As some of you may know, I’ve been working pretty hard on setting up a tracking section of the blog, where users can log in, submit data, and see trends and things like that. It has been an interesting experience, and I’ve been learning quite a lot about how the Web works. I am learning how to program with PHP and mysql, how to use CSS style sheets, how to make cookies and sessions, and a whole host of other little things that no one in their right mind would do for fun.
When starting a project of this magnitude (it is substantially harder than I originally thought and planned for!), the best thing to do is to sit down and just hash out what the goals of the project are. I had my wife sit down and write out what she would like in a fitness website, and it gave me a lot of great perspectives of some features we could add.
I’ve used a couple of programs myself, including Nike+ and CardioTrainer/Noom, and they are both pretty good. It is nice to be able to see basic statistics like how far you go, how many times you’ve gone running in a month, things like that. By far the best tool that I have had was Noom, before they updated to a bit crappier of a system. The key was the simplicity of it. It didn’t overload you with bells and whistles, it was straight forward. What did you eat? What did you run?
Personally I am trying to keep it simple for my own sanity. I am a huge fan of a clean user interface without too much garbage or settings to fiddle with. But that is just my personal opinion. It really got me wondering what others might think would be cool to have. So, is there any cool feature that other systems you have used didn’t have that you would like to see?
I know I am probably overdeveloping a tool that will be fairly irregularly used, if at all . . . but either way, the challenge of developing in coding languages I don’t get to use often has been pretty beneficial.
Let me know what you guys would like to see, what features would be neat to have!