Need better way to display available appointment times for multiple providers in one location.

New site under development - http://www.kowabungas.co

Client has an arcade with restaurant. He is offering parties with a duration of 2 hours. 5 tables available. Staggered starting times. I have made each table a service provider.

Right now, when prospective customers look at site, they have to select table from a drop down and then see availability. It is not intuitive for them to then select a different table from the list of providers and check this for the same date.

Is there a simple way to provide a display by the day, week or whatever showing ALL available tables for that particular time period?

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gurugordon,

    Hope you are doing well today and thanks for your question :slight_smile:

    Can you copy and paste the shortcode setup that you currently have on your "Make-an-Appointment" page? By default it should give you a "No Preference" option for the service provider and show all available tables at any given time. You can customize the default text with this shortcode parameter here:

    [app_service_providers ... empty_option="No Preference"]

    It should by default, show all available times until someone selects a table from the dropdown.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you need any further assistance :slight_smile:

    All the best,
    Tyler

  • Gordon

    Hi Tyler

    Thanks for your speedy reply. Here is the shortcode setup I have at the moment:

    <table>
    <tbody>
    <tr>
    <td colspan="2">[app_service_providers empty_option="No Preference"]</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td colspan="2">[app_monthly_schedule]</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td colspan="2">[app_pagination month="1"]</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
    <td colspan="2">[app_confirmation]</td>
    </tr>
    </tbody>
    </table>

    I am not seeing all available times with no preference selected, only the default times which correspond to table 1. Also, I don't want people to select by table, but by available time. Prospective clients want to know when they can come. Table numbers have little significance except as an administrative function.

    Best wishes
    Gordon

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gordon,

    Thanks for granting that access! I took another look and it appears that you have different hours set for different tables. For No Preference to include all tables, you will need to make sure your No Preference option's working hours span wide enough to fit all the tables times in. Hopefully that makes sense!

    I have attached a screenshot that will help illustrate.

    After you set that up, let us know if it's all working correctly :slight_smile:

    All the best,
    Tyler

  • Gordon

    Hi Tyler

    Done as you suggested. The No Preference hours have been set Sunday 12 noon until 8 pm and other days 12 noon until 10 pm. Tables 1 & 2 are available at 2 hour durations for the full day, Table 3 is 12:30 until 8:30, Table 4 is 1:00 until 9:00 and Table 5 1:30 until 9:30.

    On the site, No Preference still only gives the appointment times for Tables 1 & 2. Also, and this is peculiar, the unavailable segment from 8 until 10 pm on Sundays shows as busy rather than not available!

    Hope you can figure this out.

    Gordon

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gordon,

    Thanks a ton for your patience on this one!

    The reason is it showing the other tables is because the service is 2hours but the other tables have different starting times that the calender is seeing as overlap. In this situation you will want to go to your add-ons and activate the "Durations" add-on. Then go to your general settings and there will be a new option called "Time slot calculus method" - change this to "minimum time based appointment duration calculus".

    This will change it so your users can schedule at 30 minute intervals and will allow all the services to show :slight_smile:

    Also, and this is peculiar, the unavailable segment from 8 until 10 pm on Sundays shows as busy rather than not available!

    I checked this on my own installation and same thing happened. Appears to be a small bug - if you only have 1 provider then it shows unavailable as expected, but if you have more than 1 it shows "busy". I have notified the developer :slight_smile: thanks!

    Hope that helps! Let me know if the times are working for you now.

    All the best,
    Tyler

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gordon,

    Glad it's working now :slight_smile: as for that last little detail about the add to cart button, we can simply remove that with custom CSS for only that page.

    Add this to your child theme or custom CSS field - if you don't have either then use this plugin here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-custom-css/

    .page-id-53 .mp_button_addcart {
    	display: none;
    }

    That should do the trick! Let us know if you still need assistance.

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • pxwm

    Hi @Gordon

    To confirm you need the Appointment page to refresh to ensure the correct schedule is displayed.

    However you can auto refresh the page and also 'Hide' the 'Show available times' button by adding a parameter to one of your shortcodes in your Appointment page.

    Login to your Wordpress Admin dashboard
    Then Select Pages
    Then Select your Appointment page
    Make sure the page tab is set to 'Text'
    Then change the shortcode:-

    From: [app_service_providers]
    To: [app_service_providers autorefresh="1"]

    Then 'Update' the page

    I hope this helps
    Regards
    SteveB

  • Gordon

    Tyler, the code you supplied above to remove the Add to Cart button is being nixed by the MarketPress plugin CSS. I have even added it as the final entry in the cascade on my child style.css and declared it important.

    The other issue I am experiencing is with my bookings. We have our 5 tables listed under separate service providers with varying party start times. If I add a booking for table1 for 12 noon, then the overlapping party times during the allocated 2 hour party period also become unavailable - table 2 at 12 noon, table 3 at 12:30, table 4 at 1:00 and table 5 at 1:30.

  • Gordon

    Here is where I am at. There are a number of unresolved issues over this installation. I have been spending some time checking them all.

    First off, I don't have the FAQ tab on my Appointments settings page.

    Regarding the interface between Appointments and MarketPress, I find this very confusing. I have four different parties defined under appointment services. There is a select box to pick the appropriate one. However, there only is one product which shows up in MarketPress - a generic "party" which does not appear to contain any specific details to distinguish which party has been booked - and no price apart from the $50 deposit which has been specified for all "downloadable products". I could define four different product pages, one for each party, but how then does this work with the select box?

    The other issue is the one mentioned previously, and for which, as yet, I have not had any reply. Appointment or party starting times are staggered, so that there is a more even workflow throughout the day. There are parties starting every half hour, and the booths or tables are available for a period of 2 hours from the commencing time. If I put through a test booking for, say, 12 noon, then all other appointments due to commence during that 2 hour period are shown as busy, even though they are attached to different service providers.

    I am under a lot of pressure to get things resolved and have a working system in place within the next few days. Anything you guys can do to solve these issues will be most appreciated.

    Gordon

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gordon,

    I'm going to go through each of your questions one at a time here so we can get these resolved asap for your deadline :slight_smile:

    First off, I don't have the FAQ tab on my Appointments settings page.

    This tab is a submenu on your Appointments parent menu in the dashboard. There shouldn't be an FAQ tab inside the settings menu. I don't have it either.

    there only is one product which shows up in MarketPress - a generic "party" which does not appear to contain any specific details to distinguish which party has been booked

    Are you wanting more information about the booked service to be shown in the cart? To do this, activate the "Appointments in Product Cart" add-on then customize the cart apps name via General tab under Payment options. screenshots attached.

    If I put through a test booking for, say, 12 noon, then all other appointments due to commence during that 2 hour period are shown as busy, even though they are attached to different service providers.

    Each table can host any of the services? If that's the case then set the capacity of each service to "0". Now it will be limited to the amount of service providers :slight_smile:

    Hope this helps Gordon!

    Let us know if you still need further assistance. We'll be here :slight_smile:

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • Gordon

    HI Tyler

    I had seen a screenshot online from someone which showed a FAQ tab as the last tab for the settings menu. Maybe it was from an older version. I have found the link now. No idea how i missed that. :slight_frown:

    I already had those settings activated, so that is not the answer to lack of appointment detail in the cart.

    Setting the capacity of each service to 0 means that booked appointments do not show on the availability table. It is possible to book the same appointment multiple times.

    I think we need to dig much deeper in order to solve these two issues.

    Thanks
    Gordon

  • Gordon

    Hi Tyler

    I have not got our gateway linked up yet, so am unable to test complete checkout system. However, I am reading that the full transaction details are available as an administrative function for completed orders. If that is so, then that particular issue is resolved. All the client needs to see is that they have purchased a party booking with a $50 deposit.

    i also noticed that during checkout the system is asking for a shipping address, even though that should be disabled by my store settings.

    The major issue still to be addressed is unavailability of overlapping appointments.

    Thanks
    Gordon

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gordon,

    Hope you're well today!

    I already had those settings activated, so that is not the answer to lack of appointment detail in the cart.

    I went ahead and added some of the macros to the field I posted a screenshot of above. The appointments in your cart should look different now and you will be able to customize them further by visiting your general options tab.

    i also noticed that during checkout the system is asking for a shipping address, even though that should be disabled by my store settings.

    Try going to Products > Store Settings > Shipping and changing the shipping option to "none".

    Setting the capacity of each service to 0 means that booked appointments do not show on the availability table. It is possible to book the same appointment multiple times.

    0 means that it defaults to the number of service providers you have - in this case you have 5 tables. So, you can book the same appointment multiple times but it has to be with a different service provider each time. So party 2 can be booked 5 times - once each on tables 1-5. Then no other packages will be able to be booked during that time.

    Is that what you're looking for? Is it not working still?

    Hope this helps and look forward to your reply!

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • Gordon

    Hi Tyler

    The shopping cart contents appear to be working correctly now. However, I am not so convinced about service availability. What you are saying would make sense if all the service providers or tables were available at the same time. However, that is not the case. 5 tables can not be booked for the same starting time. They all have individual starting times which overlap those of other tables. It appears to me that setting the capacity to 0 is not the answer. I can now make bookings at random and none of the booked starting times show as unavailable for further bookings, and I have been able to make two bookings for the same starting time.

    Thanks
    Gordon

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gordon,

    Would you mind granting support access so I can take a closer look at your settings? You can do this via WP dashboard WPMU DEV > Support > Support Access > Grant Access.

    It should be letting you book multiple appointments that are overlapping just not with the same service provider. Once I take a closer look at the settings perhaps we'll see what the issue is here :slight_smile:

    Thanks for your patience here Gordon!

    All the best,
    Tyler

    • Tyler Postle

      Hey Gordon,

      Thanks for granting the access there :slight_smile: I went in and copied over all your settings to my own installation and it worked fine. I then went back and tested yours by just adding appointments into the cart and seeing if it cleared away the time slots and it did as expected.

      Seems to be working fine! Did you get it resolved?

      You do have to refresh your product page in order for the newly added products to reflect on the schedule, so maybe that is what caused the confusion.

      Double check it and let me know if it's all good!

      Look forward to your reply.

      Have a great day Gordon :slight_smile:

      Cheers,
      Tyler

  • Gordon

    Sorry about the long hiatus. There were some issues which delayed the opening of my client's business. I'm now at the final stages of commissioning the site. I have a couple of questions.

    First of all, how can I change the default text on some of the Appointment screens. We are booking parties, and I would like to replace the word "Appointment" in some places with the word "Party" but in a way which will not be overwritten when the plugin updates.

    The other issue I am unable to resolve is with the Appointment display. I want this panel to be hidden once the client clicks the button to confirm, ideally to be replaced with the Shopping Cart. Is this something which is easy to achieve? RIght now, when the client clicks to confirm, the display remains, and it is not obvious that a shopping cart has appeared in the sidebar. Clicking the "Confirm" button a second time produces a rather uninformative message telling the client that they have already confirmed, and to wait until they year back from the provider.

    Look forward to your early reply.
    Gordon

  • Michelle Shull

    Hello again, Gordon!

    No worries for this thread, since we're already so dug in, but with future questions, we prefer if members start new threads for new questions - it makes it easier than reading through several dozen replies and get to the issue sooner. Again, no worries on this thread, just for future reference.

    To your first question in this followup, have you looked at Ultimate Branding? It allows you to make site- and network-wide text changes to your site.

    And as for your second, that may be a little trickier, but it would be possible with a little custom javascript. We do have developers on our Jobs Board who may be able to whip this up for you in no time.

  • Gordon

    Hi MIchelle

    Thanks for your reply. Does Ultimate Branding overcome the problem of overwrites during plugin updates? I am surprised that the Appointments/Market Press integration works this way. Once the client has confirmed the booking, there is no reason for that screen to remain, and the messages that come up when the "Confirm" button is hit a second time are extremely confusing. I would like it for the cart to be displayed in place of the Appointments window, and am surprised that this requires special scripting. I would expect this behavior to be the default one.

    Best wishes
    Gordon

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Gordon,

    Welcome back!

    Does Ultimate Branding overcome the problem of overwrites during plugin updates?

    Yes :slight_smile: because now the text change will be saved within Ultimate Branding instead of Appointments+ and since it isn't hard-coded at all, everything will be fine even if Ultimate Branding is updated.

    I am surprised that the Appointments/Market Press integration works this way. Once the client has confirmed the booking, there is no reason for that screen to remain, and the messages that come up when the "Confirm" button is hit a second time are extremely confusing.

    The reason it works this way is because one of the most popular reasons for users to integrate Appointments+ with MarketPress is so visitors can check out with more than 1 appointment. They can add several appointments then check out all at once. Although, I do see where you are coming from here, depending on your theme it may not be entirely clear that the cart is popping up.

    A easy code-free way of working around this would be to add a "View Cart" button below your Appointments table, so they would see it right there and wouldn't need to scroll up at all :slight_smile: or a "Checkout" button, whatever you prefer.

    How does that sound? Look forward to hearing back Gordon!

    All the best,
    Tyler

  • Gordon

    Tyler, I'm still far from happy about this. I don't understand why there is not an option available to instruct the program to leave the appointments page and commence checkout after confirmation. Hacking the program to change the action of the Confirm Button would seem to be the best answer, but that is something which would need to be done every time the program updated. Adding a checkout button which displays along with the confirmation button is going to cause confusion and possibly lost business.Providing the visitor the easiest possible path to checkout is something which every shopping cart design guide states is essential.

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