hi! welcome to greenlemon…

My name is Adrian and I like to build simple, useful and innovative solutions to real problems.

trainerlisting.com.au

Before I begin with this post – I must warn you: The story is long. Trainerlisting consumed almost 8-12 months of my life. There were many failures and not very many successes – but the entire experience was jam packed full of valuable lessons, and yes, I would do it all over again.

Elevator Pitch

Trainerlisting is a simple to use, self service, Australian Personal Trainer directory. The Personal Trainer profiles on Trainerlisting are filled with standard profile features: photos, videos, comments, ratings, etc.

Concept

The initial concept for Trainerlisting was born while I was running on a treadmill at my local gym. I noticed a pin-board of A4 printed PT profiles – and many gym goers huddling around trying to learn more about their soon to be PT. My thought pattern went something like – “Why would you huddle around, cramped, and squinting, trying to find out about a PT, when you could just go and check out the website, right?”

Wrong. The gym’s website didn’t contain any PT profiles! Why? There’s one reason I thought of immediately – PTs come and go. If you didn’t build your website with a CMS solution in place, you’d have to pay a developer every time you wanted to make changes to the PT profile pages.

It seemed like a great opportunity – build a site that would:

1. Give gym owners/managers/PT managers an easy way of adding/modifying/deleting PT information on their website.

2. Centralize this information in one place and have it immediately push out to all consumer sites.

3. If a Gym already has that information on their website, pull it into a directory and give the business another marketing outlet.

The idea seemed plausible, in fact, it still does. So what happened?

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delizzy.com

Elevator Pitch

delizzy.com is a delicious.com bookmarks search engine. The app searches through the content, not just the titles, of your delicious bookmarks.

Concept

I came up with the idea for this app while using delicious –  the social bookmarking site. This app is a kind of “scratch my own itch” app – meaning it solved an issue I had/have. I’m a lazy saver of bookmarks, meaning that when I save a bookmark I’m not thorough – I’m quick. I don’t add tags, a description, etc which ultimately leads to information-poor bookmarks. This makes searching over my bookmarks very hard.

Search engines are information rich – they store loads of information about websites, index it and open the index up for search. Why not combine the power of search engines with your bookmarks – that way you can have powerful, lazy bookmarking…

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listaurus.com


Elevator Pitch

Listaurus is a collection of Top X themed lists.

Concept

Searching the web for the keywords “minimalist site design” yields Top X lists for the first 5 results… I wanted to aggregate these lists in one place and present them for easy consumption.

I didn’t want to spend too much time on building a site – since I was working on something else at the time – but I did want to save these lists somewhere. Why not bookmarks? Possible – in fact, I built a site for searching over the content of your bookmarks. I didn’t go the bookmark route as I wanted to include content that wasn’t necessarily my taste.

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suburb/slice

Elevator Pitch

suburb/slice showcases 2006 census data in a visually consumable format – via charts, images and maps.

Concept

suburb/slice was developed for the App My State competition in 2010 – which was a Victorian Government initiative to give innovation in the Victorian state a kickstart. It was the first build for the competition – and my first app in PHP.

As part of the competition, the Victorian Government released, or made available, several datasets – including links to existing data websites.

I came up with the idea while searching through the provided datasets and spotting a very badly organised Victorian Government Census site. I guess my initial thought was – if I’m finding navigating this site very difficult, a normal user would find it almost impossible…

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watergeddon

Elevator Pitch

Watergeddon is an in your face, albeit – theoretically impossible, representation of a water storage doomsday countdown.

Concept

Watergeddon was the seoncd app built for the App My State competition and was designed to shock and educate. It’s a submission to the sustainability category – a category I thought would have the least competition and therefore the highest likelihood of a favorable outcome – also, a category I am quite fond of.

It’s a big, in your face counter, one which you have the ability to influence – interactive and fun with a dash of seriousness. A bit like me…

The app also contains a per postcode representation of water usage, simply because I love visualizing data. A graph showcasing common water usage in the home – did you know that a full load of washing uses up 140 litres of water? And finally, links to several water saving government web resources.

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censusheat

Elevator Pitch

censusheat is a simple, visual and informative app that showcases census data for postcode regions/polygons.

Concept

This app was my third entry in the the App My State competition in 2010 – which was a Victorian Government initiative to give innovation within the Victorian state, a kickstart.

I wanted to create an app that was purely map based – since I wanted to explore the Google Maps API in depth. All Google APIs are very powerful yet I rarely see many innovative and complex uses.

HTML + Javascript were the obvious technologies for such as simple app. IMHO, these were the only choices – fast loading, cross browser and lean.

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vicholiday

vicholiday was the final submission to the App My State competition. The app queries the Victorian Tourism API for 4 essential holiday planning services – accommodation, stuff to do, transportation and tours.

Elevator Pitch

The one stop shop for researching a Victorian holiday destination – get ideas on accommodation, activities, transport to and from and available tours. Add individual items to a short list, print the list out and have a reference when booking.

Concept

The light bulb moment for this app occurred when I was inspecting the many sites utilizing the Victorian Tourism API. They all seemed to use the API as an additional feature to their site/app – not as the main feature. I wanted to create an app that was entirely based on the API (a very bad idea which we will discuss further on).

I also wanted to see how much red tape I would have to go through in order to gain access to the API. In fact, the process wasn’t too bad – an application email, a response with 50 pages of documentation that had to be read, a phone interview, followed by an acceptance email and appropriate credentials.

I then figured that not many others would be using this API – possibly giving me a better chance of winning the overall competition.

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