If you’ve signed yourself up to the pre-launch list for Inventoroo you’ll be waiting for our emails to tell you that it’s open for beta and ready to come get it.
But we still have quite a journey ahead for that to happen (and I can’t wait to send that email someday soon!) so here’s an update of what we’ve been up to with Inventoroo.
The core API (the guts of the app) has at long last been declared feature complete. This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop working on it and improving it, but the core bits of it are done enough that we can start building on top of it in terms of a usable app.
The API core is a very important part of any app like this as it manages what happens inside the app and how things are treated and different objects of data interact in the system.
Inventory management, on the surface, sounds like a really simple concept. But let me tell you, there’s a lot more to it and our system architect and devs have been banging away at making it for the past few months… let’s just say, we programmers think it’s a thing of beauty 🙂
When we set out to build Inventoroo we wanted to really take our time with it and build it right using modern technologies.
When you’re talking about lots of data like in the case of inventory management, small changes can have a huge effect on the performance of your system. So one thing we wanted to nail down right away was solid automated testing.
We have a very high coverage target for automated testing of the API especially since that is the bulk of the operations of the app.
It’s pretty dry work, but over the past quarter, our engineers have dedicated significant time and energy into our automated testing coverage and plan to continue to do so as development continues.
I strongly believe that a good experience using an application can go a long way to winning customers and retaining them.
I was given a great metaphor for this, a good UI is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not a good UI.
So much of our time with the UI stuff has been spent really concentrating on simplifying and make it easier to understand at first glance while still retaining the power needed to make it useful.
It does feel good to finally bring together all the 1-on-1 conversations, feedback from store owners, surveys, emails and ad-hoc conversations over Facebook Messenger and began putting those things into an actual design.
We decided to use the Ant UI framework:
- Overall, we liked the way it looked very clean and elegant and simple at the same time
- We felt that its controls are a lot more “familiar” feeling than some other frameworks
- It’s very well supported and actively developed
- It’s nice to work with and works into our frontend technology stack easily
I’m pretty happy with how these initial mockups are coming together. Here are some sample screens, your first look at the Inventoroo app:
Frontend Work Beginning
Finally, and now that we have some solid mockups to work from and an API to use, we started building out the front end.
Using Ant has been a dream and makes everything consistent.
We’re also trying out a new technology called NextJS which is a react framework for server-rendered apps.
So far so good on this front and development is progressing quickly.
We’re hopeful of an early 2020 launch for our beta program.