After a month in the wild we’ve given Available a little update.
It’s been really great to see Vancouver tech and freelancers and agencies using it to connect for work. We’re especially grateful to supporters helping cover server costs as well as those pointing others to Available when they see someone looking for work through Twitter.
With a month of use and some feedback we have a few findings: the interaction model mostly works, and people recover quickly enough when something doesn’t work as expected. We’ve also learned loads about the Twitter streaming API, which is by turns powerful, fast, and a little unpredictable.
Easier on the Eyes
The first change is to make Available nicer to look at. One of our favourite colleagues, Sam Dal Monte, made the overall reading experience much nicer, especially on mobile, and gave the wordmark a fresher look, which you can see above. This should help those feeling the ‘turquoise burn’ in the initial design. You know who you are.
We’ve seen that about half the daily visitors to Available are returning. We owe it to them to make the changes they’re looking for more visible. So now when someone changes their available/hiring status, the @heyavailable account will retweet their post. Simply following @heyavailable will keep you posted when someone starts looking for work or hiring, and when someone gets hired or a position gets filled. It’s a nice way to keep your ear to the ground without coming back every day. If this were a simpler time, we just would have used RSS.
To ensure that the content stays fresh we’re expiring posts after two months. So if you get hired, or find someone to hire, you can just leave the post sit and it will disappear in time. This idea of decaying data is really interesting to us, and solves an interface design problem that we didn’t relish when thinking about forgotten posts piling up.
We’ll keep watching for ways to improve Available. In the meantime, if you’d like to be a supporter, sponsor slots are $25/month and a great way to show you care about the health of our professional community.