User experience design is one of the most important disciplines in software development. The practice involves constant improvement based on user behavior and emergence of new tools and techniques.
At Accord LMS, we recognized the importance of great user experience and the benefits it brings to our clients and learners. Our team is focused on improving the ease of use and providing and intuitive experience. To that end, the release of DNN 6.0 has made a significant contribution due to many user interface ‘patterns’.
Why use DNN 6 patterns?
There are many benefits to adopting the new patterns, among them are:
- Consistency: one of the benefits of adopting the patterns is making modules look and feel more consistent. Modules developed with these standard patterns will also be more at home in a variety of settings. Better yet, the time it takes a new user to learn how to manage your module will be significantly reduced by leveraging these familiar patterns.
- Speed and Agility: the new patterns have web standards at their core. Websites will load faster and be more compatible with modern browsers. Additionally, DotNetNuke 6 patterns allow for improved flexibility when adjusting the interface via CSS without needing to alter the HTML foundation.
- Time-Saving: planning and building modules using these form patterns can be much easier than doing it from scratch. The form patterns help speed up development by leveraging reusable UI components so you can focus on the key features of your module and not building the administrative user interface.
Although the DNN 6 patterns were release over 2 years ago, the Accord LMS has not been able to realize any of the benefits due to ongoing support for DNN 5.x, which is not compatible with the DNN 6 patterns. With each new Accord release the development team is spending between 1 or 2 man weeks just on maintaining the older DNN 5.x compatibility. Clearly the Accord LMS needs to move on, maximize efficiency, provide a better UI and free up our development resources for new features waiting on our roadmap.
Starting with version 3.04, which will be released in early September, the Accord LMS will embrace the long standing DNN 6 patterns and drop support for DNN 5.x.
SaaS accounts hosted on Accord servers that are still running 5.x will be migrated free of charge. Clients running the old Flux skin to be upgraded to the mobile ready Cogent skin. The Accord LMS support team will contact DNN 5.x clients over the next few weeks, explain the upgrade process and schedule a time that is convenient to perform the upgrade.
Self Hosted Clients
New self hosted clients should install the Accord LMS on the latest version of DNN. The DNN 6.x / 7.x requirement is clearly stated on the Product Download
form on the Accord LMS website.
Existing self hosted clients that are running DNN 5.x should upgrade to the latest version of DNN to keep abreast of new releases, such as the upcoming gamification features, or maintain their Accord LMS version to the current 3.03 release. Accord LMS 3.03 will be supported and patched as needed through June of 2014.