Rebuilding page navigation on Arazoo

Posted 2017/05/01 11:07 PM

Hiring our new technical lead, Peter Stern, was an excellent opportunity for us at Arazoo to reexamine some of the design decisions that were made early on but were no longer carrying their weight.

Any product made by a fast-moving team with a lot to do becomes sort of a palimpsest of compromises. You want to build X, but technical limitations, time (that is, budget) limitations, or both mean you build Y, which is sort of like X, but with fewer features. Then in a subsequent sprint, you manage to add some more of X to Y. Along the way, someone has an idea elsewhere that has design ramificaitons that ripple throughout the product. What you wanted to be X, and built as Y, now becomes Z. It's okay, but it's a feature that was born from outside constraints rather than purpose-built to serve a user need.

Navigation in the Arazoo web app was one of these X Y Z features.

In the original MVP that was developed for our founders by consultants, the feature set was small enough and the data scarce enough that navigation was able to be functional and superficial at the same time. There were only a couple different things you could do: Be on your firm homepage, go into a project, create a product, and invite new users.