Friday, April 4, 2008

Focus on aesthetics

In the last couple of weeks, we busied ourselves with small improvements here and there. In the early stages, the more urgent task was to create new challenges. But after we crossed the 150 level, the pace of adding new challenges slowed somewhat, not because we grew tired of adding new ones, but because good ideas were drying up. Consequently, we have had more time to focus on Rankk's other aspects.

1) Ranking page

This has been improved to highlight the particular member's row when he or she is viewing the page and to indicate with up an arrow members who have solved a challenge in the last 5 days.

2) HOFs

Upgraded to include pagination. Previously, only the latest 200 solvers where listed. You had no way of locating the older solvers, which is really uncool.

3) Incoming messages

An earlier attempt at using an applet from the old Cyberarmy to "type" out the news didn't work well, because some members experienced page loading problem. So we did away with this feature until recently, when we found a cool way of doing it with Javascript.

So now every level has a specific incoming message to provide a context to the sacred journey, as well as to give a little expectation of what is to come in the next level.

4) Look and feel

The most noticeable is the masthead. For a long time, the Rankk logo was a tiny little image positioned on the left of the top panel, which is about 800 x 30. The new logo is many times bigger and, imho, nicer. Hopefully that will do a little magic to attract more new members.

And after all the hard work, we were pleasantly surprised with two donation emails . Hurray! Thanks to the kind souls out there!