2014 is going to be an exciting year for Affino. Q1 will see the Affino 7.5 release, which introduces the new Responsive Page Designs. These have been a long time coming, but the wait will be worth it. To provide the best experience we went right back to the drawing board for how we serve live pages in Affino so that we could produce the very best responsive interfaces.
In fact Responsive Design is the main priority for the first 6 months of 2014 and everyone should look to be rolling out fully responsive sites on Affino by the end of 2014. We will continue to support the Classic Designs, and you will be able to run the Classic Design Centre alongside the new one until Affino 8.
As usual note that the priorities are subject to change, however we do anticipate a significant pick up in the rollout of new updates once the new Responsive Design Centre is complete. It will be the culmination of a four year plan we’ve been working through to delivering ultimate cross-platform social commerce experience.
The new responsive page rendering engine is being written entirely scratch using an object oriented approach which is seeing page generation times up to 10 times faster. The pages themselves also render dramatically faster on the browsers, and we are optimising every part of the process to ensure the fastest mobile experience possible.
The new Object Designer allows you to design and preview designs across multiple form factors with unlimited undo and redo whilst designing. Updated Design Styles now incorporate Form Styles and have been greatly extended to allow for very tightly styled sites including auto-scaling of fonts.
Every single Design Element, Template and application interface is optimised around responsive resizing and cross device usability.
To get the new Responsive Design Centre to you as soon as possible we will be staging the introduction of responsive elements. Phase One sees the roll out of the promotional elements so that you can design and roll out promotional sites (including most social elements), this will be followed by the ecommerce elements and then the remainder.
2013 saw the Control Centre consolidated around the new Affino 7 interface, which is both very usable and presentable. 2014 will see a major focus on simplifying and refining the Control Centre. We will start by making it much easier to roll out new aspects such as Blogs and FAQs as these will have their own dedicated Channel Types.
We will also roll out a new Control Centre Lockdown tool so you can easily lock down the Control Centre to only display those interfaces which you are using. In fact Affino will be considerably more focused overall this year with many more legacy elements removed and a great deal of streamlining of existing interfaces. We will also finally roll out the greatly simplified media uploads and media selection.
The core publishing interfaces will see the new Fast Edit option for simple, fast content editing. We will be updating to the great new refined WYSIWYG editor. Note that with the shift to responsive designs, support for tables and other legacy content types will be deprecated since they do not lend themselves to re-sizing.
The big media updates we were expecting in 2013 will all happen this year, including the new media upload and search interfaces, native browser media editor and HTML 5 media players, as well as support for responsive media embeds. Our key focus is to make managing your media as simple as possible and to have it optimised across all devices.
Multivariate Testing will be a big focus during 2014, and we will be rolling it out to many of the core features so you can test different designs, checkout options and product presentations. We will also be incorporating a lot more micro formats around our tagging to drive SEO.
Social goes Realtime in Affino in 2014 with live one-to-one chat. We will also be rolling out greatly enhanced Social CRM with great improvements focused on sales, lead generation, communications tracking and opportunities. In fact the Affino Social CRM will see a continuous stream of improvements throughout the year.
Public profiles will be far more configurable, with the ability to organise their layout and what tools are presented. The member search will also become much more useful and scalable.
We will also continue to evolve the core sales and marketing automation capabilities with steady evolution of the Automated Customer Ladder and Message Campaigns.
The biggest ecommerce evolution for Affino in 2014 will be the mobile optimised stores, which will be fully responsive and will be optimised to run across all form factors. We will also be improving Affino’s B2B store capabilities with personalised pricing, volume breakpoints and enhanced coupons and discounts.
Core order capabilities will also be improved with gift wrapping, order splitting and surcharges. Expect ecommerce analytics to evolve a great deal over the year, stay tuned.
We will be rolling out a new Customer Ladder API which will let you track activity across 3rd party sites and solutions, into the Affino Customer Ladder. This means you will be able to get the full sales and marketing automation benefits from all your online activities across all platforms.
Although online APIs seem to have stabilised considerably during 2013 we are still seeing the continuous release of new APIs and the discontinuing of existing methods and indeed entire APIs from some of the major portals and solutions. We expect to update virtually all integrations during 2014 so keep tracking the release notes.
We anticipate moving to big data in 2014 for some of the core Affino analytics, this will enable even longer time series and the possibility of restoring some of the most useful tracking tools we had to discontinue for high volume Affino sites. It will also allow us to roll out new analytics tools entirely.
We will finally be phasing out the existing Flash dashboards, which have now seen the majority of their functionality rolled into the dedicated Analysis Centres. The new Dashboards will work across all devices and will have a much more ’instant on’ feel where we focus on having the most useful tools instantly available with no setup required.