By, Doug Carruthers
You may have noticed some pretty major changes to LoopLink® RLC this week like... everything is different. We released our updated interface and now that the dust is settled we wanted to take a little time to explain what we did and why.
The simple answer to the question of why we overhauled the interface is mobility and responsiveness. These have been the buzzwords in web design for the past few years and a trend we waited to follow until a significant number of our users began accessing the software from tablets and handheld devices.
The shift has begun and so we are supporting our user’s natural trend to use the device they have at hand. At the same time, updating the interface allowed us to do some important technical and visual things to simplify LoopLink® RLC and make it lighter weight with respect to data usage which means faster performance regardless of device.
In the end, we have a faster easier to use LoopLink® RLC that will better support new features and improvements as we move ahead.
We stripped out the redundant navigation on the top of the page and moved everything to right hand side of the screen. This streamlines work flows and puts everybody on the same page during support calls.
Additionally, we largely (but not entirely) walked away from image based navigational cues and moved to text based buttons. The removal of iconography is intended to reduce ambiguity for new users and help facilitate faster load times by reducing the amount of data your computer needs to download to render the finished page.
There are a couple of major navigational changes that we should mention as they may be a little confusing for everyone the first time through.
- You get back to your project list by clicking the logo in the top left of your screen.
- Click on your initials in the top right corner of your screen to access links to account administration, project list or log out.
- The save button is always going to be at the top of the page. As always, pressing enter will also save your changes if you are focused on an input.
We completely changed how we create on-screen graphs. The new graphs are lighter weight, faster and interactive. You can now hover over points, slices and bars and read the value directly from the chart.
There are some minor visual differences between the graphs shown on-screen and those in the reports. The plotted data is the same, they just don’t match 100% (yet) because they are built by two very different methods.
The help files have also been redesigned. In fact, we moved the help files to a completely different platform which will make maintenance and enhancement much easier to handle moving forward. The way you get to the help is the same but the new help will be easier to navigate on its own. Plus, it is now accessible without being logged in to your LoopLink® RLC account. Simply go to help.looplinkrlc.com.
- Horizontal trench designers, you should note that we no longer ask for the number of flow paths as an input. We ask for flow paths per trench/pit and number of trenches/pits. It is a subtle but important difference.
- We lowered the fidelity of fixed length mode calculation from ±1 foot to ±5 feet. The result of this is a significant decrease in iterations for the system which means faster responses with a minimal impact on overall accuracy.
- Soil tables are no longer directly accessible through the software. There has been a lot of confusion related to soil properties (especially for horizontal applications) as a result we moved the tables to the help files and are providing just our calculators in the software.
- Cost of Ownership is now available for a variable time period (5-30 years) as opposed to a fixed 30 year analysis.