Following customer feedback, company adds new features to photo upload app
This time last year, MyPhoto emerged as a means for universities to outsource their ID photo processes. The company enables students to upload and crop their own ID card photos from their desktop or mobile device, cutting time and cost from the card issuance process.
Now, the company is working on a host of new features that should make MyPhoto a more robust offering. CR80News had a conversation with company CEO, Alan Jacubenta to talk new features, the role of customer feedback and what’s next for MyPhoto.
New year, new version
Last year, MyPhoto launched version 2.0 of its photo upload system, and as Jacubenta explains, it was a total recoding of the application with responsive design being the main focus.
“We recognized in late 2013 that responsive design was the way to go with all of the mobile devices,” says Jacubenta. “In 2014, we launched the second version of the application, which included any previous fixes and enhancements.”
Jacubenta goes on to explain that 2015 will mark yet another version of the MyPhoto application, again adding a number features in line with customer feedback.
“Our application evolves with every installation. Even though we use the similar design and code, every installation is unique and customized to our customer’s specifications,” says Jacubenta. “As a result, we have new challenges all the time and those challenges result in new features and functionality.”
In addition to responsive design, MyPhoto users can expect a number of key additions to version 3.0, which Jacubenta expects to launch later this year.
For starters, MyPhoto will feature enhanced security and encryption. With security being an ever-present concern, Jacubenta says he has added a high level of security and encryption to the data, its storage, as well as transmission of that data. “We have also added multiple levels of security within the application so the administrator can setup and manage sub admins with limited access,” he adds.
Also new is an integration with federated identity solution, Shibboleth, which comes as a response to the growth of single-sign on. A standards based, open-source software package, Shibboleth enables web single sign-on across or within an organization.
“With more universities using single sign-on, Shibboleth was a great addition to our initial integration with LDAP/Active directory that performs the authentication and provides the student information MyPhoto needs,” explains Jacubenta.
Jacubenta and the MyPhoto team have also enhanced one of the solution’s most crucial existing features, the cropping tool. The enhancement, as with the other new features, comes as a result of customer feedback.
“We started to see a number of photos coming in sideways based on EXIF information (Exchangeable Image File) which contains information about the image from the device,” says Jacubenta. “This would cause photos to be uploaded sideways regardless of the way the picture was taken. Now, our rotator tool allows students and staff to easily rotate and crop the image they uploaded.”
Feedback from a college in Ontario has led to a new French version of the application, which Jacubenta says will help Canadian universities to better interact with the photo upload tool.
Another large update to the offering is an entirely cloud-based version of MyPhoto.
Up until this point, the solution has resided on campus, but Jacubenta says he and his team recognized the need for smaller institutions to have a cost-effective solution as well. “We’re working on making the cloud version a fully featured offering, only we’ll host the application and push the necessary files out to the university according to the schedule they set,” he adds.
MyPhoto already has one university that has agreed to adopt the cloud version and act as a beta test site for the new solution. “We hope to be rolling that out by June; it’s a fairly aggressive timeline,” adds Jacubenta.
The MyPhoto team is hard at work on version 3.0, which is due later this year. According to Jacubenta, the following features are in the works:
- An improved overall user experience.
- Decreased number of steps from 5 to 4.
- Graphical display of metrics such as approval rates, status, dates and other statistics
- Redesigned navigational elements
- Tool-tips that will help the user
- Ability to schedule the application to appear online during dates specified.
- File import tools
- An entirely Cloud-based version