Over Labor Day weekend I finally launched a love website: BicycleTogether.com. It’s main purpose is to bring cyclists together by offering a central place to add or search for group bicycle rides. Why is it a love website? It doesn’t have a revenue stream, it just meets a need. Sure, that may sound tragic considering that, financially, I really need to focus on revenue streams, but I’ve found a lot of value in following what you are passionate about.
Do what you love and the money will follow
So maybe the site doesn’t have a financial edge, but I did gain something from the creation: mobile styling. With more and more individuals browsing websites via mobile device (phones, tablets, etc), adjusting the website behaviour and stylesheet for a mobile device is a critical skill I had not yet mastered. BicycleTogether.com allowed me to learn about the task and improve the overall User Experience (UX) for those on a much smaller form factor, without ignoring a good UX for those visiting on a computer and thus at a larger screen resolution. Go ahead, if you have an iPhone, Android phone, tablet, iPod Touch… whatever, just head to BicycleTogether.com and view the main home page and especially interact with the Add Ride form. Then, pull it up on a web browser to see and feel the difference. I’ve included some highlights of the design below.
- Form tooltips for large screens always present, while appearing inline during error validation on mobile devices.
- Highlighting of required form fields that were left empty after server-side validation.
- Automatic scroll to first error field, especially helpful when submitting on a mobile device (scrolled to the bottom) and being brought up to the error automatically.
- Calendar shows embedded on a mobile device while it is a ‘click to view’ or focus based calendar on larger screens.
- Map displays for searches are embedded iframe maps for large resolutions, while static jpg images on mobile devices plus a link to google maps to allow for the device to take the user, upon clicking the link, to the maps app (better experience than iframe).
- Automatic geolocation lookup based on IP address and more by an integration with SimpleGeo.com.