Almost There…

We’re almost ready to launch the new Detailed Image site. The planned launch day is Saturday, April 20th. We’re putting the finishing touches on everything and then later this week we’ll start testing pretty heavily. It’s nice having an entire team of people to test. Last year prior to launching the revamped LockerPulse we found quite a few little bugs by having our employees use it for a while. An e-commerce site is a little tougher to dogfood than a sports news app. But given the amounts of money exchanging hands on any given transaction, it’s also much more important to release without major bugs.

It’s interesting how much browser testing has changed since I first started developing for the web. We ran a browser / OS report for the past six months and Safari on iOS is #1 in terms of visits. Responsive design isn’t just necessary so that it looks nice when people occasionally use the site on their phones or tablets, it’s becoming people’s primary way of shopping online, and thus the mobile views of the responsive design are just as important as the large screen views. I plan on doing a few posts about this after the launch diving into our stats a bit more.

We always try to plan these launches out, but inevitably it’s always a mad rush to the finish line. In some ways I enjoy the chaos – to some degree I thrive in it – but it’s unsustainable. I’ve been putting off anything and everything in life and work that I can until after the 20th. That gets tiring and stressful after a while. Plus when you’re 90% done with something there’s this nagging feeling that it should be released ASAP so your customers and your business can benefit from it. In the midst of the development, my wife and I also bought a house, which we’ll be closing on in early May. So the second the site is up and stable I’ll have to switch gears and dial back my workload a bit…which is probably a good thing for me.

I’ve got some posts I’m really excited to write after the launch. Until then, I’ll be spending my time driving myself mad trying to make a modern HTML5 responsive design work in IE8 and – gasp – IE7! IE7 is still about 1.7% of our visitors, which for a retail business is too large to ignore. Thankfully html5shiv got us a good part of the way there without any work.

3 comments on Almost There…

  1. Tim says:

    I can’t wait to see the DI V3.0 (or is this 4.0 now??), I’m also very eager to hear about your trials and tribulations with RWD on an ecom platform. I’m actively exploring RWD for the enterprise company I work for (I feel like such a dick saying that) and it’s shocking how uncommon RWD is in the enterprise environment.

    The combined tracking, and drastically improved user experience across devices is a no brainer! Crazy that just a few years ago a concept like this was science fiction, now everyone is abandoning their mobile sites and in a few years that will be a distant memory in the world of web development.

    From a consumer standpoint I think it’s fantastic! User experience is going through the roof, if you use a browser like Chrome it’s getting nearly seamless at synching settings across devices. It also makes the native app look less and less attractive for a web application. Just when it looks like things are settling into a new normal, things change entirely! With Google Glass and the “iWatch” on the horizon I can guarantee things will continue to change too!

  2. Adam McFarland says:

    I can’t wait to see the DI V3.0 (or is this 4.0 now??)

    This will be the 3rd major iteration of our shopping cart. The first release was in 2007 and the current version was in 2009. Prior to that we were running osCommerce. I think that it’s been 4 years speaks to the success of the 2009 version – one can only hope that our 2013 platform is one we can grow on for just as long (or longer).

    I’m also very eager to hear about your trials and tribulations with RWD on an ecom platform.

    I will definitely be posting more about this. It is very time consuming to develop, and can be overwhelming designing pages that are equally functional on the iPhone, iPad, and on a 1080p monitor, but we learned a lot with the responsive PureAdapt.com site and then responsive LockerPulse that we’re not completely new to it. If I was starting a site from scratch, I’d probably use Bootstrap to speed up the development time.

    It also makes the native app look less and less attractive for a web application.

    Absolutely! HTML5 and CSS3 have come a long way. You can provide native-app-like functionality right in the browser, and only develop once!

    With Google Glass and the “iWatch” on the horizon I can guarantee things will continue to change too!

    Yup. I’ll be interested to see how much these interfaces take off. I’m actually more interested in a watch for day-to-day use than I am outfitting a pair of glasses.

  3. What responsive web design becomes, then, is a step in the right direction. A lot of sites stand to gain a lot from a responsive design, and every designer should certainly be capable of executing this solution and searching for ways to optimize their designs.

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