Monday, May 30, 2011

New look of CSC Lounge

The major feedback we got was on our UI so we decided to do something about it.

Throughout the month of May, we have been trying either to recruit UI/UX experts into the team or buy a UI. A fortnight ago, we decided that we would hack our UI ourselves if we don't get a UI/UX expert with our requirements. We knew the technologies involved, we are trained computer scientists, we know the issues and the things to look out for but we were just not UI people. I did the last interview for a UI expert on Monday, 23rd May and I thought we had gotten our man, I even blogged about it. But it appears our new recruit was not ready for the fast-pace which we require to move at when he didn't show up for out (proposed) UI hack for the first two days.

When you want a UI which loads in the quickest time possible and you want to control every code that runs the UI, it's hard to get someone. Around here, what is mostly obtainable is people who create image slice in Photoshop for their webpages. We didn't want that. This is more reason why CSC Lounge is needed!

Buying the UI was also an issue because most theme shops require buyers to pay via PayPal -- and in Nigeria, PayPal services is not available (I really wonder why I didn't get my foreign friends to help me buy and e-mail it to me, maybe because I'm not a fan of buying UIs).

Hacking the UI was the (only) option available to us. Jide designs HTML at his current full-time job, but not in the way we were going to do it. Hacking web UI would be a new experience to me -- a (mainly) back-end and application logic coder. I was excited!

We hacked from Thursday 26th and Saturday 28th May, 12:00 am to 6:00 am each day, eating only fresh fruits in the process. We logged our sessions on twitter from time to time with the hash-tag #CSCLoungeUIHacking. We hacked with just notepad++ and our browsers -- no IDEs involved/allowed.

Our first draft UI has been hosted on our domain and it's accessible via Jide did the HTML, I did the CSS and we had colour advice from my younger brother Anthony. We are currently finishing-up the CSS and yet to do the images, but that is the final theme and outlook.

Please check it up and give feedback. Thanks.

Special thanks to those who were with us on twitter during the process and also those who thought that it was a bad idea tweeting our coding sessions: @DavidAdamoJr, @OOTheNigerian, @Mukoshy @LatoyeCFC.

On the 14th of June, I'll be 23 (I'm feeling old already) and we would be releasing the fully functional version 2 beta by then.

P.S.: Anthony is a final year architecture student at The University of Nigeria and currently holds the award of the most creative student in his school. Awarded by the Students' Union. He heads a team of digital and print graphics designers. Connect with him on Facebook here

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Twitter: @csclounge

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