I’ve finally been reading Getting Real: a great book by the guys behind Ruby on Rail, about the method to get a Web application real: online, engaging and ready to use as soon as possible. It changed my plans for the work to come on ToDoSo without any doubt.
There are only five weeks left until the hand-in date of the project’s report, and what has been achieved so far? I’ve written quite a good specification of the project with a detailed analyze of the accessibility issues in presentations, I’ve dived deep into the mess that vector graphics are on the Web… But I’ve been creating mockups for less than one month and the first prototype is not even one week old. What exciting part of the application have I to show? Well, I’m proud of this first mobile prototype but it’s a bit far from the core of a presentation software.
I was intending to write about the rational behind the interface concepts and stuff… Yes, I could spend hours talking about why I’ve chosen the Open Web, Github, jQuery, Jaxer, just like I wrote 2000 words to compare dojo.gfx to Raphaleljs. Eventually I would event gain enough knowledge in some of those technologies to conclude that they are not good enough and start my own project. But this is pointless, it is a waste of time, effort and creativity. This is not helping to get ToDoSo real, to let people get as excited by it as I am. Worse, it’s even undermining my enthusiasm to have to write about that when I could be creating svg mockups or coding some prototypes with my weapon of choice. Focusing on the details, thinking about all the insignificant features of v2.0 and considering performance problems early on is definitely things that I’ve done wrong.
I’m instead going to put all of my efforts into getting real, starting yesterday : ) I’m going to write stories about ToDoSo: why people would use it and which feature they could expect from it. I’ll also create the mockups of the authoring part of the application (and strip the shiny vector graphics and animation feature out) and create the most important prototypes: the player, the authoring part and the management interface (maybe in a different order). I’ve already updated the homepage of the project to add a small description and separated the content into tabs. I’ve opened a Launchpad for the project and I’m going to twitt more regularly about it.
I’m anyway pleased to have the confirmation that there are parts of this project that I’ve been doing right: starting with the interface, epicenter design, using real words (the “Cat guide to world dominashun”)… and choosing the name of the app (definitely better than SlideMe ; )