Vincent Ritter

I'm a dad, husband, geek and an independent software engineer.

Code Challenge - Day 2

Today I further redefined what the app should do well and expanded on my TaskPaper outline. I also decided to create two other TaskPaper documents, one for the Day achievements - so I can keep track of what I did and what I’m planning for tomorrow, and the other one to keep track on contributions that I have received from the community over at Micro.blog and other mediums.

Here is my day overview from TaskPaper from of what I’ve @done… not much… but steady:

Day 2 - Overview:

  • Re-instate Mailgun account. Will use this for transactional emails. @done
  • Come up with a simple logo for the app. @done
  • Further define the app. @done
  • Point domain to server IP @done

Pricing

Doug Lane, over at Micro.blog, has given me a great idea and contribution to the project on how I can offer packs of events instead of just a ‘pay as you go’ model.

For the pricing, have you considered allowing people to buy "packs" of events? You could do something like a 10-pack and then have the option to autorenew for the next 10 when the balance gets down to one or two. It still avoids a subscription fee for times when the product isn't in use, but it might help with cash flow and reducing the impact of any per-transaction processing fees (if you have any).

I really love that idea and, to be honest, I haven’t actually thought of the one time processing fees. I’ll be using Braintree for my payment integration. Main reason for that, Stripe is not available where I have my business. Braintree takes 1.9% and €0.30 per transaction. They also take an extra 1% for transactions outside of my “home currency”. So 2.9%.

So, I think I’ll initially offer a ‘pay as you go’ payment model and a pack of 8 events for $10. I think that works well. I don’t want to do $9.99 or $1.99, never really liked that. I may just tweak pricing as I go though.

Also I am wondering if I should offer 1 event per year for free, or perks that give you a percentage discount depending on how many years you’ve been using the service for… that’s just an idea at this stage and probably won’t ship it in the app.

Thank you Doug!

Transactional Email

I was looking at both Postmark and Mailgun for transactional emails. I already had a Mailgun account, which I never used, so I emailed them to get my account going again. They were super friendly and did it straight away.

With 10,000 emails free per rolling 30 days, this seems a perfect fit for me. Postmark does offer the first 25,000 emails for free. Both have Ruby Gems, so I'm happy with that!

I did look at MailChimp but really can’t justify the cost of adding Mandrill. I believe that runs at $199/month, not including every transactional email.

Keeping in mind that I want something that doesn’t generate too much noise to the user I defined a few emails I’d like to send out:

  • When a user inputs booking details - send to account holder.
  • When account holder approves the booking via admin, send email to the person making the booking.
  • Have an option to turn the above off.
  • Account registration success.
  • Forgot password.
  • Login magic links.

As usual, that might just change as I go and build the app.

On that note, I set up Mailgun and got the domain verified. Good.

IP addresses and URLs

Nothing too exciting here but I pointed the domain, simpleschedule.net, to one of my servers now. There is nothing there yet.

Had a quick thought on URL structure for the sites as there will be 3 different parts:

  • App login url should be 'my.simpleschedule.net'.
  • Help site url should be 'help.simpleschedule.net'.
  • Main marketing page, simpleschedule.net.

Easy enough and I actually quite like how 'my.simpleschedule.net' looks and sounds.

Logo

I’m no designer but wanted to get some very early ideas out there using Sketch. It’s only text based with a simple line underneath. Hoping to get some help here from a friend, follower or family member.

I love ‘Avenir Next’ as a font in general. The heavy font looks a bit too heavy so am also trying an italic one. However, I don’t see it lasting and just wanted something for a holding site.

Tomorrow

Not planning too much on the planning front tomorrow. Hoping that I can get a real basic holding site up with an email box, so people can sign up to the newsletter if they so wish.

Next week

I don’t really want to say too much at this stage but the famous plan is to start the UI for the front end, for ease and speed I’ll use pen & paper and build it in the browser. I’ll also be opening up the URL for this so you can follow along.


I wrote this article mainly for myself to follow along when I look back at it at some stage. If you like to contribute, please email me or let me know via Micro.blog.

For other posts on the challenge, check out the links below:

  1. Code challenge - from zero to web app in 60 days
  2. Code challenge - Prelude and Day 1 - Setting things up
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