Today we released Jigsoar icons, a free, custom designed icon set with 60 vector shapes, perfect for the web.
The icon set is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 which means you're free to download, share, and modify the icons.
The zip file contains PNG bitmaps in four sizes: 16px, 24px, 48px, and 64px. Each icon is in light and dark ready for you to use straight away in your project.
Download the icons at www.jigsoaricons.com
Benjamin Humphrey | Jigsoar Designer
Just a quick update - tomorrow we're rolling out a few updates to Jigsoar that will help streamline the interface and help us ensure that when you're editing your website, you will see exactly what the public sees.
Here's the changelog:
You will be able to check out these changes this weekend by logging into your website by adding /js-login to the end of your Jigsoar domain. If you haven't signed up for a beta invite, do so over at jigsoar.com. We're sending out some more invites this week as well, so tell your friends!
We've got a number of changes we'd like to make over the coming weeks and still around 100 unfixed bugs, so keep an eye out for more updates soon.
Until next time,
The Jigsoar Team
Yesterday I did a talk on Interface Design for Developers at the March Dunedin Codecraft meetup.
I covered five main design principles, Planning, Consistency, Affordance, Sane Defaults, and Focusing on the user. I also talked briefly about things like user personas, accessibility, wireframing, icons, and application personality.
Unfortunately the talk wasn't recorded, but the slides are now up at the following link for anyone interested: http://bit.ly/ynROLU
I will hopefully be presenting this talk later in the year at KiwiPyCon 2012, and maybe at Linux.conf.au 2013 next year if my submission is accepted.
Benjamin Humphrey | JIgsoar Designer
We're pushing out a bunch of updates that are the result of two weeks of work, including some major changes to how users interact with components, a new component (Slideshow), and a new theme. There are also dozens of small bug fixes.
Hello in-line component options
Previously in Jigsoar, components that required a great deal of interaction (such as Gallery, Blog, Form) opened up a panel where the user could write their blog post, upload images, or build a form.
We found this to be counter-intuitive, and in the process of revamping the way that Jigsoar uses design paradigms, these components now have their settings in-line actually on the page itself. This means you can see exactly what your content will look like in place which is a real advantage, and it reserves use of panels for changing global site-wide settings.
Over the next few weeks we will be improving the consistency of Jigsoar's interface, ensuring that site-wide actions open up panels, component options open up a modal dialog, and component content is set in-line. These three UI paradigms will work well together and make Jigsoar feel much more cohesive.
Components will also be enhanced over time, for example we're hoping to roll out HTML5 drag and drop uploading for the Gallery component soon, as well as the ability to resize components using drag handles.
The Slideshow component
By popular demand, we're pleased to introduce the Slideshow component. The Slideshow component allows you to easily upload images for display in a full-width, beautiful image slideshow. The Slideshow lets you set the transition effect (fade or slide), and if auto-play is enabled, the duration of each slide.
Introducing Ice Cream Wafer - a cute new theme
Last but not least, we've included a new theme in today's update. Dubbed Ice Cream Wafer, this theme features a lovely pink background, a single content area perfectly suited for blogs, and a fixed menu with CSS3 transition effects on hover.
We're hoping to up the speed of new themes, and we'll certainly have a good half dozen new themes appearing over the coming weeks.
The new update is rolling out now, so if you're a beta tester, log in and have a look. We'd love to hear what you think.
If you're not a beta tester - sign up for an invite @ jigsoar.com and we'll send one out to you in the coming days.
The Jigsoar Team
So far during this beta period we have received a ton of feedback regarding functionality and had dozens of bugs reported. We are constantly fixing bugs, and today started implementing a much improved blog interface.
It is currently still in its early stages but we're confident you will find it much easier to edit and create posts.
We have also made some design changes to the way component specific actions are displayed. Sitting above components that can be edited (such as the Blog, Gallery, Poll, and Form), you will now see a set of buttons that perform certain actions. This keeps consistency across all components by not changing the look of the static options on the right (Delete, Settings, Move).
Previously in the blog component, when clicking 'New Post', a panel would slide out with fields for editing the title, enabling comments, and more. We felt this was disconnected from the actual content itself.
Now clicking "New Post" will take you to a form that lets you write your entire post, save its contents and publish it. When you have unpublished posts, a 'Drafts' button will appear with a number next to it which indicates the number of unpublished posts. Clicking on this will take you to a listing of drafts which you can edit or remove etc.
We feel this type of interaction with components feels intuitive and fast and look forward to seeing what you think.
Our final design goal is to have panels (that slide out from the sides of the screen) for global settings only, modal dialogs for component settings, and in-line editing for everything else. This should bring a great deal of consistency to the Jigsoar interface.
Currently the Blog is the first component to follow this rule, and we will be making similiar changes to the Gallery, Poll and other components very soon. As well as this, new components such as Slideshow and a standalone image component are currently being developed.
We're also working on drag and drop uploading using HTML5, and changing the way users add and delete components on their page.
Gerwin Van Royen | Jigsoar Developer
Wow, what a great two weeks since we sent out the first Jigsoar invite! A big thank you to everyone who has made the effort to test out Jigsoar so far - it's extremely appreciated.
We have had a fantastic response from hundreds of beta testers, and are now working on implementing some of these changes based on this feedback before sending out more invites. Some of these changes include major updates to the Blog component, a few new components that you've been asking for (like a Slideshow, YouTube video, and Single Image), as well as tweaks to the text editor (like autosaving and a movable formatting bar) and the code editor.
Since we launched the beta program, we've fixed over 40 bugs, and added a new user tutorial which greets people for the first time. Trackr has been doing a great job of organizing bugs for us, so we've been able to quickly triage and prioritize fixes which are rolled out every day.
You've told us that you greatly appreciate the amount of customizability Jigsoar provides, and we're going to work to improve the experience even more for those who wish to get their hands dirty with some code! Things like CSS syntax highlighting, saving draft files, and notifications of unsaved tabs are improvements that will soon be landing in the code editor.
Last week we rolled out some updates to the theme browser which fixed a number of bugs. You can now remove themes, and instantly add and activate new themes. When you enable a new theme, the page will now refresh immediately. We've introduced the concept of a "theme library" - browse all the available themes, and anything you want to use on your site or tinker with, add it to your library.
When a theme is added to your library, a copy is made of it so all changes you make are saved with your personal account.
Keep telling your friends about Jigsoar, the more beta testers we have and the more feedback we get will help make Jigsoar a better product for all.
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day!
The Jigsoar Team
What makes the ideal bug tracker?
That's something we asked when we were looking for a suitable bug tracker for Jigsoar. We wanted something that was easy to set up, with a lovely interface, that handled a high bandwidth of bug reports from our web app Jigsoar, and something that had clever duplicate detection.
Suffice to say, we couldn't really find anything that we became passionate or excited about. In my personal experience, bug tracking and triaging seems to be a real chore for projects - it's like the ugly little sister that nobody wants to hang out with or be responsible for.
We found existing bug trackers to be suited for internal staff to report bugs, and not so much users - especially not users of web applications (versus native applications). We found they had ugly, complicated and outdated interfaces that further drew away from any pleasure when it came to triaging bugs. We found that they often way more features than we needed, and that these bug trackers tried to offer too much and got distracted from their core purpose of actually tracking bugs. We also found they were expensive.
So we decided to build our own bug tracker, and it has a very web 2.0 name: It's called "Trackr."
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that bug tracking software needed to be more usable and less time consuming, and for those times where you have to use it - more fun.
Marking a bug as "fixed" should be a reward and should bring a smile to your face. It should be a pleasure to see your application becoming more polished and more stable, and a good bug tracker should motivate you to work hard polishing your product.
A good bug tracker should also do as much as it can on its own - it should be intelligent.
Trackr is still in its early stages, but right now it's being road tested with Jigsoar and is performing admirably. It has clever duplicate detection, and already intelligently prioritizes bugs. It will eventually try to automatically assign bugs to team members.
It has an elegant and simple interface, and a colourful progress bar (dubbed "The Worm") which helps you stay on track and gives a quick overview of the project (and your own) status.
It's easy to set up on your own site, and when it launches, it will be extremely cheap. Trackr is designed for small teams and focuses on revolutionizing bug tracking software by making it more enjoyable, easier, and effortless.
Benjamin Humphrey | Jigsoar Designer
Well, here we are - testing day!
We registered the jigsoar.com domain on May 3rd 2010, almost 2 years ago. It's been a crazy ride since then - we've had our web design company (Loop Solutions) to run at the same time as developing plans for Jigsoar, and juggling those two things has been a real challenge.
The benefit of this dual focus was that we were able to spend years gathering feedback from real-world clients on how things should be done. We've made constant assumptions on how certain things should work, only to discover that those assumptions needed to be re-examined when tested in the real world. The amount of feedback and experience we've gathered over the past few years has been invaluable, and we've spent the past few months pouring all of that into Jigsoar.
Since starting our final launch countdown 80 days ago, almost 800 of you have signed up to be part of our testing phase. The response has been amazing, and we can't wait to send you the details to get started! We'll begin rolling out the invites shortly, and continue to do so over the next few days.
This is just the beginning for Jigsoar. We'll listen closely to all the feedback we get during this testing phase, and with your help we will make Jigsoar the best website building tool for designers on the planet!
We're really looking forward to receiving your feedback - don't hold back, now :-)
Jigsoar is a platform for anyone that wants the freedom to hand-code their web designs without limitation, while still having the benefit of a powerful content management system powering their sites.
This is the official Jigsoar Blog, where you'll be able to follow updates from the team on the progress of Jigsoar from a design and development perspective.
Jigsoar is now in beta testing, visit jigsoar.com to request an invite and test it out!