For the past month, we've been working on our next big update to OwnerRez: templates and rich-text editing. On Tuesday evening, we released an update so that users can now begin using both. This is our first attempt at templates and rich-text, so if you don't like it in some way (or need a feature that isn't there) don't worry. More is coming soon.
Rich-text editing, everywhere you send email
Everywhere there is an email form in OwnerRez, you'll now notice that the body field has a toolbar packed with buttons to help you customize your message.
There are buttons for emphasis (bold, italics, underline), font styles (color, type, size), bullets and links. If you understand how to read/write HTML, you can even update the raw formatting yourself. In the future, we'll be adding advanced functionality for things like tables and images.
The Email menu now contains a new 'Template' option which, when clicked, will show six types of email templates that you can begin creating.
Click the "Create Template" button and an editor page will open so you can get right to work. The page should be fairly intuitive as it resembles a standard email message layout with header fields and a body.
Quick tip: click the "Use Default" button at the bottom of the editor to prefill the template with the default settings for that type of message. This is a great way to get started, especially if you only want to tweak the normal message that is sent.
I'll be blogging more about the templates editor over the next week, pointing out all the functionality and how to use it. The field codes are a pivotal part of the templates system, so we'll be discussing how fields work in more detail.
What's with that new design?
As you click around the templates area, it's hard to miss the new design. The navigation bar, logo and general color palette are all significantly different than the rest of the application.
Our vision of OwnerRez, both what it is now and what it will become in the future, has dictated that we prepare better controls, a more modern layout and a color palette that is easier on the eyes. The current design is clean and efficient but not built for features that will be coming in the future. It also looks dated.
However, instead of spending lots of time overhauling the entire application at once (which would take months), we decided to introduce the new design in parallel with ongoing development. That allows users to get functional updates immediately instead of waiting for the new design to be finished.
Providing flexible, clean, easy-to-use email features remains a big goal of the OwnerRez team. We understand how important communication is with your guests, and how professional and detailed you need to be. Please let us know what you like or dislike about rich-text and templates as we continue to improve on them in upcoming months.