Friday, October 1, 2010

Updates and new planned releases

We have received many positive reactions as well as many suggestions for improvement since the launch of eLabProtocols earlier this month. Thank you all very much for your feedback! In this blog you will read all about the plans for some major updates and new features for the near future.

Regular updates

To keep you up to date and involved in what is happening in the eLabProtocols community, you will recieve 4-weekly automatic updates. In this update, you can find an overview of the newly created groups, added protocols,and new members in the community. This update also provides you specific information, like the average rating and posted comments on your protocols. This email is scheduled every first Monday of the Month. If you don't want to receive these updates, you will be able to disable this in your account settings.

Browsing Profiles and Groups

With eLabProtocols we aim to create a global community for scientist to collaborate and communicate with each other. Therefore we planned to improve the navigation for groups and profiles on eLabProtocols and make it easier to join groups of your interest. You will also be able to invite other people to your group directly from their profile page. Finally, group members will be categorized by group-leaders, senior scientists, PhD students, technical staff etc.

Communication

To improve the communication, it will be possible to make announcement or to post events for the members in a group (i.e. date and time of group meetings). Posted announcements will automatically be sent by email to all members of the group, which makes it a whole lot easier to communicate with the members in your lab. In addition, it will be possible to send a direct message to other users within your group.

Interface for iPhone and iPad

The final new feature we are expecting to release before the end of this year is an adjusted interface for the iPad or iPhone. Storing your protocols in eLabProtocols gives you the opportunity access and adjust your protocols in a few mouse-clicks. Although you can now view your protocols in the lab on your iPad or iPhone via your internet browser, the interface is not specifically designed for small mobile devices. Therefore we will release an interface that has been adjusted for your iPad and smartphone. This application will also allow you to store offline copies of your favorite protocols.

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