Following on from the announcement made during the last Aqilla End-User Customer Conference, and throughout the quieter initial lockdown period of 2020, the Aqilla team embarked on a new research and development project to re-engineer the look and feel of Aqilla.
With this latest release, we’re very pleased to introduce a whole new fresh look and feel to Aqilla whilst retaining all of the solid underlying functionality all our users love using every day.
To deliver this new version we worked very closely throughout last year with a team of UX (user experience) experts based in Cambridge to develop a more modern vernacular for the Aqilla UX. We wanted to move away from the ‘tabbed’ menu system (which we adopted back at the product’s inception influenced by the then Apple web site and other web-based applications of the time), in doing so developing a more contemporary range of interface arrangements that more readily accept ‘responsive design’ behaviour when used on tablets and other mobile devices.
Our goal was to develop a range of changes which would be simple, straightforward, quick to deliver and cause the least disruption to our user community, whilst at the same time adding positively to the overall ‘user experience’ and retaining the superb core capability of the platform.
The key differences users will notice is that the main menu has moved to the left creating more space for the application users data.
In addition, we have updated all the iconography in the application to make functions even more self-evident and user friendly.
Furthermore, the main application area is more responsive to the available space on the screen so regardless of the size of the screen, Aqilla will maximise the amount of information that is visible.
The new Home Screen (depending on each user’s own individual set up) now looks something like this. Note that the on-line help and logout functions have been moved from the top right-hand side to the lower left-side menu (1).
The Current Period is now shown to the left of the header area so that it is always visible even when the screen width has been reduced such as when displaying Aqilla alongside another window. (2).
We now also offer specific browser settings, giving options to choose for Aqilla to Stretch from side-to-side (widescreen) or have a normal view (16:9 type). This can be changed in specific views using the button in the table heading as shown below:
…..or by selecting the browser settings tool in the side menu:
These browser settings also specify whether the display is centred as normal or aligned to the left side of the screen, something that many users have requested in recent times.
Pages and views are also so much more responsive.
If the width of the view is decreased, the column widths will attempt to reduce showing as much data as possible instead of having to scroll the data.
Depending upon how much screen space available users can now choose to see the main menu on the left or reduce it to icons only. The main menu will also automatically reduce to icons when the available width is limited. This is known as “Responsive Design” behaviour.
Here the menu is fully exposed:
…and here the menu is collapsed allowing more data to be displayed:
In addition to all the new icons we’ve also refined the colour palette used to make data more readable, engineered new checkboxes so that the look and feel are consistent whatever browser is being used (we’ve tested on Chrome, Microsoft’s New Edge, Apple Safari (on MacOS, iOS and PadOS), Firefox and Vivaldi).
In addition, we have also been adding during the period a range of new core functionality including:
Aged Analysis – Min Balance Age (Days)
This is a new selection parameter that filters accounts where there are no outstanding transactions greater or equal to the number of specified days.
This makes it easier to focus upon collectables that are of more significant importance.
Batch Printing or Emailing
The maximum number of documents, such as sales invoices and statements, that can be processed at a time has been increased to 400.
Bankline Ad hoc Bulk Payment
This new bank payment format is supported for paying multiple accounts with a resulting single entry in the bank statement (Aqilla Single BACS payment method). The existing Bankline payment export format has been renamed to Bankline Standard Domestic. In other words, when paying hundreds or thousands of creditors the system now generates a single payment transaction making for more straightforward reconciliation.
XML REST API
A new option enables the list of valid VAT Rates (VAT Code and Description) to be queried so 3rd party systems integrated with Aqilla via the API can directly access the current VAT values in use at the time.