Over time, technical debt, or the friction in rolling out new features, accumulates. Technical debt and bugs will always exist in every software application, the key is to always monitor it, pay the debt down when needed, and finding that fine balance. February at Upper Hand was dedicated to improving the overall performance and stability of our software. In addition to fixing bugs, our engineering team began a series of code refactors – the process of restructuring key areas of our existing code. While these code refactors aren’t visible, they have many short and long-term benefits. In addition to reducing the risk of future bugs, these “behind-the-scene” adjustments will better set the foundation for us to develop new and innovative features faster than ever.
Transaction & Payments Refactors
The series of transaction refactors will enable payments to be more flexible through our software and provide two key long-term benefits: (1) provide the ability to add more payment options for clients, and (2) update how payments are recorded, opening up new doors for innovative reporting and data-driven insights for business growth.  Transactions are one of Upper Hand’s key components with over 90% utilization within our software, and we have many exciting features on our product road map that will further enhance the payment experience. After restructuring the code’s architecture, you can expect to experience more customizable payment options, improved reporting, and better stabilization.
Attendance Refactor
With Check-In being one of the top four utilized features of our app, it’s evident that tracking attendance is key to your business. By refactoring the attendance code, we are setting the stage for a more user-friendly client experience by improving check-in drawer load times and overall stability. In addition, you’ll experience fewer bugs related to payroll and other functions that are impacted by attendance.  While just in its “early stages”, the new Kiosk Mode feature is an instant benefit to this effort – a great example of how code refactors open doors to new innovation and provide opportunities to add value for your business.
Front-End Liberation
Front-end liberation is the technical way of saying that we are separating the front-end code (the visual part you see) from the back-end code (the functionality of it). In short, this effort relates to increase the speed our engineering team writes and pushes code. By having these entities reside in different places makes it more accessible for our engineers to add features, locate and fix bugs, and make general improvements to the code’s architecture.  Not only will it make front end alterations easier, but it will also make load times and overall app speed significantly better – including mobile – which accounts for over 60% of total traffic. Do you have questions about the features in our latest round of updates? Let us know at [email protected]! To see a live demo of Upper Hand in action, click here to schedule a time!
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