Continuing With Speed Improvements in ICM 2.4.1 Release
Over the weekend nuCloud deployed the 2.4.1 release of our Interactive Campus Map (ICM) platform to all customers. Following up on the 2.4 release, the continued focus was on improving the end user experience by making it faster. With this focus we had two major stories to improve speed and a handful of additional stories. Remember that in order for the speed improvements to take effect you must republish your map.
Optimized Map Tile Images
We researched multiple tools and algorithms related to image compression and came away with pngslim as the best option to compress map tile images. When you publish a new map illustration for the first time all tiles go through a compression process before they are uploaded to the content delivery network. This means that your first republish after this release will take a little while as every tile of every zoom level of the map is being optimized. This will only effect your first publish of a map illustration.
Mobile Stops Load on Demand
In the mobile world load speeds are especially crucial. To this end we have optimized our mobile maps to use AJAX and only load individual stop data on demand. Combining this with the optimized map tiles we are seeing mobile maps initially load two or three times faster.
We picked up three other smaller stories in this release all related to the user experience. Two of those stories were related to the backend platform experience and the third was a customer request.
We improved the backend user experience by simplifying the publishing process to only ask you to confirm publishing one time. Previously there were a number of steps you had to confirm to keep the process moving along. Now you are prompted once and it will go all the way through the publishing process.
We also improved the preview feature in the backend. Previously the only way to preview your interactive map with custom CSS applied was to publish the map and view it live on your website. We have changed the “View Published Map” option in the backend to create a “Preview Map” button that allows you to preview your map with CSS changes applied before publishing.
A common complaint from customers was they didn’t like the way we auto-detected for a mobile device and redirected users to our 508 Accessible version of the map. We listened to you and as of this release that detection code has been removed.
These last two rounds we have made major speed improvements to our platform. Going forward we are looking very hard into implementing GPS functionality deeper into our platform and improving upon our template and theme options. If you have any requests or ideas, be sure to submit them over at our UserVoice page. We’d love to know what you would like to see us build!