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Thursday, December 17, 2009


You are at the gym running on a treadmill listening to your iPhone through the earbuds. You're having one of those good, easy runs. Maybe you're listening to an interesting podcast like WNYC's Radio Lab, or some good running music. You're focused. You've got a nice rhythm going and your body feels relaxed. You push the pace a little more than normal. Sweat is dripping off you. Endorphines begin flooding your system. You have declared war on holiday snacks and Christmas dinners. And now on this treadmill you are winning the war. Suddenly your iPhone stops playing. You are pulled out of your running reverie and glance down at your now-beeping phone. Voice control has been activated. You fumble for the controls. You stumble on the treadmill. The pace is too fast for multi-tasking. You slow the pace down on the treadmill and flip the phone back to iPod. The phone takes on a life of it's own, pausing and clicking and going back to voice control again. You try to run without, but it's just not the same. Your running rhythm won't return. Everything hurts. You're exhausted. You hit stop on the treadmill and step off defeated.

Apparently there is a design flaw on the iPhone earbuds where moisture causes the little clicker to send random clicker signals to the iPhone.

A design flaw on an Apple product! And Apple is good at design.

So now that I've gotten my preliminary decisions out of the way in the previous post, I can start working on designing my app/site. Luckily Rails encourages agile development which is all about procrastinating on difficult design decisions. Rather than try to design your entire project at the beginning, you take a very minimalist approach and assume the details will reveal themselves as you go.

My minimalist design will consist of two pieces: a short paragraph describing the site, and a piece of paper with drawings of the layout of the pages.

The description of the site:
The site will display SAS jobs. Job seekers will be able to search the jobs by zip code. Recruiters will be able to post jobs. The jobs will expire after a certain amount of time. There will also be some admin pages to control Recruiters and the Jobs they post.

Now I'm taking out a piece of paper and drawing some rough sketches of the main pages.... Done.

From the description I see there are three types of users with three main actions: job seekers find, recruiters post and admins admin. I also see that there are only two models that I need in my data base: recruiters and job postings.

That's pretty much it for the design. Now I can begin coding.

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