Archive for the ‘New features’ category

Motigo search launched

Monday June 25th, 2007

We just launched a new part of our site called motigo search. Hurray!

In the last few weeks, we have been in a steady stream of solid updates to the motigo website in general. We have come a long way since we started in March earlier this year.

This time we added search capabilities to motigo. The motigo search has been born.

Now you can search the web for pictures and video to reference in your blog posts or in your forum discussions. We feel that we by that have a superior product to many competitors. The search also allows your to search our webstats counter catalogue.

The future will call for a full motigo service search, but as we felt the described update in itself provided enough significant value to our users to stand on its own, we decided to push out the search capabilities as they are now in their early state.

Please go try it out and let us know what you think.

Localization day

Wednesday May 9th, 2007

Today has been the big localization day.

Two days ago, we announced an update of the forums and guestbooks that was to happen last night. The update was about converting our entire database for forums and guestbooks from latin1 hell to utf8 bliss. The update has allowed us to not only handle special characters without the problems of HTML encoding, but also to offer support for languages which aren’t based on the western alphabet. So this is a happy day for our Arabic, Russian, and Asian users.

Another big update is the support for timezones for guestbooks and forums. To change the timezone for your forum, simply log in with your motigo account, click on “my account” in the top bar, change the timezone to what you prefer, and save your account details. If you wish, you can even change it to another timezone afterwards, and everything will be changed on-the-fly.

We are happy to announce these to features, which has been on the top of the wishlist for a load of motigo users.

Webstats now shows your traffic visually

Monday May 7th, 2007

If we have to say it ourselves, we just added a really cool feature to Motigo Webstats. When you click to see the stastitics of your page, for instance that of our highest ranked member at the moment, a google map now shows you the most recent visits to your page visually on a world map. The most recent hits are marked with map markers on the map.

We are very excited about this nifty little feature and just wanted to tell you about it. Expect a lot of new cool stuff from motigo soon.

New motigo webstats google map mashup

Rapid feedback and multiple languages

Tuesday May 1st, 2007

One of the biggest advantages of developing web applications as opposed to desktop applications is their often short development cycle. Lightweight development methodologies with short iterations (development cycles) allow for the developers to react more rapidly on feedback from the customer and the product’s users. There is a relatively short path from when a feature is suggested until it can possibly be implemented.

As both desktop applications and web applications grow in size, it gets increasingly harder to react rapidly towards customer feedback in order to point the developer’s attention in the right direction. As applications grow bigger, a small change to the software can possibly effect many parts of the whole application, why each new feature gets increasingly cumbersome to release as the product grows in size.

To be able to react to changes in its environment, the application should always be the simplest possible implementation possible.

At times, the fundamental requirements of the application go against the goal of always having the simplest possible implementation. To stay agile, this dilemma needs clever and flexible attention.

At motigo, we have services that originate from multiple countries. Motigo Webstats was originally nedstat – a Dutch website, and Motigo Forums, Motigo Guestbooks and Motigo Shorturls were originally webtropia products – a German website. This means that our primary users are from the Nederlands and Germany – thus we have a need for more than just one language.

We currently have everything in 5 languages. This has put a serious barrier for us to be able to make rapid changes and react rapidly upon feedback. Every time we want to make a new screen, or just make changes in the existing practice, we need translations in all of the 5 languages that we currently support. This means that many changes that has been thoroughly tested and are ready to go public have to wait several days for our translators to finish their job.

A clever and flexible solution to cope with this problem in all contexts is still something we aim to find. If any of you have any experience with this, we would love to hear from you. However, for changes that have to do with presentation, we already found an approach that works fine.

As an example, in our process of redesigning the front page, we started out making the changes visible only when you had chosen English as a language.

This proved effective, as we had made several changes based on user feedback even before the first translations rolled in. If you’re quick, you can even see that at the moment, it is only for English, German, and Dutch, that we have the new frontpage banner implemented. For French and Spanish, the old flashy banner is still showing.

When starting out by only implementing changes in English, which we (the developers) are all fluent in, we can again start to react rapidly on feedback instead of having to wait 4-5 days for all translations in all 5 languages.

As our plan is to implement 7 more languages (12 in total) in the new future, the dilemma will become increasingly more important to cope with in a clever way as we move along.

Again – if any of you guys have any input about our dilemma with wanting to push the features out to you as soon as possible and still having 12 languages to cope with, then please comment this thread and let us know.