Sunday, October 17, 2010

Excellent feedback for

Thanks guys for the great feedback received for my new site,! It is highly appreciated.

Now some of you are under the impression that I just threw out a list of recipes for each profession and called it a day. Let me assure you this is not the case.

For one thing, I've launched BankAlt in beta. You can think of it as a friends-and-family beta since I haven't announced it to any "outlets" yet. I won't do it before I feel that the site is in the state I envisioned.

Second, I was aware from the very beginning of most of the issues that you brought to my attention. I would like to think that I carefully considered and weighed most of the potential problems that might occur, in advance.

So why did I go ahead an release an unfinished site? Several reasons. I think the most important one is that I tend to procrastinate. If the site is not live, it's not real so I will keep delaying it until it is almost perfect but by that time it may be too late. Once it's live and people start visiting it, some will like the idea, others will hate it, but in both cases there's some feedback involved. The site becomes real and whether people love or hate it, it gives me an incentive to work on it.

Moving on to the actual feedback, here's a list of issues and features that I am working on. As I've said, most of these had been planned in advance but I didn't want to keep delaying the site in order to have all of them up.

Search function. I agree that a major deficiency is the lack of a search function. I would like to add not just one but two types of search.

Sorting and filtering. There will be something similar to what Wowhead has.

Recipe levels. The level at which the recipes are learned will also be shown.

Paging. Dumping all the recipes under a profession on the screen is stupid. Not only does the page load more slowly but the server and database are put under too much stress and for what? People usually know exactly what they want to see and don't need 500 recipes on the screen at once. So paging of results is in the works.

Display "expanded" recipes on the screen. A few have suggested that I should display the expanded recipe on the screen. This means that they would like to see the entire component tree without having to click the "Expand" button. While this is certainly doable, I think that the server would have to work extra for that to happen. Remember, each time you click to "expand" there's a request to the server. But I do have another idea in mind that should take care of this issue.

Color scheme. A couple of people have asked that I should change the colors of the recipes somehow because the green especially is hard to see on a white background. Initially I wanted to make the site black because color-coded WoW items are easier to display on a black background. But a few readers were complaining about this blog's white on dark scheme so I decided to go with a white background for BankAlt. I will add some darker shading to the table background for recipes and that should make the green stand out more.

These are the main things that I plan to improve upon, before I can even consider taking the site out of beta. I don't want to make any apologies but it's hard to balance 3 WoW-related activities at the same time: playing the game, blogging about it and working on I really enjoy playing the game, especially after this patch, so the other two activities are kinda taking the back burner. I am in fact working on BankAlt but right now I've hit a snag and I need to figure a way to get past that.

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