5 min read

Here at Packt, things are evolving. Today, we can show you the first peek of what the future of Packt will look like with our new and improved PacktLib learning service.

Over the last few months, we’ve been working on making your PacktLib so much more than a library of over 3000 Packt titles. These new features are based on your feedback, as well as our own exciting plans for Packt and the platform. So what’s in the update? Nothing less than a complete redesign of our user experience, a bucket of new features to get you learning your way, and a score of backend enhancements for optimal platform performance.

The things we’re most excited for? How about:

  • A brand new dashboard that will show you the most popular titles, latest releases, and our recommended content.
  • Topic pages for different technologies, complete with customized learning plans.
  • Enhanced usability for Packt video courses, including playback controls, autoplay, and bookmarking

PacktLib New Features

PacktLib’s new features are all about letting you take control of your learning.

Browse Topic Pages

Included within the new release of PacktLib is the ability for users to browse topics and technologies by name. These topic pages include the ‘Latest’ and ‘Most Popular’ titles, as well as specialized Learning Plans to make sure you’re learning exactly what you need too about a tech.

All New Dashboard

Your all new dashboard lets you instantly view the most popular titles available in the library, along with the latest releases and recommended titles. Through your dashboard PacktLib will serve you up relevant, dynamically changing content based on your needs and interests. Furthermore, from the new dashboard you’ll be able to view everything in your reading list, titles you own and all of your current bookmarks.

Learning Tokens

Want to unlock free eBooks and videos to download and view at any time? Our new token system rewards you for learning using PacktLib. If you spend more than 4 hours using the reader and complete 25 sections within a month, you’ll recieve a token to download any Packt eBook or video for free. Track your progress against your next reward using our ‘learning tracker’, and redeem your token all within the PacktLib ecosystem. And if you’re an Annual or 18-month subscriber, you get a guaranteed token every month to cash in for a free title at any time.

Improved Video Experience

Users can now change the playback speed of the video player to 0.5x, 1.0x, 1.2x, and 2.0x, letting you choose a playback speed that suits you and your preferred learning style. Moreover, videos will now auto-play the next section once a video reaches its end point, saving you the time of pressing the ‘Next section’ button.

Course Duration Estimation

The length of every title on PacktLib is now displayed within a product listing, allowing you to quickly establish how much time you’ll need to dedicate to learn a new skill, tool or language.

PacktLib Enhancements

Professional interest in what we’ve tinkered with under the hood? PacktLib’s enhancements have all been about working to improve stability and load time for the platform.

Improved User Experience

We’ve changed the way our users work and interact with PacktLib. One of the big pain points in the previous version of PacktLib was the fact that if you wanted to search for a title, you had to be on the homepage to do so. We heard your cries of protest – and in the latest release, the search bar is present on every page in the top navigation. Furthermore, the ability to navigate back to the shop on packtpub.com is always available on the top navigation with the search function.

In response to customer feedback the sidebar is now located on the left-hand side of the screen. From the Library page it has become the navigation for Tech pages, from the search page it shows your filters, and within a title it’s the table of contents for easy navigation between sections. If you were suffering some bugs with the sidebar before – good news! In the new version the whole feature has been refactored to ensure global browser support.

In an effort to make loading times even faster and the whole experience more lean, the new version of PacktLib does not contain the cover images of titles. The new presentation of eBooks and Videos has become unified and displays the release date, author, title and series type to allow you to quickly pick your perfect content.

Refactoring for Speed

The design of PacktLib was completely overhauled to maximize usability and consistency between all the various pages of the application. In addition, the design of content pages for eBooks and Videos was unified to pave the way for an exciting new Packt product.

The API calls and controllers have been refactored to make them more efficient and stable. As a result of this, the loading time of the library has been greatly improved, along with the time it takes for content to load. In addition, the latest update contains many optimisations to the implementation of the AngularJS framework to dramatically improve loading times and overall stability.

What’s next for PacktLib?

This new update is just the start – exciting things are coming for Packt and PacktLib in the future. Some of the coolest bits we’re keeping under wraps for now, so you’ll just have to wait in suspense.

But up next, PacktLib will be boasting social sharing for you to share you learning with colleagues and friends. After that? Expect to see additional personalization with avatar images and more; features for personal and public annotations to eBook courses, and enabling searchable video transcripts. We’re working constantly to keep PacktLib improving and evolving to make it the perfect platform for you to upgrade your tech knowledge.


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