Reflections on a Release – StreetDate

A few weeks ago we released StreetDate in beta. This was the first release from Cascæd, hopefully the first of many, and it is important to reflect on lessons learned.

First, the negatives:

  • It may not have been the best idea to promote the release primarily on the Nintendo Switch subreddit, when the data in our database was not up to date due to a Nintendo Direct coming out recently and a delay in our data source. Which leads to the second point…
  • Data integrity was not what it could have been. Within the first few minutes someone noticed that we were only displaying PC games due to a slight programming error (3am sprints!), while this was remedied quickly, it shouldn’t have happened at all.
  • While we offered a specific service, it was not something that has never been done before, and a lot of suggestions were features that would have been easy to implement before release, and made a better launch all-together.
  • We had slow loading in some situations, due to the single-page client-side aspect of our application we pre-load all data (~1.5mb) onto a client’s device before filtering and displaying it. A simple loading screen could have helped this.

The Positives:

  • We learned a lot, from new programming languages to document databases, AWS and REST, starting from scratch and building something new was a great experience.
  • Our web design was praised. The use of existing frameworks (JQuery, Bootstrap etc) meant our site was mobile responsive, and we got a number of positive comments about this.
  • Stay on message. Our app has a purpose, and it keeps us in line. Avoiding feature creep and unnecessary time-wasters is as important as building the features you need.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t overcommit. Since launch we have not been able to work on the app any further due to real life commitments.
  • Monetization. We don’t have a concrete path to “Profit”. While this was mostly a passion project, if we had more time we could have investigated and at least begun to implement a way to get some return on investment.

There are plans for another “CædJam” in July where Chris and myself will work on the bones of a new project, however StreetDate will be on the agenda as well. Look out for further information here.

-Andrew

 

The Release of StreetDate

It has been a long time in the works, but today we can officially release the beta of our first project: StreetDate

The outcome of both CædJam 16 (10th & 11th December, 2016) and CædJam 17.1 (14th & 15th April, 2017), StreetDate is an automatically updating database and web front-end displaying upcoming video games on multiple platforms, in multiple regions, all at multiple levels of awesome.

It was an excellent learning experience, teaching us a new database style, REST, Powershell, Javascript, and JQuery among other general skills.

And this web release is just the beginning! We want to create StreetDate mobile apps, and integrate many new features in the future.

We hope that you get as much out of it as we have put in.

– Andrew and Chris