The Branding Dashboard makes it easy to update your space, whether you have a branded space within the Guidebook app or your own app in the app stores. If you are unsure of the differences between your guide, space and app, you can find out more here.
The Branding Dashboard allows you to create, edit and submit your space or app quickly and easily.
A branded space in the Guidebook app is a great way to have a space with your colors, but not have to worry about having an Apple Developer account, app updates and the time it takes to submit them. You can think of a Space as your own Branded real estate within the Guidebook app.
Branded Spaces allow you to upload your own logo, choose your own colors, and completely personalize your attendees' experience to fit your brand. In many ways, the Spaces feature set allows you to transform the Guidebook Branded App into your Branded App. Changes to spaces also update in real-time, just be sure to click Submit.
If you have a branded app, you will see an additional App Management section. The steps below will walk you through how to create your branded space or branded app.
The Branding Dashboard
To get started, click on the space or app in your Builder Home dashboard (you may need to switch accounts near the top right depending on what space/app you are building). You will be taken to the Branding Dashboard which is the central hub for all things space or app related. This will also be the place to visit when you are ready to submit your app to the stores.
On the left column of the Branding Dashboard, you will see a list of items that still need to be taken care of before you can publish the space/app. You can click into each of these and fill out the required information, or you can click into each of the boxes on the right.
Time for the fun part—setting up your color scheme. Let's take a closer look.
- There are 6 basic colors in each app theme
- You can adjust these to your liking
- Create as many custom themes as you would like
- Choose the one you want to use.
Choose from some of our default themes, or create your own. You can customize an existing theme by clicking the pen icon on the top right of the color scheme.
Editing and creating a theme is easy: plug in your brand's designs using hex codes, or use the color picker to experiment. The preview on the right will change in real-time, depending on the color you are selecting. Use the left and right arrows to the side of the preview to view which elements are affected.
In order to make sure that all elements of the app are visible and legible, ensure that your theme provides sufficient contrast in the following areas.
- “Navbar Text” and “Navbar Icon” should provide contrast from “Navbar Background”
- “Main Text” and “Base” should provide contrast from “Space Background”
The Details box includes the Space name, the Space home logo, the landing page short name, and the landing page name. Each of these items includes subtext to give a bit more detail about what goes in each section, for example, character max and the dimensions of an image. Make sure you save.
In this section, you can manage which guides are attached to your space/app.
Guides are organized here by Published and Not Published.
You can check the guides you want to attach with the checkboxes in the Attach column. When the guide has been published they will be accessible within your space/app. Any Invite-only or Passphrase protected guides will only be accessible if the user signs-in with their invited email address (Invite-only) or enters the set passphrase. If you have additional questions about guide privacy, click here to learn more.
You can attach as many guides to a multi-guide app as you’d like and you are able to attach and detach whenever you need to.
If you have a single-guide app, you will need to resubmit your app to change the guide attached.
Select a Guide to be Featured In Your App
In a multi-guide app, you can select any public guide to be featured in your app. Select the option in the Feature column to feature a guide.
This guide will get its own full-size card on the app home screen. You can swap the featured guide out for a different guide throughout the year. We recommend using this feature to promote upcoming events and increase adoption for a specific guide.
Create and Set Categories for Each Guide
Categories help you organize your guides for yourself and to help your users find a specific type of guide. You can create your own category names, whether it’s the type of guide, the intended audience, or a more descriptive topic.
In Guide Management, click Add to set up your categories. You can edit categories by clicking on the Categories drop-down for each guide.
Some potential categories include:
- Type of Guide: Events, Training Resources, Student Services
- Intended Audience: New Hires, Executive Team, International Students
- Topic: Annual Meeting, Policies, Athletics
Submitting Your Space
If you have a branded Space, once you’ve chosen your theme, filled out Details, and selected a Guides to be attached to your space, the Submit Space button in the left column will no longer be greyed out. When you submit your space, it will be live in the Guidebook app immediately. You can change anything about the space at any time, and it will go live instantly.
If you have purchased a branded app you will see the App Management section on your Branding Dashboard. You should complete the aspects of your space and add the app content to the App Management section. You’ll see three tabs within App Management:
App store info includes App Name, App Short Name, Preview Description, Full Description, Product Features, and Keywords. Each section provides the character limit under the section title, and under each text box there is a brief description of the content.
Images is where you will upload the logos for your app (App Icon, Feature Image, and the Splash Screen). There is a description that includes necessary dimensions and some brief information about the image. As well, there is a picture of where the image appears on a mobile device. Click on the pen icon to pick an image to upload.
Landing Page includes the landing page name and the landing page short name. These are the same as what you filled out in Details.
You can read more about Apple and Google's requirements for your app here.
The Metrics section becomes available once you’ve attached guide(s) and the app is in the app stores. You are able to access data on app and guide downloads, guide sessions, and more. Click here for more information about App Metrics.
Submitting Your App to the Stores
Once you've completed your space requirements, attached a published guide, and completed the App Management section, you can submit it to be review by the Guidebook team. We will generate preview images of your app to show on your app's page in stores before sending it to Google and Apple for approval.
Remember that at least one published guide needs to be attached to your app before you can submit.
Simply click the Submit app for approval button from the app dashboard and we will take it from there.
This may be your first go at building your own app, and we want to make sure you blow your audience away, so if we see any glaring color scheme or logo issues we will reach out to you.
If your app is ready but the submit button is now showing, please reach out to your AM. This means that we don't have the details for your organisation's Apple Developer account to be able to submit to stores on your behalf.
Submitting an App Update to Stores
You may want to submit an app update to Apple and Google because you have changed the app branding images or app store text. You can also submit an app update to be sure you're on the latest version of Guidebook's code and so you have the newest features and bug fixes. Generally, we recommend updating your app two to four times a year.
When you're ready to submit an update, go to your branding dashboard and click Resubmit app for approval:
We will take it from there, and if we come across anything that needs your attention; we'll reach out. Note that you will not be able to change anything on the branding dashboard for likely a couple of weeks, so make sure to change what you need to before resubmitting.
How soon will my Space go live after I click Submit?
Almost instantly. As soon as you click the Submit button, the changes are on their way. They'll typically go live within a couple of minutes.
How soon will my App go live after I click Submit?
Branded apps are submitted to Guidebook for approval before being sent to Apple and Google for approval to appear on the Apple App Store and Google Play store. We request 24 hours to review your app. After that, it can take up to two weeks for an app (or app update) to appear in stores after you submit your app, however, they will often go live within 3/4 business days.
Should I use a Single Guide or Multi Guide App?
Let your account manager know which of these two types of apps you would like to have in the app stores (the price is the same).
A Single-Guide app loads a single guide seamlessly upon launch. A Multi-Guide app allows the user to choose from multiple guides.
If you're not sure yet about which type of app you want it to be, you can always change it until you submit the app for publication. After that point, and once the app is live, you will need to resubmit it in order to change the app type (approval could take 5-7 days).
I would like to have a branded app through Guidebook, and I’ve heard about needing an Apple Developer account. Can you describe what this means?
Apple created new regulations in early 2018 that requires any app in its App Store to be owned and developed by the company or school for whom the app is built. All branded apps through Guidebook must go through the process of creating an Apple Developer account so we can transfer ownership of the app to you. From there, we manage the app like we always have. There are more details about the process here.
My App Management card is grayed out; why is that happening?
The App Management card is grayed out when the app is awaiting approval from the app stores. You are not able to make changes while the app is awaiting approval. Please reach out to your Guidebook contact if you have further questions.
Which changes require an app update and which changes happen instantly?
Theme and Details changes happen instantly, as well as anything you are updating in specific guides. Anything in the App Management section (app images and copy) requires an update. You will also need to submit an update to change between app types (multi-guide or single-guide) or to change the guide attached to your app, if it is a single-guide app.