Personalise your Portal with colour pickers

Today we’re announcing a humble but cool new feature: colour pickers!

A more flexible brand

Let’s face it, until now, the main branding colours of each Portal have been a little tedious to update. Basically, the process was “Get in touch”. Not the best approach for whimsical or fiercely independent Portal administrators.

Now we have a simple dashboard for Portal administrators to make live updates to the brand colour palette, logos and basic email branding.

Right now, the colours that can be managed (the section names may be different for your Portal) are:

• Primary brand colour for “Home” and call to action buttons

• Site-wide navigation background

• Logged in homepage background

• Links

• News

• Events

• Store

• My Building

There are more options coming in the future, but we audited all the customisations ever done and these colours represent the most popular choices across all our customers.

A more consistent brand

As part of our all-platform brand audit we (re)discovered many tiny “tweaks” that had been made to individual Portal themes over the past four years.

Two things very clearly stood out to us after the audit:

1.Many of the older customisations and tweaks no longer made much sense in context of the platform as it is now

2.Many design decisions Equiem made no longer make sense once we allow certain colours (like link text with many different background colours) to be mixed and matched by administrators

We really had to slash and burn a lot of complexities in the platform design that had sprung up over time. In fact, we rewrote literally thousands of lines of code to drastically improve design consistency across the board (if this sounds like something you’d like to help with, we’re still going and we’re hiring!).

A more accessible Portal

The first technical challenge we faced was foreground text over background colours that could change at a moment’s notice. The colour could easily change so that there would be very little contrast between the background and foreground, making the text almost impossible to read (and ugly).

Our answer is a cool algorithm based on colour theory that detects the “darkness” of any colour and swaps out white or black text automatically for maximum contrast.

The algorithm is modelled from how your eyes see the individual red, green and blue channels that make up colours on a computer screen. This algorithm lets us automatically optimise your website for maximum contrast and legibility, which in turn helps users with aging or poorer eyesight navigate and engage with your Portal.

A more scalable Equiem

The old branding system had a dirty little secret - it was 100% not scalable. For some frustrating and complicated reasons, every time we exported and deployed a new set of branding colours and images, we had to re-export and re-deploy all of the brands, colours and images for every Portal.

When we had 2-3 different brands to accommodate in 2012, this was no sweat. By the second half of 2015 we were responsible for maintaining 47 different brand guidelines in parallel across 95 different domains for our customers. This was a bit harder...

We love all our customers (and the variety across all their brand identities) but we think you’ll agree that the less time our product development team spends tinkering with colours and logos, the more time we can spend improving our features and the Portal user experience. It’s a win/win for everyone.

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