Often what you see when you visit a site, especially superficially to give it a quick look, is something that looks like it would be quite a simple site to design and develop. It is only when you take a closer look at all the features involved can you get a feel for the complexity.
You will see in our case study on pastdrives that we often refer to the site as a web application. If we were talking about the Full Metal Software site we would call that a website, so what’s the difference? Well, instead of getting into a list of technical differences between a website and a web application (and how that is a very blurry distinction in many cases), we thought it would be more interesting to take a deeper dive into some of the features we developed for the pastdrives web application.
- Showcasing Cars:
- Obviously on a site where cars take centre stage then it is important that it is easy to add cars with the detailed information car enthusiasts like to know and of course some great looking photos. pastdrives uses a simple wizard for users to add cars to the site which when complete pulls in known information about the car being added from a global database and then allows the user to add all sorts of finer detail and lots of images.
- Along with that car owners can set the car for sale and create great looking adverts that appear on the car profile pages and even download a tax disc like QR codes to display on their cars so other people can quickly get to the cars profile page when they see them out and about or at shows.
- Ownership History:
- Once the cars are on the site it is time to flesh out their ownership history. Users can make connection requests to cars they have owned and become part of the cars ownership timeline. Or if you see a car that you think belonged someone you know, you can send them a link and ask them to join the site and make a connection request.
- Owners Stories:
- A car is not just a set of specifications and a list of owners though. It is the stories behind those periods of ownership. Owners past and present can make posts to their period of ownership with photos, links to videos. This is about bringing the cars history to life.
- User Interaction:
- All users get a bunch of features to help with interactivity and site engagement. They can post comments and replies to comments on owners posts, follow cars and other users and use the internal messaging system to chat with other members. The ultimate aim is to turn a site about cars into a community of car enthusiasts.
So that is just a quick overview of some of the features we developed for the pastdrives web application. We didn’t even touch on the admin side of the application that deals with adverts, content moderation and more.