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Speedtest Redesign: the beta is out

Hello my dear followers/readers,
as of today you can check out the speedtest beta version. Currently there are two languages supported:
english speedtest
german speedtest

As you can see there are still a lot of things missing, but you can already create an account and test/improve your typing speed. If you find any mistakes or have suggestions/feedback, please let me know: christianstrang@web.de

More features like the ranking list, badges, additional languages etc. will be implemented in the upcoming days/weeks.

Veröffentlicht unter Speedtest | 4 Kommentare

Speedtest Redesign: Work in progress V

A quick update about my progress with the Speedtest Redesign:

The layout which you saw in the previous article Work in progress IV is now implemented and the test already works (currently I’m testing with german words). The next step will be a login system (so that you can login with your twitter or facebook account and track your results).

There are still a lot of things which aren’t implemented yet or need improvement but I will consider your feedback when I release the beta version (which will probably be in a couple of days *fingers crossed*).

Veröffentlicht unter Speedtest | 3 Kommentare

Speedtest Redesign: Work in progress IV

I know, this might not seem like a lot of progress but I also worked on the footer of the site (which is not visible on the screen). I also wasted a lot of time struggling with a logo (as you can see on the screenshot I was not successful and had to skip this step for now).

I’m currently implementing the design in HTML & CSS as well as the basic functionality with Jquery/Javascript.

Veröffentlicht unter Speedtest | 1 Kommentar

Weirdly awesome hobby: I create my own notebooks

I have a weird hobby, I like to create my own notebooks:

I use already printed paper, fold it in half, rip it (don’t cut it, this is important). Then I lay all pieces on top of another, glue the “ripped” side together with fluid latex, “bind” it with adhesive tape, and use cardboard to create a “hardcover” (its way better to write on the paper with the cardboard support on the back). I don’t do it to save money, I just like writing in my own notebooks :D

Veröffentlicht unter Privat | Verschlagwortet mit , , | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Speedtest Redesign: Work in progress III

Just a quick screenshot:

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Speedtest Redesign: Work in progress II

I’m currently testing which system I’ll use for displaying and processing the words.

At first I thought about a word slideshow (as you can see in work in progress I – the photoshop screenshot). After Austin mentioned in the comments that this might not be such a good idea, I prototyped this solution and discovered that he was right. You can check the “word slideshow”-approach here: word slideshow


Especially if you are typing fast this gets very irritating.

Another approach is the “line switcher”. You basically have two rows of words. The first row is the one you are currently typing, the second one contains the ensuing ones. After finishing row 1, row 2 will jump one line (now being in row 1) and row 2 will be filled with the next line of words. Check it out here: line switcher

If you have any thoughts on improvements or maybe even a better approach, let me know in the comments.

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Speedtest Redesign: Work in progress I

After collecting your feedback and suggestions I created a few paper mockups and arranged the most important elements.
I’m currently working on the design (using Photoshop CS5).

Paper prototyping / Mockups

(the mockups are posted in chronological order)

Photoshop Mockup and Implementation

First I create a mockup in Photoshop (I usually use a dark background and a light color for the main areas).

After creating the mockup I start working on the most important area first (for the speedtest it is the Input field and the words the user has to type).

If you compare the Photoshop Implementation with the last paper mockup you can see a difference in how the words will be displayed. Instead of having a huge word block with 3 rows I now experiment with a “word-slideshow”. This hopefully saves space and will get rid of the irritating “line-switching”.

(Please help me improve my english by telling me my mistakes).

Veröffentlicht unter Speedtest | 9 Kommentare

Speedtest Redesign

Update: Work in Progress I

After almost 4 years I finally decided to start redesigning my typing speedtest. Redesign might not be the appropriate word though there will be definitely a new design but I also plan to improve and extend the functionality (without corrupting the core experience).

These are the features/improvements I currently plan on implementing:

  • a new Layout
  • improved WPM calculation – currently I just count the number of words (silly me) which is apparently wrong: Words per minute
  • higher cheat prevention – as for almost every application which runs client-side, its really hard to prevent cheating. I will research possibilities to prevent cheating, maybe we can finally have a nice little ranking list without those pesky cheater :)
  • “smooth” next line – everytime users reach the last word and wait for the next block of words, their typing flow is interrupted. This is bad… really bad! Definitely need to fix that.
  • Increased site speed – the speedtest is quiet optimized already and with the additional features I’m a little bit concerned about the site performance (afterall over 1.000.000 users worldwide use the speedtest every month). A few things I will try to keep the load as small as possible:
  • Login with Facebook or Twitter, save your results and see if you improve over time
  • Gamification/Badges: I might add badges to improve your typing experience like: “typing more than 80 WPM, 10 times in a row” or “typing more than 100 WPM”. This won’t be in the first release but if the login system will be implemented there is a high chance that I add a few game elements
  • I’m not yet a logo designer but I will try to create something sexy and recognizable

But before I start hacking one line of code I need your feedback. If you have any suggestions, things you don’t like with the current version or features you might enjoy, just leave me a comment. Or, and this might be even better, participate on my uservoice forum. You can make suggestions or vote up suggested features from other users. I won’t implement every feature. Actually I will only implement the most requested features, so VOTE!

If you are interested in the current development, just follow me on twitter. If you find a mistake, please let me know in the comments!

Veröffentlicht unter Speedtest | 33 Kommentare

New Speedtest: Armenian

Just added a new typing speedtest this time for the Armenian language: Armenian typing speedtest

Thanks to Andranik Azizbekyan who suggested this speedtest and provided me with frequent used words in the Armenian language.

Veröffentlicht unter Speedtest | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

ZenTodo.net – mein “inhouse” Todo-Tool jetzt für jederman

Update 21.03.2011: MakeUseOf.com Review => ZenToDo: Easy-To-Use & Effective Todo List Manager
Update 31.03.2011: Allblogs.de Review => ToDo Listen online verwalten – ZenToDo

Warum ein weiteres Todo-Tool wo es doch schon abertausende davon gibt?
Nunja, überzeugende Argumente habe ich dafür ehrlich gesagt keine, ich kann nur sagen etliche davon ausprobiert zu haben und keins wurde meinen Ansprüchen gerecht. Ich brauche kein Tool was mit Features nur so überquillt. Ich möchte damit keinen Einkaufszettel schreiben, noch möchte ich alle Aufgaben eines Projekts aufeinmal sehen. Ich möchte:

  • ein harmonisch, minimalistisches Design
  • nur die wichtigsten Features (abhaken, löschen editieren)
  • Todo’s einfach hinzufügen
  • meine aktuelle Aufgabe hervorgehoben
  • maximal 7 Aufgaben aufeinmal sehen
  • Aufgaben einfach sortieren (per drag&drop)
  • meine Aufgaben nach Projekten sortieren

deshalb => Zentodo.net

Entstehung von Zentodo

Die erste interne Version habe ich im August 2010 erstellt, man konnte die Aufgaben beliebig auf dem Monitor platzieren, auch überlappend und sogar ein Verlauf war eingebaut (gelöschte/abgehackte Elemente konnten dadurch wiederhergestellt werden). Die Entwicklung hat noch Spass gemacht, doch benutzt habe ich es danach nicht mehr (nur ein paar Zeilen Code wurden für die neue Version recycled).

Es ist eigentlich zu peinlich den Screenshot zu zeigen, aber was solls:

Die ersten Wireframes und Skizzen

Danach passierte erstmal ein paar Monate garnichts, bis ich im Dezember wieder Stift und Papier zur Hand nahm:

(Skizze 4 und 5 kamen erst nach dem Layout in Photoshop)

Das ganze nun mit Photoshop

Da ich nun eine grobe Vorstellung hatte, konnte ich mit Photoshop ein wenig rumspielen:


(leider habe ich keine Zwischenschritte)

Fazit

Viele werden kein Interesse an ZenTodo haben, noch mehr werden mit ihrem jetzigen Tool zufrieden sein. Dennoch, gerade wenn man selbst Webentwickler/Designer ist oder generell seine Projekte mit dem PC erstellt, für den könnte ZenTodo ein Blick wert sein. Einfach anmelden, ausprobieren und selbst entscheiden, viel Spass dabei! :)

Veröffentlicht unter Projekte, Zentodo | Verschlagwortet mit , , , | 2 Kommentare