Launch: JBallz Lake Balls and Golf Accessories

I helped my brother launch a new site last week. The site is developed with osCommerce. It was tough to customise the design and simplify the buying process, but we did the best we could and the site is quite functional now. Take a look if you’re interested. Your comments (positive or otherwise) would be appreciated.

jBallz Lake Balls and Golf Accessories
jBallz Lake Balls and Golf Accessories

JBallz Golf has been established with the aim of supplying Premium Brand, High Quality lake balls and Accessories, to golfers at all levels. All golfers will agree that they have a preferred ball. A ball that suits their swing, their approach or even chipping and putting feel. In addition to this golfers will also perhaps choose balls that suit their budget. Lake balls give all golfers the opportunity to select their preferred ball and order them from Jballz Golf in the qauntity they require, at greatly reduced prices.

Our lake balls are retreived from Lakes and streams on courses within Ireland and the United Kingdom. We work full time clearing waterhazards on selected courses. The balls are then put through a cleaning process and sorted by condition, Brand and Model.

Jballz Golf accessories and training aids are selected from the ranges of products from approved and branded manufacturers. We currently supply PGA Tour merchandise and Links Choice. Our aim is to provide accessories at affordable prices which aid golfers on the course, from Gloves, ball retreivers and tees, to training aids for use at home, Driving and chipping nets, swing and grip training, putting aids. Check out our current stock, if we dont have what you want contact us and we can advise and possibly arrange supply of your requirements.

The Social Network

I’m a very easy person to inspire. I can get inspiration from a lot of sources, people I know, movies, books, blogs, ideas. Most of my inspiration comes from true stories rather than fables. Fables being ideals rather than having actually happened.

Facebook LogoThe Social Network was a good movie, and quite inspirational. Cutting it down to the basic story, Mark Zuckerberg codes the beginnings of facebook in a few weeks, and it spreads quickly through major colleges. The initial idea was simple and he executed the basics and got it out there quickly. There was no long term plan, just an idea and the drive to build and launch quickly. This is a great way to look at any personal/professional projects.

Iterate

Iterate, the first iteration being launch, then iterate continuously. Forever. Evolve the product with the user-base, and make sure it stays relevant. An idea is just that until it’s real.

Anywho, after watching videos on Lance Armstrong I get an overwhelming urge to get on my bike and ride. Coming back from the social network, I want to crack open an IDE and start coding like a boss. Most of my ideas are (probably) shit, but I’ll never know unless I launch. 2011 goal #1, launch a site. There, it’s written down now. I have to do it.

BTW, my earlier post on goals for this year (written in January), there’s a post coming to see how I’ve done with that shortly. Stay tuned.

p.s. I promise I’m back blogging more consistently from here on in. At least for the winter months.

p.p.s. The blog is now on wordpress.

Seesmic Web – A quick review

Really loving the seesmic web application. The user interface is clean, can grow and so easy to use. It seems so original yet all the elememts fit with current patterns.

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The top and left navigation work really well together. They are uniquely different but compliment each others roles in the app. The top has been left very simple, with only 3 buttons, 1 of which is a really intuitive refresh (ajaxy) button. The buttons are connected, and make you feel like they are tabs, which is what you achieve when clicking as they switch between 2 interfaces.

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The epicentre is made up of “windows”, which can contain any kind of content, timeline, searches, #tags etc. Although I would have liked to be able to see a single users tweets, but can’t seem to do it (just found a tab called updates under the user profile area, but would like to see it in the epicenter, as then I can watch multiple users without officially following them).

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The search area is great. You can have multiple search results “windows” in the epicentre. Handy for watching topics of interest.

I have found client apps are good, but become out of sync when using across work and home machines (mac at home, windows at work). I really love this interface, as it give me everything the twitter web app gives me and more.

Visit Seesmic.

Software is not about code

Note: This post has been in draft since October 2006. But my views have changed very little, which is nice. My grammar has changed though, so I’ve made a few adjustments to reflect that.

There are many programmers/software developers out there who take a requirements spec, design what the spec says, and deliver the product which is what the client wants, right?

Software is for people, the people who use it. Not the people who wrote the spec. It is vital to understand the original business need rather than the software need. In most cases a non technical committee wrote this spec, and from that you can be sure that it is bloated, likely with after thoughts. It doesn’t take much time to ask for more, but it takes more time to create it and even more time than that to avoid it when using it.

Spend time with the user. Don’t ask them what they want, but observe and try to understand what they need. If you spend time with the customer/end user of the software, you will quickly realise that the core business need is much simpler than the spec your recieved.

I work as an software consultant in an IT Outsourcing company, based in Dublin. Software development is not one of the companies core markets, but we do have a need for small systems to help with our business processes.

When I recieve a spec, I read it once, then head to the person who needs the application. I spend time with them, watching their work, and what they do daily. I ask them their expectations for the system, and tell them my ideas. I know this is not ideal when a spec is from an external client, but if it can be built into the requirements building process, this can work to the advantage of all parties involved, ultimately to the end users satisfaction.