First off, an apology : progress has been too slow on this project for the last couple of months, mainly because we’re very busy. However, with a little help from John Wards in the office, we’ve got the full screen map wizardry version of the test site working. And I think it’s looking brilliant:
The concept of using the map as the background for the home page of the site is awesome. There are probably a few gremlins left in it to work out, but as a proof of concept, it’s great.
The search is working well on the front end - type in a city anywhere in the World and it will zoom in and display offices with desks in that city. Click the icon on the map, or the search result list, and it will pan to the office on the map and display full details in a pane. All we need now are some desks…
… and as for that, the registration has been tarted up, with amongst other things some icons (thanks to famfamfam for the free icon set). Apart from the new look, the only thing that’s different to the previous test version here, is the ability to add business categories and a logo.
If I’m honest, the logo has been a bit of a lesson for me. It’s a little bit clever in that it crops images to fit in a square, but tries not to stretch them by padding the image with the colour it finds in the corners of the logo. Where I went wrong is that I tried to build in a cropping function where the user could crop their logo to the desired size. I got tied up in knots, and probably wasted as much time on this as I spent on the entire rest of the project. It’s not that it’s not possible - I could probably nail it pretty quickly if I came back to it again, but it was a major diversion. We’d started off the project saying we were going to develop the simplest possible application that would work, in order to test the concept as quickly as possible. But I got suckered in and started over-engineering a bit of functionality that just wasn’t needed. Developers are prone to doing this from time to time, and I guess I’ve learnt I’m not immune. Because time is tight, it’s more important than ever that we keep the development simple.
Anyway, not many of the profiles have a logo in, but if you search for offices in Oxford you’ll see that I’ve put one in for White October.
I’m not sure what to do about the handful of registrations we’ve had so far - I think I’ll keep them in until we’ve added the Login and My Account functionality… which is the next bit to do. Watch this space.