by Daniel David on November 21, 2019

Smart Slider 3.4 – Sneak Peek

Say hello to Smart Slider 3.4 – Nebula. Our biggest update since the launch is rolling out soon, built from the ground up to be faster, more powerful, and easier to work with. This update is going to change completely the way you think about Smart Slider 3.

Mostly because we decided to stop for a minute and concentrate our efforts on polishing and improving the existing features first. Along with many feature updates we’ve done so far, we’ll give you those little improvements that make a huge difference. As a final result, I truly believe we’re going to bring you the best visual editing experience in terms of design, code and functionality.

Let’s dive in and discover all of these stellar new features! 🤩

Reshaped, Redesigned, Reborn

Recently we’ve started to feel that our UI/UX doesn’t work as well as it did years ago. Mostly because we added plenty of new features, which led us to lose the focus on the thing that matters most – your workflow. We needed to do a design update because the way you encounter, discover and work with Smart Slider 3 could have been much more efficient. But a complete UI refresh is far from a small task, especially when you have a digital product that’s rooted in design.

Firstly we set new standards in typography, iconography and colors that would become the cornerstone of the reshaping process. Our goal was to make this refresh as unobtrusive as possible, but improve navigation, readability and speed up your workflow. And it was a great opportunity to rethink the entire UX, rather than just port a new UI. The whole overhaul is super smooth and you don’t have to relearn everything from zero. We feel this is the right moment to adjust our branding and reflect on the future of Smart Slider 3: bold, solid and vibrant.

Dashboard Page

Dashboard

For the first glance, you’ll probably notice that everything is super clean and neat, because we’ve cut off the unnecessary functions and UI elements. Then probably you’ll realize the new logo and new saturated blue color behind the top header. We’ve reorganized things around it by putting together options that are related: handy navigation on the left and info center on the right.

Every slider’s got a new context menu and white caption, the new color can help to distinguish them from slides. But these are only the visibles changes, because when you click on the “new project” button then the new slider creation popup comes alive.

Slider View

Slider

In this view we’ve also removed every noise that can distract your workflow. We’ve merged the two tab sections into one so in the future you will find all the controls (arrows, bullets, thumbnails) under one tab. Probably you first encounter the new parameters here. Every input, button, select, switch and menu have been designed to help your work as easily as possible. With the new grouping you will find every option in minutes and you will see only as much as you actually need.

But it’s not over yet, because we’ve found lots of better ways to express the hard to understand parts. Typical example for this is the responsive sizing, where now you can find a new breakpoint UI instead of the ton of options. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but there is a ton more going on behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Slide View

Slide

With Smart Slider 3.4, we’re introducing a super massive facelift for the slide editing. This is the most crucial part of the plugin where you’ll spend most of your time. Our goal was to reduce the time it takes to create beautiful slides but much more effectively.

You might notice something missing from the Slide view right now and that’s the top slide background section. One of our next big steps is giving the slide background their own place in the Layer Window. And that’s just the beginning because it will get a complete overhaul. As a result of it you can spot only 3 tabs on the top: content, style and animations. Even more for the better accessibility we’ve added a new layer list into the Layer Window.

Smart Slider 3 allows you to build layouts by adding rows with columns in content mode but you can also add layers absolutely freely in canvas mode.

One of our best choices is when we dare to step away from competitors and bring you the structured content hierarchy.

In this version we would like to continue to move you in this better direction so the content mode will be default in the future. Don’t worry, the canvas mode will stay but it will be so much easier for you if you use it only for decorating and keep the main content in the structured hierarchy. You can save plenty of time when you don’t have to reposition and resize every layer on every device.

Among many changes, we’ve done a lot of work to accomplish a much more convenient layer editing experience. The editor starts to live under your cursor and you get much more visual feedback and control over the elements. We’ve given the label of the layers a new look and behaviour. On the other hand it reacts to the surrounding environment — for example, if you switch to mobile view then a new UI element will appear to help you set the correct font size.

Overall what does it feel like to use it? Shortly, it’s natural but improved. After few slides you won’t ever look back to the previous version.

New Home for Slide Library

Previously the Slide Library was in the add slide process but it could get in the way of a productive workflow. To help solve this, we’ve laid the Slide Library into the add layer panel. From now in the adding process it’s super easy to switch between layers or ready-to-use slides. When you’ve found what you’re looking for, you can just drag it straight onto your slide to start working with it.

Orion Theme 2.0

We’ve breathed some life into Orion, the first theme of the Slide Library completely re-working its appearance to be up-to-date, and serve your work better. It’s not all! And we’ve extended the theme with more than 100 blocks in dark and light variations to help you get a head start in your next project.

The Best Version of Smart Slider 3 So Far

We didn’t stop there! Along with our headline changes, Smart Slider 3.4 comes with tons of noteworthy features, improvements and fixes:

Breakpoints: Maybe you’re tired of resizing your browser windows to check the responsive accuracy across all devices. For you we would like to provide more flexibility and a better preview of your website. So we’ve added a new slider level breakpoint system with six optional devices where every breakpoint is totally customizable.

Hide Slide: During the slider creation it’s possible that one of your slides contains too many layers which can cause problems on smaller devices. One of the most anticipated features is the hide slide option, which will help you to hide any slide on any device.

Right Click Menu: The new contextual right-click menu is an integral part of the visual builder so we’ve packed it full of exciting options. Once you start using it you’ll be surprised how much better it is to edit the rows, columns and layers. Also we thought it’d be useful in the layer list and in the timeline too.

Keyboard Support: Are you a fan of using keyboard shortcuts in your workflow? Because we added lots of new keyboard hotkeys to help you build faster and more accurately.

Timeline: One of the best ways to bring your design to life is animation. If you start to create any transition then the timeline is essential, so we’ve added a few extra functionalities and advanced the transparency.

Tooltips: The new tooltip system will be able to show you much more details, and direct buttons to tutorials. We added lots of new mini helper guide for the better understanding of every option.

And we’re not done yet. The version 3.4 comes with plenty of small improvements and fixes: new info center for license activation and update, new notification and alert system, new preview, new lightbox and link popup window, new focus point for slide backgrounds, new responsive settings and last but not least new help page.

Frequently Asked Questions

1, Do I get this update for free?
Of course. Smart Slider 3.4 is a free update for everyone with an active license. Because we have only one-time payment plans, you will always get the latest updates automatically for free.

2, When will you release Smart Slider 3.4?
It strongly depends on the testing period. But we won’t release the new version as long as we don’t feel that it’s rock solid. Hopefully we’ll be able to release in the start of the next year.

3, What will I get from these feature as a free user?
Most of these features are related to the core plugin so you will get the whole redesigned tool. In addition, you will get a bunch of new things for free: new block type to create awesome heros, access to much more pre-made slide via the Slide Library.

+1, Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday?
Yes, both! And of course you get this update after the release. Moreover we have a really good post where we’ve collected 2019’s best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for WordPress.

Stay Tuned

Our team has put their blood, sweat, and tears into this update and we hope that you will love it as much as we do. We’re adding the finishing touches and in the near future we’ll be starting an open beta to test everything properly with your help. As always, we’re grateful for your feedback – it helps us to create a better tool so we welcome your comments, good and bad.

That’s all we’re sharing for now. 🤫 But you can help us to share this post in your favorite Facebook communities and reach new people with new perspectives. Don’t forget to subscribe for updates and thanks for rocking with our plugin! 🤟

Daniel David

About Author

Hi I’m Daniel David, one of the co-founders at Nextend and the designer of the Smart Slider 3. I’m all about web design, video games, series and sci-fi/fantasy books. Wanna drop me a line?