This post briefly changes the tone of this blog to give you a peak behind the scenes with the Blurb product team. Expect to see more product “sneak peeks” in coming weeks as we continue to expand out product offerings on Blurb.com and with BookSmart.
As we wrap up development, let’s briefly touch on what changes are coming. Some changes will be slight – the current site has received a great deal of buzz in various design and css circles – something we are rather proud of. To the casual observer, there won’t be eye-popping changes in terms of look though a great deal of clean up will catch the attention of the discerning designer.
On to what’s new, focusing more on UI as opposed to the under the hood wonders we are experiencing with Ruby development. The largest shift will be in the introduction of AJAX to the shopping and management experience. We made a conscious effort not to simply slap AJAX on for AJAX’s sake and only implemented it where it made the most sense. Notable examples include:
There are roughly a dozen unique actions you can initiate while managing your Blurb account. Now you’ll be able to make updates to your account info, browse through your order history, and manage your address book all without leaving the page.
We’ve made a large investment in improving our shopping experience to ensure that you don’t get lost in the process when specifying or modifying Bill To and Ship To addresses.
We’ll also introduce search, tagging, and book categories to make it easier for everyone to find books in our ever-growing bookstore.
With the spike in uploaded books we knew it was time to turn over more presentation control to the end user. For instance, with the My Books page, there are a number of actions you can take when managing your book and we wanted to contain as many as possible within a single page. Whether these changes involve the addition of tags and/or categories to your book or editing the books descriptions you will now be able to perform all these action within a single page.
The next question is … when will the new site be released to the public? We are moving into the testing phase of this project and to avoid making false promises … let’s say for now you’ll get to experience the new site first hand before September 1.
We are always looking for great UI examples … especially those sites who have improved the user’s experience through the use of AJAX. Looking forward to your comments and feedback on our upcoming changes.