View Full Version : Product Selector

08-23-2012, 04:09 PM
Hello, we are trying to make a product selector for a company that sells access panels.
The link to the current (working) product selector we are developing: http://rapidaccessltd.xtreemhost.com/
The free hosting is temporary we will be moving it once it is completed.

If you scroll across the carousel and click on product selector, it will take you to the next page; choosing your panel material. At the minute we have only worked down the options of choosing special finishes of a panel as we have stopped in an attempt of finding an easier way of doing it, we worked out it would have 116,000,000 pages so making each page individually isnít an option.
A customer will go onto the product selector and use the carousel to go down each section of choosing the different options determining the look and function of a access panel. Some options are not available together such as if you select a certain material, letís say plasterboard this means it cannot be airtight, acoustic or be insulated. So, we need the web page to track customers selections and then remove the unavailable options as they move through the selector. What is the best and easiest way of achieving this?

If anyone can help please do.

Thanks, Curtis

08-23-2012, 05:23 PM
The best and the easiest are never the same method in web development.

The best way would be storing their selections in a server side session and refreshing the page with AJAX (And compressing your image files a bit... there's quite a long load).

The easiest way (assuming you're not doing anything behind the scenes) would be passing the user decisions as POST parameters between pages.

Your visuals are very nice. Very cool use of jquery :) However they're large files and load times on the site will probably add a slight frustration to your customers.

08-23-2012, 05:56 PM
This sounds more like a general UI design issue in the first instance, and like it should be thought out before implementing all the JavaScript functionality. For this reason I’ve moved the thread to the General Web Building section.

It looks like the current back-end set-up is all static HTML files. Of course, this becomes very complicated if there are numerous configurations available. Therefore you need to set up some dynamic functionality with a server-side script in a language like PHP, ASP.NET, JSP, ColdFusion, or the like, so that it compiles the pages/parts of pages as necessary. And to store the info and the relations of configurations to one another a database (e. g. MySQL) is advisable. However, since I’m not a back-end developer myself I can’t give any more specific info.

What I can tell you, though, (and I’m sorry to say that) is that the current usability and interaction design cumbersome and counterproductive because it emphasizes the fancy effects more than the actual usage and it takes very long to load, too. If I were a customer I would want to find the constellation quickly and easily, and for that I need a better/quicker overview over the entire thing. So once you have the selection path clarified you should set up a very basic prototype (using the above mentioned techniques) that only concentrates on usability, and test it with outsiders. The effects (if at all) should be added at the very last step. With some back-end logic this should become much easier. But a real back-end developer might be able to give you more advice in this respect.