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 and theme, 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. Until now, your attendees have always been graced by Guidebook's signature branding as they've navigated through your guides: Our Guidebook logos, that cozy shade of blue on the navigation bar, etc.
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.
Let’s stroll through each phase of the space/app building process. You can watch the video below, or read on for a text walkthrough.
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. We’ll go through each of the boxes beginning with “Theme.”
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.
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 Include 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.
On your App Dashboard, 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”
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, Promotional 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 Space
Once you’ve chosen your theme, filled out Details, and selected Guides to be attached to your space (at least one must be attached), the “Submit Space” button in the left column will no longer be grayed 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, just remember to re-submit so the changes are published.
Submitting Your App to the Stores
So you've named your app, added all of the colors/logos necessary, and are now ready to reveal it to the world. Remember that at least one guide needs to be attached to your app before you can submit. Simply click the Submit for review button from the app dashboard and we will take it from there.
Clicking this button tells our team that your app is ready to be QA tested, then built and submitted to the stores. 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.
Our team generally reviews and approves apps in ~1 day. Apps go live on Android in 1-3 days and iOS in 5-7 days.
Once you click 'Submit for Review' we will ask for one final confirmation. Please note that after this point, unless your app gets rejected, you will not be able to make any modifications to it until it successfully gets through the app store.
App Creation Demo
Let's build an app from scratch (it's quick and easy). If you’re building a space, all the steps are the same except you don’t have to worry about the App Management card.
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 48 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 their App Store to be owned and developed by the company or school for whom the app is built. So, 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 changes happen instantly, as well as anything you are updating in specific guides. App images, text, and changing from a multi guide app to a single guide app, or vice versa, require an app update.