The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I won’t lie, it’s a bit nerve-wracking spending months building something and then putting it out there for the world to poke and prod, hoping you haven’t completely wasted your time.
Thankfully it appears I did not.
The positive response Trailpost received to the beta testing contest in /r/Ultralight and the feedback everyone provided throughout the beta testing has been very encouraging. Whether the feedback was full of excitement or offering constructive criticism, the common theme was that a lot of outdoor enthusiasts are not entirely satisfied with the tools that are currently out there, and want more. A lot more.
The first round of changes
Over the weekend I pushed the first round of “quick win” updates. These are various tweaks and enhancements that addressed bugs, usability concerns, and small annoyances that people reported during testing that I was able to fix quickly.
There are much larger updates coming based on the testing feedback in the coming weeks, but I wanted to announce the following updates.
The top navigation bar has been completely redesigned to make better use of screen real estate and provide quicker navigation between your locker and your packs.
This redesign is the first step in a larger interaction re-design that will make it faster for Trailposters to manage their locker and build packing lists efficiently.
Smart packing defaults for locker items
Many Trailposters expressed a desire to set default quantities and packing categories on the items in their locker because the values are almost always the same.
Rather than forcing you to set these defaults explicitly, I have introduced a small machine learning algorithm that will pre-fill carried & worn quantities along with the packing category when you attempt to add a locker item to a pack while allowing you to override its decision. The more times you add a locker item to a packing list, the more Trailpost will learn about the choices you make and the more accurate its future suggestions will be.
Lastly, if the algorithm cannot confidently predict desired quantity defaults, it will now default to carried and worn quantities of one and zero respectively.
This change should significantly speed up the entry of items into a packing list while I work on larger design changes.
New pie chart design
I have reworked the visuals for pie charts that display weight breakdowns. They now use a donut-style design so it has less visual weight while introducing color coding for packing category breakdowns for quicker recognition
Additional enhancements and updates
- Your email address on the login form is no longer case-sensitive
- The “Delete” menu option on pack items has been renamed to “Remove” to better indicate that it will remain in your locker
- The “Remove” option on pack items no longer asks for confirmation
- I replaced all native confirmation & alert dialogs with custom ones preventing an issue where the browser would disable dialogs and make it impossible to take actions that require confirmation
- I have fixed the typo in the “Hygiene” packing category and acquired a spell-checker
- Clickable elements now provide visual feedback when pressed
- A visual loading indicator bar now displays across the top of the site when navigating between pages or performing actions
- I have put in place an optimization to the initial site load that should reduce the data and load time by about 70% which should significantly help Trailposters on slower internet connections or devices
These updates are just the low-hanging fruit from the beta testing feedback and a small fraction of what I have planned over the coming weeks and months.
I’ll keep everyone up to date with new features as they are added.