I created a website to display my photos and tell the story of my trip to the U.S East Coast with my brother at the end of August 2014.
Go check it out: travelbook.oertel.fr
This post explains my process around this website.
I’m disappointed with (free) photos services on Internet such as:
- Flickr: confusing as hell, I’m never able to find an album or photos.
- Picasa: old, ugly and more and more integrated with Google+.
- Facebook: even if it’s possible to share an album with people not having a Facebook account, the UI is kind of simple.
- Exposure: probably the closest I could have use but I feel like it’s limited to few photos and not a whole trip.
Maybe there are good services out there that I didn’t heard about, let me know. I needed to define my needs now.
How could I show my photos?
I’m a developer so I can (theorically) create a service that fits perfectly my needs. I asked myself the following question: What describes a trip? and the answer was:
- Where: map
- When: timeline
- What: text
- Why: text
- How: text
- and the photos of course.
How to build it?
As I learned by working in a startup:
create a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and then interate on it.
It’s where usually my side projects failed before: I wanted to create the whole project at once but then gave up in the middle of it by lack of motivation.
Features needed before the website would be viable:
- a map with markers where photos were taken
- a timeline: one page per day
- a slideshow for the photos
- a way to generate blocks of photos (auto resizing depending on the photo sizes and number of photos per block)
- a “day” generator. Edit manually a JSON file is enough.
- email webhook. I wanted to be able to create a “day”, by sending emails with photos
- internationalization, my audience will be mostly French. English people will have to satisfy themself with the photos.
What I like about this project?
Marker, etc.) in order to grok1 it.
And for a none-technical point of view, the temporal notion of the website allows me to relive my vacation by sorting my photos one day at a time (I was too lazy to make the whole trip at once) and also keep improving the website piece by piece.
And most importantly, it’s accessible to a vast majority of my friends and family (compare to my others projects which are more technical).
Besides small bugs and improvements I can/need to do, I would like to create a backend where I could create a “day” with an user interface and keep the current project for the frontend part. It may wait my next long trip.