I know, I know, the silence in the last couple of months didn't really help. But that doesn't mean we have been doing nothing, so now I am writing this post to break the silence and let you in "under the hood" of miniTPMS creation. Our work currently looks like this:
A lot of people from all around the world helping each other fixing the light-bulb of our software. Awesome. But three months is a long period of time. Maybe we have forgotten all what we did back then (in Internet time 3 months is like 500 years).
No, we didn't forget because luckily, we have documented our progresses, our ups and downs, so this post doesn't have to be written just "out of the top of my head".
But first, if you have not seen this kind of posts before, you can check all miniTPMS progress posts here.
So, what has happened between April and June? Was it all good? Was it all bad? Well... a little bit of this, a little bit of that, as people say.
The bad stuff
We have had some trouble with finding the right person for Front End development. FE is basically a part of the programming that is more visible, it's what users see and what they like or dislike in a software. But it's more than just UI and UX development, especially in a software this complex.
And the problems occurred when I wanted to implement some really fancy features, such as "drag-and-drop" for example, which for some people is a challenge to implement. It might seem very basic and obvious to us, users, but from a development point of view you really need a good developer to be able to do everything in a way you wanted it. You have to have people who know what they're doing.
Luckily, we found a great colleague who we work with now, and he is helping us create amazing things. Fast, and in a good fashion.
Looking for this person took us a little back in progress, not everything went so fast as I imagined it would, but once we got back on track, things began to happen faster.
On to the good stuff
First of all, there were two really good news, at least, from the basic PR perspective of miniTPMS. On May 20th we made it into Jost Zetzsche's 274th Tool Box Journal (if you don't know what it is, you can check it out right here).
We had a little chat with Jost before, and agreed that "mini" is not yet developed enough to get full attention, but at least he mentioned it. Here's what he said:
Tool Box Journal
The other developer I talked to is the guy behind MiniTPMS, Nenad Andricsek. Nenad loves numbers and what they mean for your business, which he thinks is going to be one of the main differentiators of his system. His system, which will be officially released within the next couple of weeks, will also be cloud-based and available for both freelancers and small agencies. More on that once he can actually show us something.
Well, he was mostly right. Couple of weeks from end of May turned into twice the time to launch alpha (a version that nobody should use just yet), and another month and a half or so to launch officially in August with the basic setup.
Also, I have my reservations how the usual freelancers would benefit too much of this, but those who outsource, which is just a fancy name for a micro translation agency, could see some serious improvement using "mini".
On June 13th we made it into Slator, which is basically a go-to webpage for news and articles about our industry. That was a good feeling too!
Read the complete article here.
Let's get on to what we have created in this period. Because of all the lack of personnel and a bunch of annoying bugs - as41y well as lack of couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars that I have to put into the development, this wasn't the most productive three months, but still I think we did a pretty decent job.
Here's an unfinished list with some highlights:
These might seem small in an eye of the User, but there's huge advantage of having these things setup in the appropriate way. Of course, it doesn't mean that we won't be changing it maybe later down the line, but for now, the basic functionality is top priority.
And that was achieved.
We also made available creating a Component directly from the Projects page. And for that, we needed the project page to load all the available components for the chosen project - again, simple thing, but in the beginning not everything works as you imagined it would.
But one of the biggest thing was that we started working on Workflows, which was then finished in July so it made it into the next Monthly Update thing. Here is a look at the Moqup that we used to create the actual functionality:
Other Design and Moqups
As we can't really work with just simple 3 line instructions like in some companies (though, I think I am still to see one that functions like that), a lot of our ideas go through the so callde Mockup page. We use a software called Moqup (it's online of course) to outline how a screen should look like, and then we pack it with trillion of comments explaining what should go where.
So we started outlining some of the coolest features in this period already (because this has to be done at least couple of weeks in advance anyway, to let it settle and to be able to discuss it with the dev team)
So we created a moqup for EZ Project List (read our July update to see how this list works).
We also started outlining some of the pricing and finance features. Basically it was changing the one's we already did before, so now you can expect your Component finance structure to look something like this within a Component. Sorry for the slightly small picture, but I wanted to capture it all into one screen... it will be explained better once we create the real thing. Or click on it to see it in almost full size.
And that's it. Time files when you're having fun, and when you have 500 bugs to fix, but the end is always awesome. Because you have a working program that people can use, and use it with delight (at least we do so 🙂 )
If you want to join our Early Adopter Club and pay a fraction of the actual price for the software, click here and read the story.