I've been hard at work writing a new version of QueryTracker, and I thought I’d post about it here to let everyone know what’s coming. There was so much I wanted to do that simply patching the current version wasn't going to cut it, and so a totally new version was needed. It’s going to be a lot of work and I don’t expect to have it done for several months still.
As in the past, I will strive to keep things from changing too much. Things will stay as familiar as possible, and I don’t think people will have much trouble adapting to what does change.
There are three major points this new version will address and will be my main focus.
1. With more and more people using tablets and smart phones to access the web, I thought it was time for QueryTracker to target these devices directly. As some of you may know, there is a mobile version of QueryTracker but it is outdated and limited and I just don't like it.
I also don't want one of those mobile sites that are so limited they're useless, and I'm sure you wouldn't want that either.
So my goal is to have a fully functional mobile version. In fact, my goal is to have just one site, not three different versions designed for three different screen sizes. Instead, this one site will adapt itself automatically depending on the device you're using. This means the features will be the same across devices. It also means I'll only have one site to support instead of three. Everyone wins.
2. Often, I hear remarks from QueryTracker users who tell me QueryTracker is just too complicated. Well, in a way, I have to agree. The site can do a lot, and for that reason there are lots of options. On the search page alone there are nearly 30 different text fields, check boxes and selection lists, all screaming for attention. Though not everyone uses all those different options, it can still be overwhelming seeing them there.
For that reason, the new version of QueryTracker will have two different modes, basic and advanced. In basic mode, the choses are few. It is for people who want to do basic searches, not getting too detailed. But with one click, you can put the system in advanced mode, and instantly have access to all of the options available now. Once set in advanced mode, it will automatically return to that mode by default whenever you visit the site. That means very little change for power-users who want all the features, while at the same time not overwhelming new members.
3. The third point of focus is new features, but I’ve gone on enough so I’m going to leave that discussion for a future blog post. Sorry about the cliffhanger.
If you have any ideas for new features or changes you’d like to see added, please mention them in the comments section.