Booking-activity feed now visible from the scheduler list view

It's now possible for administrators to view their venue's booking-activity feed directly from the scheduler list view (previously this feed was a little hidden in the settings area):

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This feed enables admins to easily monitor all the changes that are being made to bookings, so its new home directly on the scheduler makes more sense!

On another note, we continue to enable the recently-announced user tags feature for existing venues. If you're not yet seeing the changes, hold tight!

User Tags (enabled initially for new venues)

TL;DR: Today we're happy to announce user tagging: a feature that further simplifies Skedda's concepts while simultaneously giving you more power to manage how your users can interact and book.

Before we explain it in detail, just keep in mind that this feature is initially enabled for new venue accounts. It will be progressively enabled for existing venues in the coming weeks (no action is required to enable it).

The basic idea is that we've merged the concepts of access levels and user groups into a single, simpler concept of user tags. Each user can have any number of tags. When this new feature is enabled on your existing venue account, you'll see that your admins now hold the Admin tag and your trusted users now hold the Trusted tag (Regular users hold neither tag). Likewise, any groups you've created will also be converted into tags and applied to your relevant users.

For example, this classic users list...

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...will look like so after the feature is enabled:

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Rest assured that the practical permissions and actions available to each user have not changed: it's just a simpler way of structuring the same ideas.

Once the feature is enabled, admins are free to create their own custom tags too. For example, here an admin has created the tags Junior, Member, Pays cash and Trainer.

Booking System   Test Tags   Skedda (2).png

Going forward, the simple tags concept will allow us to offer some powerful improvements to the product. Already with this release, admins can just specify the tag(s) a user must have to be able to book (at a high level) and the tags a user must have to be exempt from online payments (if enabled). For example, here an admin is specifying that only users tagged as a Member or Trainer can book, while users tagged with Pays cash should additionally be exempt from online payments:

Booking System   Test Tags   Skedda (3).png

Booking System   Tags Central   Skedda.png

In a similar way, the new color-scheme editor allows admins to style their scheduler based on user tags. The following rule, for example, says to "color a booking purple if its holder is a Member or an Admin":

Booking System   Tags Central   Skedda (1).png

We've also completely redesigned the spaces section. It's now trivial to create, edit, re-order and delete spaces. The editor for configuring space-sharing (dependencies between spaces) is also new and more intuitive.

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The controls for setting up booking and pricing conditions for a space have also been improved, and now allow rule filters based on tags. For example, the following pricing condition says to charge a fixed price of $10.00 for bookings made by Members and Trainers:

Booking System   Tags Central   Skedda (2).png

We hope you're starting to see a pattern here: Skedda's features can vary in a flexible way based on the tags you apply to users. You'll see this pattern repeat as we continue to improve Skedda. The result is a flexible way to meet the booking requirements of your venue without requiring a degree in rocket-surgery!

To finish up, there's one more feature in this update that particularly resonates with our vision of maximizing self-service and minimizing the workload of admins: it's now possible to generate and send out tag-specific invitation links. For example, the following link ensures that the tags Member and Junior are applied to any person that registers using it. This means that admins can invite different kinds of users in bulk, knowing that each will interact with the system in the appropriate way and not have to worry about micro-managing the permissions of each user.

Booking System   Tags Central   Skedda (3).png

We hope that your team will find these updates useful. As usual, don't hesitate to reach out to our support team if you have any questions about these improvements.

Security, performance and UX enhancements

We're happy to announce the following improvements:

Security

  • We've enabled DNSSEC on our domain skedda.com, which tightens up our DNS layer and protects against certain types of attacks.

  • We've disabled support for the older TLS protocols TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1. We now receive a grade of A+ on the industry-standard SSL Labs security test.

  • We've enabled the X-Frame-Options header on our server responses, which helps to prevent certain kinds of attacks ("clickjacking"). We now support all the security headers recommended by the industry-standard security-headers test.

  • We've updated our article on data security to reflect these latest enhancements.

Performance

  • We've enabled HTTP/2 support for all venues. This feature decreases latency and improves page-load speed by using data compression, request-pipelining and multiplexing.

User Experience

  • On the scheduler day view, we're now showing more of the booking title (previously truncated) when there is enough space on the booking block.

Fixes

  • We've fixed a user-reported issue that was causing the incorrect computation of booking prices in some (rare) cases.

Reminder about Data-Processing Agreements for the GDPR

  • About a month ago we announced that we're offering Data-Processing Agreements (DPAs) for venues affected by the GDPR. If your venue falls into this category, please feel free to reach out to the Skedda team via [email protected] to sign a DPA between Skedda and your organization.

New option to log in with a Microsoft account

In addition to the existing Facebook, Google and Twitter options, Skedda users can now choose to authenticate themselves using their Microsoft account. Many people already have a Microsoft account for products like Office 365, Outlook.com, Skype, Xbox Live and Windows.

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If you're currently using a password-based login for Skedda and wish to switch to a Facebook, Google, Twitter or Microsoft login, just head to the login page. From there, click 'Reset login now' and follow the prompts. Once you're setup, that's one password fewer to worry about!

Privacy Improvements, GDPR-Preparation and Data-Processing Agreements

At Skedda, we feel that you should always know what data we collect from you and how we use it. In this light, you may have heard from your other favorite apps recently that Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go "live" from May 25, 2018. The GDPR imposes tougher obligations for organizations when handling personal data, and we're truly excited to see the positive effect (from the user's perspective) that it is having on the web ecosystem. We've been preparing for the GDPR for some time, and have (along with countless other companies) now updated our privacy policy to suit (effective May 25, 2018). The new policy, available here, includes:

  • More transparency on the personal data we collect ("Personal Data We Collect" heading);
  • More transparency on how we use personal data in our services ("How We Use the Personal Data We Collect" heading);
  • More transparency on how we share your data with our third-party service providers ("Sharing Your Personal Data with Third Parties" heading);
  • More clarity about your rights, controls and choices ("Your Rights, Controls and Choices" heading); and
  • Clear instructions for accessing, changing and deleting your personal data in our services ("Accessing, Changing and Deleting Your Personal Data" heading).

For venues, we've also updated our Terms of Service to prepare for the GDPR. As part of this change, we're happy to announce that we are now offering to enter into a GDPR Data-Processing Agreement (DPA) with any venue that requires one. If your venue would like to enter into a DPA with Skedda, please contact our support team using the in-app communicator (or email [email protected]) to begin the process.

Stripe integration upgrade

For venues taking online payments, we're happy to announce that we've completed the upgrade to Stripe Elements.

The upgrade means that the entry of credit-card information (e.g. while making a booking) is now even simpler and more secure. Users receive real-time feedback about the validity of their input, helping them to provide their information quickly and correctly. The process works particularly well on mobile devices.

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Perhaps most importantly, this upgrade means that venues benefit from the simplest way to keep up with current Payment-Card Industry (PCI) regulations. Sensitive data is never visible to the venue and never hits the Skedda servers. Skedda venues hence qualify for the easiest form of PCI compliance, which shields them from costly and time-sensitive audits. Stripe will even auto-generate the Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ A) documentation in the venue's Stripe dashboard.

Venues taking online payments can rest assured that we're taking all the necessary steps (and beyond) to keep them up-to-date and compliant in the heavily-regulated and evolving online payments landscape. As always, we invite venues to get in touch with us should there be any questions.

Enjoy your weekend!

Custom Terms & Conditions

Venues can now integrate their own custom Terms and Conditions for obtaining consent from users. Users will be required to accept these terms when they first interact with your venue account (i.e. when registering themselves using an invitation link, or when making their first booking).

This feature is useful for venues that need to comply with particular regulations, or simply to communicate policies and/or responsibilities to users.

A venue admin can specify the link to their custom Terms and Conditions in the Venue Profile -> Custom Booking Information section:

Booking System   Leederville Tennis Club   Skedda (1).png

The link could be to a page on your own website that contains your policies, or it could be a link to a downloadable PDF document or similar. Once a link is provided, it will be included in the relevant areas of the app. For example, here's how it appears for a user making their first booking:

Booking System   Downtown Rooms   Skedda.png

We hope that you find this feature useful and, as always, invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

"Billing history" of Skedda subscription receipts/invoices is now available

Admins of venues with paid Skedda access can now view the venue's "Billing History" for paid Skedda subscription fees.

You can find the billing history by heading to the venue settings, choosing "Your Skedda Plan", then scrolling down to the "Billing History" section.

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Clicking on "Show billing history" will show you a pop-up modal with your list of invoices/receipts. Each receipt can be viewed in HTML, downloaded in PDF and emailed as a PDF attachment. You can also package a number of invoices/receipts and download them in ZIP format. Finally, you can click on "Receipt Settings" to customize them, for example to include your venue's address and business/taxation identifiers in the header (for complying with any taxation/legal requirements you may have).

Booking System   Leederville Tennis Club   Skedda.png

We hope that your venue finds this useful for managing your Skedda subscription.

Login-page updates are being rolled out

We've started rolling out an improved set of "account-management" pages. These include:

  • The login page (for logging in with a password or a service like Facebook/Google/Twitter)
  • The page used to request password-reset links (I forgot my password)
  • The page shown when following a password-reset link (used to choose a new password or link a service login)

The new pages offer a cleaner design and friendlier user-experience, particularly on mobile devices. Additionally, they offer improved compatibility with common browser prompts to remember and store passwords. Finally, the security of these pages has also been given a very high priority (as always).

Please note that we're rolling out these changes progressively over the next week or so, so you may not see them immediately.

Below are a couple of screenshots of the new login page (on a desktop and mobile) for reference.

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We hope that you find the changes useful, and invite you to reach out to us as usual if you have any questions.

"End early" feature now available

TL/DR: We've released a new "end-early" feature that, if the venue enables it, allows non-admins to truncate their in-progress bookings if they no longer need the remaining time.

The details

Until now, Skedda has allowed venue admins to configure their "cancellation policy", that is, the time until which non-admin users can cancel their bookings (also known in Skedda-jargon as the "lock-in margin").

Today we're happy to be releasing a new option that extends on the concept of your "cancellation policy". In your venue profile you'll now see a further option that can be selected, namely Users can cancel their bookings any time before they begin, and end them early whilst in progress.

As the name suggests, bookings that are created with this new setting can be cancelled by their holders up until the scheduled start time, and also ended early while they're happening. This is useful if the holder realizes (during their booking) that they no longer need the full scheduled time, and they wish to make the space available to others. Until now, "truncating" in-progress bookings in this way could only be done by admins, which went against our vision of maximizing the self-service capabilities of Skedda and often resulted in non-admin users creating "segmented" or "chunked" bookings (e.g. a four-hour booking consisting of four one-hour blocks, the latter of which could be cancelled if required). This new "end early" option solves this problem, whilst still ensuring that the time the holder did use remains in the system for record-keeping, reporting and auditing purposes.

Here's an example of Skedda Fred (a non-admin user) using this new option for one of his bookings - a team meeting scheduled for 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The meeting goes swimmingly well and Fred realizes at 4:53 pm that they're all done and can now go celebrate. From Skedda he simply selects the new End early option to finish up the booking at 5:00 pm (the subsequent point in time based on the venue's configured 30-minute time granularity). Here he's doing it from the day view, but he can also do it from the month or list view. Note that the meeting has already commenced, so the option to completely remove the booking (i.e. cancel) is disabled because doing that would affect the integrity of the venue's usage records for that space.

Email notifications behave as you would expect when Skedda Fred takes this action: he gets a confirmation email of his change, and the venue also gets a notification as long as they have venue-notifications enabled in their settings.

Some final notes for completeness:

  • This new behavior is opt-in for each venue, and we haven't automatically enabled it for any existing venue accounts. To enable it, just head to your venue profile (the page shown in the screenshot above). If you don't enable it, nothing will change for your venue's users.

  • If pricing is relevant for the bookings at your venue, please note that an "end-early" action will not change the price of the booking (pricing can be arbitrarily changed by admins, so Skedda has no way of knowing what the new price of a truncated booking should be in the general case). Also note the "end-early" option will not be available if the booking is already marked as paid (consistent with the cancellation option). We don't anticipate the "end-early" workflow to be particularly relevant for venues with pricing setup, but we're confident that this behavior is the most sensible from the admin's perspective if they indeed decide to use this feature.

  • As bookings always keep the cancellation policy that was applicable at their creation time, please note that the "end-early" behavior will only be available for bookings created after you decide to enable it.

No published changelogs yet.

Surely Skedda will start publishing changelogs very soon.

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