In the post of last Thursday I highlighted the new ‘conclusions’ feature. I thought I would share more on the development process!

The development process starts with ideas. We tend to have a number of in-house ideas for where we want to go. These can come from our own experience of using TRIP, developments in other areas of search, or by reading research papers. A good example of the latter being my desire to have snippets on TRIP after reading a research article produced by Microsoft (click here for details). As it happens I don’t like the snippets, hence insisting on the ability to switch snippets on and off. These in-house ideas are supplemented by a number of ideas suggested by users. We don’t get a great deal (which may be a good sign) but enough to make us stop and think.

The next step is to decide the available budget and go and see the excellent Sequence, who have been the web-developers of TRIP for around 5 years (ever since I stopped producing it myself). I go and see them with a wish list. I tend to understand the way they work and have a rough idea of costs before I see them! Once we’ve agreed costs and scope, a project plan is drawn up. This typically has a delivery time of 6-12 weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the changes. I then leave Sequence to get on with things, occasionally nagging them, occasionally altering the plans – I think they’ve come to expect it.

What they deliver first is a development version for me to look at and test. Frequently grim to look at but nonetheless useful for me to see if things ‘feel’ right. They also can send me designs to check out. At the foot of this post are two examples. The first is a screenshot of the latest development site. Messy, but you can see the alteration to the Google Ads (two versions for some reason, there will be only one in the live version), you’ve got the snippets (and the toggle snippets on and off button), an RSS feed button, an ‘i’ button (which reveals the conclusions), a symbol highlighting PDFs. Below that is a design, the layout is good, but I’m not a big fan of lilac/pink. So Sequence will alter the colour scheme and then merge that look and feel with the functionality of the development site.

Easy really.