Quick Shortlist

There is now a quicker way for students to shortlist ads from search results. A star appears when hovering the mouse over a listing in search results, and clicking this will shortlist the listing.

This saves students having to click through to each listing that they want to shortlist. It also provides a reminder when they have already shortlisted a listing in an earlier search.

Map Directions to Campus

Note: This new functionality requires first upgrading to the New Look for StudyStays. Please contact support@studystays.com if you'd like to upgrade.

Listing maps now include a new way to quickly look up directions to a campus.

Hovering or clicking (or tapping on mobile) on a campus in the listing map will load a route and approximate driving time to the campus.

For listings that are within 1 kilometre of a campus, walking directions will be shown instead.

Does this keep addresses private?

As you're probably aware, some listings don't show the exact address; either because the admin settings require it, or the provider has chosen to keep their address private, or the user is not registered as a student.

In these cases, the blue line showing the route to campus begins just within the red circle showing the approximate location of the listing. The travel time shown is still the approximate travel time for the entire route.

More map tweaks

Initially with the New Look, maps would all display at the same zoom level. This zoom level would often not show a campus. Now maps are automatically zoomed to the level that will show the nearest campus, while still keeping the map centred on the listing.

Arrows for campus markers are now displayed at the top of the marker instead of the bottom. This allows the marker text to expand downwards to show directions without changing the location pointed to.

A New Year, and a New Content Editor

Content editing in StudyStays has been upgraded to use a newer, more powerful editor. Just in time for the new year!

The content editor is used by admins to format text in Pages, Frequently Asked Questions, Campuses, Mail-outs, Form hints, tag descriptions and in various other places.

The old editor was great for it's time, but the rapid pace of web browser improvement meant some features no longer worked well (or at all) in recent web browsers.

In contrast, the new editor enables many more editing features, including things like:

  • Tables
  • Image alignment and captions
  • Embedding web page previews (great for Social Media like Facebook and Instagram)
  • More reliable pasting from Word documents

... and many more useful features (as you can see from the extra toolbar buttons below).

We hope you enjoy the new editing experience in StudyStays, and have a Happy New Year!

Improving Search Filtering

Please note: the changes in this blog post will only be visible on sites that have been upgraded to the New Look. If your site hasn't been upgraded yet and you'd like to upgrade, please email support@studystays.com.

Some time was spent over the last week looking at how to improve the search experience for students.

The feedback received was that students often jump into a basic search from the front page and end up with many pages of results which they were then having to go through manually. It wasn't clear to students that they could use the "Rooms" and "Properties" links to access the full array of search options to narrow their search.

Based on this feedback, there have been a number of subtle improvements made to the way search works.
  • Narrowing the search: There is now a "Refine search..." link at the top of the search page which will take students back to the full search form. Moving between the search form and back to "Refine search" will keep all their current search criteria.
  • Widening the search: Search facets (e.g. "near Hobart", "for up to $600/week") are now highlighted with grey labels and they can be removed from the search screen without having to go back and redo the search, by clicking the little cross next to each facet.



I hope you find these improvements beneficial.

Supporting Documents for Student Approval

To streamline the approval process for Future Students, it's now possible to allow "Supporting Documents" to be uploaded along with a student's registration.

With this feature enabled, Future students will be asked to upload their supporting document (or documents) on the registration page:

The label and help text for the upload ("Certificate of Enrolment" and the "Please upload a PDF  etc." in the screenshot above) can be configured through Admin > Settings > Student approvals.

For example, if you want to allow a Letter of Offer as well as a Certificate of Enrolment, you could change the name of the document upload to "Letter of Offer / Certificate of Offer".

There is the ability to add more than one file, which can be used if there are multiple pages of a scan or if you need more than one supporting document.

You will see the supporting documents in admin when you go to approve a future student account:

The file size limit for uploads is 10MB and the upload area will accept PDF, JPEG or PNG files.

How to Enable Supporting Documents

To enable this feature, go to Admin > Settings > Student approvals and tick the box to "Ask student to upload a supporting document".

If you decide to make use of this feature, you might like to review the "Student Approval Required" follow up page that is shown to after registration to students who require approval. You can edit this page from Admin > Content > Pages, or from the Admin > Settings > Student approvals page.

You should probably also review the "Pending approval" and "Remind students when they are in the approval queue" email templates (Admin > Settings > Email templates) to make sure they are suitable.