Thursday, September 8, 2011

Almost There

After getting a new layout 99% production ready, my reviewer/wife wasn't completely pleased with it. It didn't succeed on the usability front mainly, so I started on a completely different approach.

The new(er) design is almost ready to go, and has received much better comments. It stays fairly consistent with the current layout, but offers several usability improvements. Unless I hit some major hurdles with this one, it'll be landing next week. Here's a preview:

Once I get beyond this design work (which I'm terribly slow at), it's back to working on new features!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snails Quietly Working

It's true, Challonge! has been pretty silent lately, but there's something very gradually evolving behind the scenes. First up will be a site-wide layout change that should be landing within the next couple weeks. From there, we'll be set up to accept sponsorships, scale more effectively, and start building in some long-awaited features.

Speaking of scaling, a third server was spun up today as a dedicated generator and content provider for live bracket images. This should reduce memory catastrophes on the app server, result in lower image update latency, and allow me to sleep more soundly at night. The database server will also be getting a memory hike in the near future that should hold it over until the next round of optimizations.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Swiss Update

As of Friday, Swiss tournaments finally started running as they should. Before then, when a participant was removed mid-tournament, he/she remained in the pairing pool for future rounds and auto-forfeited. This led to unnecessary byes, potentially creating unfair tournament pathways for some users. No longer!

Also, organizers now have the option to review results before tournaments end -- they normally end as soon as the last score is submitted.

Unfortunately, a couple other features didn't make the cut for the update, but they're almost ready to go and will sneak in soon:
  • sign-up caps and waiting lists
  • country icons
  • prediction support for the winners bracket of double elim tournies

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bracket predictions coming soon!

Still lacking a few pieces, but we're hoping to make up for our lack of involvement in the NCAA basketball tournament by offering a bracket prediction extension for ALL Challonges.

Here's the teaser:

Once this is released in beta, it and the voting extension will undergo some revisions before earning their spots on our home page.

In other news, we've secured :-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beta release of Voting extension

A user voting option is now available in the new extensions section of Challonge! settings. Facebook/Challonge! membership is required as usual, though I'm considering adding an anonymous voting option.

Here's a test bracket with very random entries if you'd like to check out the controls:

More to come, including module & mobile support, so look out for updates on this and additional extensions. Also, it's crunch time for March Madness, so if we get pools going again this year, you'll hear it here first. Though, it'd be nice to predict any bracket, and that extensions section has plenty of vacancy...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some Attention to Usability

Having survived numerous feature additions and other abuse, the tournament setup page was starting to show its age. The time for surgery finally arrived. The new layout captures all tournament settings on one page without any scrolling necessary, and the description is finally seeing its dream fulfilled as a WYSIWYG editor.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sharing User Management and Score Reporting Permissions

December was Challonge's strongest month yet, but development-wise, it was pretty quiet.

To kick off the new year, I finally implemented some basic privilege sharing for tournaments. Organizers can now share their user management and score reporting superpowers. The scenarios for more complex permission sharing are pretty scarce, so I'll stick to this for now until user feedback sways my opinion.

An access level column was added to the dashboard to reflect the permissions update. At the moment, there are just three access levels: report your own scores (1 bar), score reporting and user management (2 bars), and organizer (3 bars) -- all are reflected in the screenshot below.

Also in today's update were a couple bug fixes and other small tweaks. More to come!