AimHigh – Build new Habits

I recently started working on a new project. At first I just wanted to play around with jQuery, Javascript and all the other fancy webstuff, but my educational project kind of got out of control and now there’s a solid web application which let’s you track your habits.

It all started with me trying out HabitRPG and DayScore, which I liked a lot, but also had some points I thought were missing.

While HabitRPG has a very interesting approach on motivating its users, it lacked mobile support and was a bit buggy while I tested it. There will soon be Apps available for Android and IOS and due to the successful Kickstarter campaign this App will be developed actively, but it will take some time until everything is implemented and usable by the public.

I firstly was fascinated by DayScores simplistic but powerful implementation. Due to the minimalistic interface and by just implementing the minimum of needed features, the user has a lot of freedom and could use the App as he wants to. However the simple approach had its disadvantages, as the App got messy as soon as I entered a certain amount of tasks I wanted to fulfill daily. It also seemed to just be a hobby project where I did not know how long it will stay online. I had a bunch of ideas I thought would be cool if integrated, but it looks like the page is finished as it is. Additionally it is not Open Source, so I couldn’t contribute anything to it.

It happened that I was just searching something new to do when being disappointed with these Apps in one way or the other. So I decided to finally dive into web development. Due to my job is creating desktop applications and system libraries, I almost never get in touch with technologies like PHP, MySQL, JavaScript or jQuery. This world was like a black box to me, which I always wanted to open, but never seized the opportunity to do so. Lately I started creating this blog with Drupal, so I decided the time is good to dive into it a bit more.

The simple idea of DayScore impressed me and I wanted to start creating something easy as this. After I finished courses for Web fundamentals, JavaScript and jQuery on CodeAcademy (This site is awesome!) I was ready to create something by myself. I created a Project Home at Google Code and entered some features I wanted to create. Then I started building a first prototype. After I implemented all the features I wanted, I started a major refactoring and integrated jQuery Mobile. This library let me easily create a good-looking UI without having to know anything about professional web design. It also provided features like dialogs, popups and of course mobile support which made the whole App easier to use.

When I finished the refactoring and saw what was possible with the new version, I decided that this project cannot be just a pet project, there probably will be other users who’d like to use it too. So I bought the domain http://www.habit-tracker.net and deployed the first Milestone on it.

I’m currently working on Milestone 2.0 which has a bunch of new features. You could take a glimpse on the actual development version by visiting http://aimhigh2.nilsbrinkmann.com. Don’t try to use it seriously, this version will often be resetted and sometimes won’t work at all.

I’m currently spending all of my freetime on this project, this is also the reason why there weren’t so many updates to this blog recently. I’m looking forward to describing some techniques and design decisions I made during the development in the future here. I also will use this page as a base for my Launch this Year project. These guys are mailing me a lot with all the fancy new stuff they integrated into their page, I’ll have to take a look at how it has been changed as soon as possible…

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