How I developed a Web 2.0 dating website in 66.5 many hours | Mingle2

Please be aware:

As numerous of you know Mingle


was purchased by JustSayHi (another dating internet site) in 2007. JustSayHi’s system runs on Ruby on Rails, and thus Mingle2 ended up being fundamentally ported to that platform nicely.

Allow this be a testament to internet 2.0 plus the effectiveness of quick development frameworks: I built a full-featured dating internet site, from idea to start, in 66.5 hours. In an average 9-5 task, this might add up to about a week and a half.  Deliverables included:

The Idea

– preparing upwards a brand with a reputation, identity, and function


– promoting functional specs, artistic wireframes, and details architecture


– promoting mock-ups and determining visual appeals, typography, placement, and shade


– composing the rule


– Ironing the actual kinks


– Going live

I did not try this in 66.5


many hours, mind you, they’re actual several hours I invested concentrating on website.  Everyday work that keeps myself pretty hectic thus I could merely work with this within my evenings and weekends.  We started keeping a log following very first few days because We realized how quickly every thing was coming along and I also ended up being wondering the length of time it would take us to finish.  This is certainly helpful information supplying tips and techniques we used to develop this site in such this short amount of time.

Identify a possibility

I’m unmarried and after using the internet dating thing We rapidly ascertained two things:

– The paid online dating marketplace is extremely over loaded

– The free online dating marketplace is in addition over loaded however with internet sites which are clunky, hard to utilize, so littered with adverts they’re nearly unusable and inundated with worthless characteristics

I saw an orifice and I got it: We knew i really could create something much better really short time with very little overhead.  The beauty of this really is that when this web site is not winning there aren’t any layoffs, burned VC funding, and I also’m in the end not adding to another dot-com accident. All i have lost is 66.5 several hours and several bags of espresso beans, we’ll merely go back to my personal day job.

Look at the website


1st used to do a brain-dump of all of the functions I’d like to have on a matchmaking internet site.  I didn’t place them in any certain order or attempt to categorize circumstances, I just composed all of them down because they found me personally.  This will be a good strategy for getting it all-out here, save generating feeling of it for later on.

Create tactics from your competition

I did not need to secure the feature number into only my personal a few ideas, so I went and enrolled in almost 12 online dating websites and had gotten a feel for how a lot of them function.

Brain-dump a few more

After a couple of hours of browsing competitor’s web sites, I did another brain-dump of characteristics. I merged the list of their unique attributes with my very own.

Have actually a specific goal, do not try making the web site fit everything in

I got the element record and narrowed all of them as a result of just those that offered an individual purpose: providing a means for singles to find and communicate with the other person. We ditched all popularity contests and other features that don’t directly contribute to this aim.

Keep. It. Simple. Stupid

You understand those collars for canines that issue a power shock whenever they begin barking? I wish every Chief Executive Officer and advertising and marketing expert for the tech sector could be designed with a comparable product that could shriek KISS into their ears whenever they began creating circumstances needlessly intricate. Throughout development, i might advise myself of this KISS concept.

Decrease disturbance

Just make use of other people once you completely need to, especially if you thinking about keeping overhead low. We noticed your panels from beginning to end before We blogged an individual distinctive line of signal and knew that i really could do everything alone. There have been no layout group meetings, Gantt maps, or summit calls – merely my self, my computer system, and my personal capacity.

Eliminate «feature creep»

Although this problem is frequently more frequent whenever using a customer, it can take place while going alone too.  Figure out how to stay away from enabling a concept grow and distort concise where you’re 6 months into a project as well as you must show for it is one of the most massively intricate nav bars in the reputation of the web. Learn to switch the concept knob down, yet not totally off.

Internet 2.0 labels will likely be very desperate in some years

Prefacing your website name with «cyber» had been quite popular when you look at the mid-nineties, but do you do it now?  I believe internet 2.0 brands like «SquaBlare, «Fastracle, or «this» will probably swiftly become passe. I wanted a name that was brilliant, indicative of the website’s function and had been an easy task to state and type.  Plus I get to make use of the superscript tag ????

If you get stuck on anything, put it on the backburner

I really had a pretty difficult time coming up with a name. Naming this site was not important for end, so I wait and labored on other activities. I really known the site as «barnacle for the majority of development because I had to develop a short-term title and it had been first of all stumbled on care about.

Prioritize characteristics so you can offer prominent property to the people which need it

We got the list of features I would made from my personal brain-dump earlier and ranked them relating to top priority.  I made it therefore, the primary features could well be easily obtainable in the absolute most apparent areas of website, in Mingle


‘s case this will be marketing that site was cost-free, the login/signup, together with «look singles function.» It really is completely critical which you have a sense of concern before starting making a webpage.

Put countless work inside practical mockups

An operating mockup is basically a style with no pretty things. There are many methods and strategies for generating an operating mockup: prototyping computer software, scribbling on a whiteboard, attracting it in photoshop.  People like commencing with a taxonomy, other people love to draw the web pages. I like pen and report making use of the occasional whiteboard. It’s my job to begin with by drawing exactly how every pages relate to each other, as a road-map. From that point I draw what exactly is in fact inside those pages and then try to get a concept of the way it all relates. This usually requires countless authorship, crumpling of report, and creating once again. You should not anticipate to get it right the first occasion, i have had pages where I’ll place it out a lot of other ways before I’m happy.

Blend it, hold stuff amusing

I did not outline each and every page on Mingle


at once, I quit and turned to dealing with the aesthetic elements of the website usually throughout the planning period. I interspersed developing the logo design and images among maintain me determined. It’s important not to dive headfirst into creating signal or playing around in photoshop, but don’t feel obligated to map every bit of your website before you begin playing around. Switch up activities regularly, it will push you to be appreciate it much more.

The Style

Next emerged the enjoyment component: creating the style that I intended to fundamentally change into HTML. Absolutely an unlimited level of knowledge one could offer another about producing a great layout, but instead, i am just planning consider the thing I wished to achieve visually with Mingle



1. Balance

– I placed unique emphasis on this regarding webpage, i desired the weather to be in a situation of balance.

2. Holy junk

– i needed to generate something would incite a «holy crap which is a fairly» effect from a beginner to the web site. I don’t know exactly how close We concerned attaining this objective, but I’m pleased with the way it ended up.

3. The Year is 2007

– nearly all competing internet sites look like they were designed by dinosaurs, i needed to outshine all of them in connection with this.

Set small itty-bitty objectives watching how much cash you will get accomplished

I function a 9-5 work and that I generally spend more than an hour or so working out every evening, when i got home around 7 pm might work principles was actually typically during the gutter. Ideal technique i discovered for inspiring myself were to set a rather little aim, including changing some articles within the database or adjusting margins on a particular page. Generally, as soon as this little objective had been accomplished it would lead to other items, and pretty soon I would gotten three several hours’ worth of good work done.

Utilize rapid-development frameworks

We created this great site using
, a rapid-development platform that’s well referred to as rails for PHP, using design habits eg MVC and ActiveRecord. Frameworks generally take-all the repeated activities from web development like CRUD (create/read/update/delete), types validation, and information sanitization and as an alternative let you target making a killer internet site. Different prominent frameworks consist of
Ruby on Rails

Count on an understanding bend from whatever structure you select

This is basically the 5th site I developed utilizing CakePHP and so I know my method around. You should not anticipate that by switching to a rapid-development platform, you are going to immediately save a number of time. There’s a bit of a learning curve.

It really is outside of the oven

I am very happy with how Mingle


has turned-out. The style is pleasing to the eye, the signal is thoroughly clean, and it just plain is useful. The best part is: If Mingle


fails and goes silently inside night, it had been just 66.5 several hours away from my entire life.