Calcylator isn’t a big web 2.0 application, but there are area’s where it’ll fit quite nicely with some of the new delivery methods.
AJAX is a technology that differentiates traditional websites with 2.0 ones; the basic idea is that pages are delivered to the user with less page refreshes (thus less bandwidth, in turn quicker !). A good example of a 2.0 site vs a traditional one is maps.google.co.uk vs ebay.co.uk. With ebay you’ll notice every time you update something the page refreshes & the URL changes. If you look at maps.google you’ll notice the URL never changes, in fact if you hit “refresh” on the browser any changes you made to the page disappear.
This all in mind there are area’s of calcylator where the page is un-necessarily redrawn; The recently implemented new feature allows you to filter your mini-statement, the filters allow you to view only selling / sold or unsold items, now I could have implemented it traditionally or with ajax. The picture on this post highlights the new tool bar & you’ll notice it is massively quick !!!!! To be honest I’m gonna stop there (for now), implementing this ajax code has totally messed up the neatness of what I have written, but I think more ajax could fit in nicely (not too much tho’), but before I put any more in I’m going to make sure the underlying code is ready for it !!!!
What did you do this weekend ? – Me, I made my first ebay api call – kinda geeky, and kinda cool at the same time.
You may notice that the home page on calcylator now boasts the ebay compatible logo, that’s because the SELL page on calcylator has changed. We now have the option for Quicker Entry when adding listings to the application; this quicker entry is a demonstration of where we’re going, type in your ebay listing/item id, and we’ll retrieve the item description and start price.
So why are we doing this ? Well as I’ve previously discussed the profit and loss idea isn’t working, the reason being that user’s feel they are working too hard… so I’m trying to improve that, now users type in 1 number instead of 3 different pieces of information. Admittedly we’re a distance away from a usable solution, but you gotta walk before you run eh ?
So It’s the new year, and I wanted to post an update about what’s happening over at calcylator.com. I guess it’s been nearly a month since there has been any visible activity, and I’d like to explain the reasons why.
The site was launched in November, and at the time I thought it’d be ready for use by x-mas ebay sellers; after a couple of weeks hammering by my faithful testers I soon found the finish line was further away then I thought The application has 2 major hurdles to overcome:
- Streamlining the user experience
- Small target audience (related to fees)
Calcylator started like most applications, to solve a problem for one person, I then wanted to share it with the world. Where as the application fitted this one person, other people found they were working too hard – the same goes for the fees issue – the database fees don’t allow for foreign currency or power-sellers (since I’m neither).
The project todo list stands, and is very important to me (as it contains user feedback), but now I have priorities.
Quicker User Interface:
Technically there’s nothing wrong with the speed, but people feel they are typing too much. To solve this we’re going to aim for full ebay integration… the less you have to type the better !
I’m going to add fees flexibility for non “.co.uk” and “power sellers” users can select their fee scheme. This flexibility is going to extend to the user interface – I’m going to jump on the ajax bandwagon – This part of development may be a little slow, but should be very exciting for my faithful users.
As always suggestions and feedback are welcome, and fingers crossed I’ll be ready for next x-mas
I think it’s worth updating you, progress is slow, but I’m doing my best to be consistent, hopefully after the x-mas chaos, and with my health improving things will pick up again.
I’ve had a few issues with fee calculations, take a look at this:
Closing Fee over �600: (From: eBay.co.uk Fees)
5.25% of the initial �29.99 (�1.57), plus 3.25% of the initial �30.00 – �599.99 (�18.53), plus 1.75% of the remaining closing value balance
Have you ever looked at how complicated ebay fees can get ? I’ve had a bug reported that closing fee’s weren’t being calculated correctly, basically I typo’d a > rather than >= and this was causing the function to fail under certain circumstances, the up-shot, closing fee’s not being added to some transactions.
99p listing fees were also effected by a similar bug – DOH !
Anyway onto some good news, I shall be focusing on two new features (todo page updated), 1 improving the work flow so things feel quicker, the server and page response is excellent, but users just feel they are spending too much time typing stuff in; so I’m going to add a Sell Similar function – like what ebay do. The second will be fee variations, so shops & non-UK users can get involved !
The help section has also been updated with an link to us page so you can now share your favorite calculator with the world !
These are the graphics I’ve done so far, if you’re a paint wizard, please let me know.
Nearly 10days in, and the bug hunt is in full swing, to be honest life is slowing me down !
I’ve learnt an important lesson it is impossible to fully bug hunt your own app, I know this seems obvious, but the scale of this truth isn’t apparent until someone else starts pulling apart what you have done.
Feedback so far:
- Many Pages: £ Signs were being formatted incorrectly – fixed
- Profit Report: Needs simple funds in & out calculation at bottom – added
- Edit sold page: Error – Cannot update postage type – removed
- Edit sold page: Massive Bug – fees increment without updating any information – fixed
- Sell Page: “please type description here” – reported as annoying – removed
- Help Info: Paypal fees used not shown anywhere – Added paypal helpfile
As a permanent record of feedback received, but not yet implemented please see the project todo list.