This document is currently being created alongside the 2.0 Public Beta release and is not complete.
Aalto Takeout lets Aalto University people find and book production resources from many different campus locations, by many different providers. Sign in, search for what you need and book it for pick-up.
The current version is 2.0 Public Beta 4 or there about, an early beta that has most of the functionality, but is expected to contain misbehaviours and surprises. Notable issues include:
– Unfinished work on accessibility for assistive devices, incl. full keyboard support. A quick shortcut menu for fast keyboard/voice-based use is being built to streamline speed for these use cases.
– Live updates are currently off, requiring the user to periodically refresh the app to receive latest data from other users’ activities.
– Small screen ease-of-use requires polish, as some actions result in not-immediately perceivable results in the interface.
Please see the Known Issues list at the end of this document before sending feedback.
Who can use it?
Anyone with an Aalto University user account can sign in, and many of the resources are available without needing any specific permit. Some locations have limited items to specific groups, or require permits for high-end gear.
For partners outside Aalto University, an email based sign-in option is available by request.
What’s in it?
Resources available at different schools and units, listed under one umbrella. This means equipment, tools, spaces and even people to help you create content and build things. The different offices have different policies, so information on permits you’ll need and where exactly these resources can be found is all part of the service.
How does it work?
A typical workflow of the app goes like this:
1 Sign in
While you can browse as a guest, you get access to much more by signing in. Use your Aalto University account for Single Sign On (SSO), or if you’re a partner with an email based login, you can request a magic link in your email.
Please note that signing in using Aalto SSO can not be logged out from. You’ll need to quit the browser or log out of your computer to ensure you’re not signed in to Aalto University services.
2 Review the Terms of Service
At first sign-in, and when the Terms of Service for Aalto Takeout get updated, you will be prompted to review the latest version of the document.
3 Select or create a Project
To collect your reservations into a manageable bunch, you start with picking or creating a project. Think of them as a shopping carts for all your things, one for each project you might have.
The detailed project information is also really helpful to us. We learn more about where things are used and can allocate future budgets more smartly.
3.1 Creating your first project
Pop open the Project Selector and select and choose ‘Create a new project…’.
When creating or selecting a project, it appears as an area below the Preview Area. Any items currently in the Project are listed there. In this screenshot, the project titled ‘Mediaspace Open Days’ has just one item booked, the ‘A Pod’ recording booth.
Projects can have multiple members with everyone contributing to the bookings.
4 Find things and preview them
Use the Find Things area to search and browse for all available resources. Try finding our Pineapple in Aalto Studios > Misc > Tools. You can play with the Pineapple all you want, any reservations are ignored.
Tip: If at any point you get lost in the abundance of stuff, you can reset the Find Things menu using the (⚡️) Zapper.
The Preview Area can be used to view and compare items without booking them into a project just yet.
Tip: Click the titles ‘Preview’ or your ‘Project name’ to quickly scroll them into view.
5 Make a reservation
The cards in the Preview Area and your current Project have clickable calendars for making reservations. For some items, a Permit may be required.
Calendars come in two flavors. Lendable equipment typically has half-day based AM/PM accuracy for booking, while spaces and workstations use an hour based view.
Tip: Click the firs, then last time slot of your reservation to automatically fill in the middle.
6 Manage a reservation
Ongoing and Upcoming events, such as pickups, returns or space reservation starts are listed in the To Do-area for quick checking.
7 Pickups and returns
Collections and Favorites
Items that you use frequently or that you’d like to share can be made into a collection.
When working in a group, it helps to see what resources everyone has booked.
You can share links to individual items, collections or projects.
Individual items and collections can both be embedded using an <iframe> on other web sites, if their policies allow.
Currently, getting the embed address requires a bit of manual tweaking:
For items, get the sharing address from the Item Card, then replace the letter ‘i’ with the letter ‘e’, eg. https://takeout.aalto.fi/new/?e=608925
For collections, get the sharing address from Collection Card, then replace the letter ‘c’ with letters ‘ce’, eg. https://takeout.aalto.fi/new/?ce=117
For power users in need of more control of large quantities of items and projects, this version of Takeout shows the same data but rendered in a different view. Learn more about Takeout Pro >
Accessible use of Aalto Takeout as a service relies on three types of interfaces
- Offices with customer services on the Aalto University campus, where bookings and consultation can be done in-person.
- Email and phone based service offered by the offices
- User Interface friendliness in the web interface for self service
During the Takeout 2.0 Public Beta, the web interface is being built to feature a fast method for browsing the resources, booking them based on a preset time frame and contacting the offices easily for assistance.
The Release Notes for upcoming updates will highlight these developments in more detail, and our accessibility statement will grow to reflect the state of the service. We’re aiming high, not only to fulfil the legal requirements, but to make using the service enjoyable.
Terms of service
Aalto Takeout is located on Aalto University on-site servers and doesn’t reach out to third-party services. It uses Aalto University SSO to authenticate users and receive their contact information.
User activity, such as item reservations and user submitted data, such as project information is stored for the duration of studies or employment at Aalto University. To request a review or removal of this data, contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Beta versions of the software may report timing statistics, screen size information and other technical details that are not stored.
Contact and feedback
For questions on equipment, spaces and booking/returning them, contact the Location in question.
For questions and feedback on the website, or adding your location to the system, contact the Web Studio at Aalto Studios by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Known issues in beta release
These bugs or limitations do not require reporting, but if you’d like to prioritise a specific one, feel free to let us know.
- Sibling items displayed in a numbered stack, such as multiple identical cameras, may be shown incorrectly when some of them are hidden from lending
- Mobile views don’t focus as they should, often requiring the user to hunt for the correct view