One of the last projects I completed before going away to Toronto in March 2012 I was a responsive web site and app for an annual Sitecore event called Digital Trendspot. This was a great project to be involved with as it used some features like Geo Location and CSS Media Queries to create a web site which could also be used as an app for the event’s attendees on the day.
Here is a short showcase video to give you an idea of how the app looked and responded to it’s surroundings.
You can Watch it on Vimeo
Geo Location: Take me to the venue
As with all these new features I needed to consider how that feature would be used in the case that it didn’t exist in the user’s browser and then enhance the experience for the browsers that did.
I opted to use a very simple “as the crow flies” distance calculation which just takes two lat-long coordinates and calculates the distance between them. If I had a little more time I would have liked to query the Google directions api and see if I could get a more precise distance from that.
I built this site so that it could be embedded in to a web app framework like Phone Gap. It also allowed the ability to be run full screen from the home screen on Apple devices.
Improvements and Conclusion
Other improvements I would have liked to build in would have been to allow most of the features to be available offline as the attendees were travelling to the venue (ie via the underground). This would have been relatively straight forward with HTML5’s offline manifest.
I am excited as the browsers in mobile and tablet devices become faster but as for now I personally notice the performance boost by using a native app. Having said that I was quite surprised at how responsive this app was. For something not very complex an HTML5 web app seems to be pretty viable.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, I’m always looking to improve. Leave a message below or I’m @davetayls on twitter