DoshTracker Update #3 - First beta site live! Design change discussion.
It's severely limited in functionality, but I've replaced the temporary holding page with our first beta. At the moment it's little more than a layout prototype, but forms the foundation for everything else.
While I was messing about with the google maps integration, I discovered that the original 'window' based design (as used on the holding page, see below) was too confusing when displaying multiple windows and relied on the browser being maximised on a reasonable sized screen to be usable.
Because of this I've moved to a new design which you can now find in its place. The page is split into three panels;
Top Panel: Horizontally along the top. Contains the site logo, and a potential space for site messages and future advertising, this content is fixed to the user regardless of the state of the other dynamic panes.
User Navigation Panel: Vertically on the left hand side. Contains a dynamically generated tree based on the currently logged in user's data, so will contain entered notes, note hits and profile information. Clicking on the tree nodes will create new tabs in the 'Main Window'.
Main Window: The remainder of the page contains a tabbed view. Some tabs are fixed and contain general information (Welcome text, instructions, etc..) and some will be dynamically generated by user actions and can be closed. Some typical tabs envisaged are:
- Welcome screen (fixed) - Welcoming the user to the site, site news.
- Instructions (fixed) - How to use the site.
- Statistics (fixed) - General stats on the site, total number of notes, total value, top ten users, notes, tracks, etc.
- Register / Login (fixed) - To allow a user to register a new profile or login to an existing one.
- Contact Form (fixed) - To allow a user to send comments and feedback to the site admin.
- Note Entry (dynamic) - To allow a user to enter a new note into the system, will then display confirmation and previous hits for that note if found.
- Note View (dynamic) - Displays details (location map, distance traveled, condition comments, etc.) for a selected note.
- Profile Editor (dynamic) - To allow a user to view and amend their stored user profile information.
The tab panel supports scrolling as it is likely that the number of tabs may exceed the width of the screen.
The colour scheme is also under review, the blue 'DoshTracker' colour is ok, but the grey components are in the default extjs theme and so I plan to write up a new stylesheet to make it look more co-ordinated before the site goes fully live.
There are lots of additions to the site which are being developed in parallel so please return regularly, check out the development log on the site and this blog for more updates.