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Author Topic: Bvckup 2  (Read 18510 times)
apankrat
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« on: June 22, 2011, 05:43:12 PM »

Hi fellas,

I am very happy to announce the launch of the Bvckup 2 website, the real-time minimalistic backup for Windows -

    http://www.bvckup2.com

While the site is a simple teaser, its main purpose is to showcase minimalistic design aesthetics employed in Bvckup 2. It is also my best webdesign work to date.

The product itself is a step up from the original version in all areas. I will be putting up some concrete speed improvement numbers in a bit, but to give a rough idea - the scan of directory tree on a network share is now under 3 seconds versus over 30 second taken by Windows Explorer. The scan of a tree on a local disk is about 5 times faster than in the original version, and this is largely thanks to a custom lock-free slab memory allocator used internally by the program. Note the lock-free part. If you are partial to programming, you may recognize this as fairly complicated stuff... and it is just that. But it yields 5x speed up, so it's worth an effort.

Previous DC thread on the original version is here. Technical details on the version 2 are here. The dev blog is here, and if you are truly bored, there are some bits and pieces of graphic design goodness on Dribbble.

Got a thought or an opinion? A snide remark, perhaps? Most excellent, I am all ears. Be it on the idea, design or the time it takes to get it done :)

Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 06:07:42 PM by apankrat » Logged
cranioscopical
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 07:06:08 PM »

A snide remark, perhaps? Most excellent, I am all ears.

African or Indian?

Nice-looking work!  thumbs up thumbs up
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Chris
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 07:10:52 PM »

The first Bvckup was very impressive -- it's wonderful to see Bvckup 2 progress  thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up
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nudone
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2011, 01:16:06 AM »

I love the new website.
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MerleOne
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 04:06:05 AM »

Actually it took me some time to realize I had to scroll the page down to see all  Wink

Also, even if very "minimalist", the first version of bvckup is already very powerful and highly configurable, I sort of miss this impression in the new website.

BTW, bvckup recently saved me a lot of time : my data partition got corrupted, I have weekly image of it but that was not enough.  Since I have a regular bvckup copy of my Windows Live Mail data whose original was damaged because of the corruption, I was able to restore the whole mail data (I barely stopped the bvckup process in time, so as not to overwrite the "good" backup by damaged data).

Any ETA for V2 ?

Thanks !
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.merle1.
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2011, 10:29:59 PM »

I must agree with merle. While the website design is visually very pleasant, it is not very intuitive to navigate. While at the top of page I recognize that I can click the "INFO" lid at the bottom, the next part of the page shown does not indicate that there are more information if I scroll down. I would expect another lid or button to show more information.

While this is not a big problem for the website, if it's indeed showcasing the design of the upcoming bvckup2, you might have to review the UI design and make sure the design is consistent throughout the program, for usability sake.

Anyway, I really like your idea of single purpose program and wish the best for bvckup2. Thmbsup
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apankrat
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 10:54:42 PM »

Thanks for the comments and kind words, guys. Much appreciated.

Merle, did you get confused by needing to click on the Info on the first screen or by needing to scroll further after clicking on Info? I will go through logs to see how many people did not click on the Info, it should be an interesting metric.

rsatrioadi, the problem is that the first screen is stretch to the browser's height, while no other part of the site is. What you see at the bottom of the second screenful might be just 2/3rds down for other people or vice verse. I guess I can add some sort of floating semi-transparent footer that says "scroll for more", but that's be ugly. I hear you though regarding this sort of thing being a larger problem in the program's UI. Point well taken, thanks.

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Jibz
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 12:42:33 AM »

I would probably make the bvckup logo on the first screen perform the scroll as well. Clicking that was the first thing I tried before finding the tiny info button at the bottom. It appears to be doing that now, didn't seem to work on my first visit embarassed.

And I agree, while getting from the first to the second screen may be logical, you have to notice the scroll bar isn't at the bottom to know there is more pages below the second.

Still like the nice clean feel to it.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 12:44:05 AM by Jibz » Logged

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MerleOne
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 01:29:37 AM »

Thanks for the comments and kind words, guys. Much appreciated.

Merle, did you get confused by needing to click on the Info on the first screen or by needing to scroll further after clicking on Info? I will go through logs to see how many people did not click on the Info, it should be an interesting metric.

...


I think I clicked on Info, thus revealing the 2nd page, but didn't think I had to scroll down to see the rest. So it's the mix of click and scroll that confused me, I guess.

Anyway, I find it more important to have an outstanding bvckup2 than an outstanding website (see vopt.com, cf. the 'various sources' comment, for instance, which shows the sense of humour of the developer....)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 01:33:03 AM by MerleOne » Logged

.merle1.
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 01:37:02 AM »

I encountered a similar situation. I did notice the Info bar at the bottom. I clicked it and it scrolled me down. And then on the "2nd" page there was just enough gap after "Coming this fall" and the description below it, and my browser window was just the right size, that I didn't see anything else below "Coming this fall" so I thought I was at the bottom of the page.

Then I noticed the scrollbar was still more than halfway up the page so I scrolled down to read the rest.

As for me, I didn't attempt to or even realize you could click on the Bvckup logo/text to get the page to scroll down.
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Ath
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2011, 01:51:50 AM »

I think I clicked on Info, thus revealing the 2nd page, but didn't think I had to scroll down to see the rest. So it's the mix of click and scroll that confused me, I guess.
You're not alone... huh cheesy
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apankrat
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2011, 12:45:35 AM »

Hrm... OK, thanks, guys. For now I just added some code to track how people interact with the page and how many people do not scroll beyond second screenful. I will let it sit for few days and then check the mighty stats. See if you are the only bright ones on the Internet or not :D

--

Jibz, I made the logo clickable after your initial post (but before seeing it, I got the same suggestion elsewhere), so you were not imagining things.

--

Anyway, I find it more important to have an outstanding bvckup2 than an outstanding website
Well, I think that both should be outstanding :)
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worstje
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2011, 01:28:47 AM »

I stopped using Bvckup v1 quite some time back; I remember it was in beta back then and I posted a bunch of findings and such on your forum. You replied to half of it I think, the other half never came (but I don't fault you for that; I know how easy it is to get busy and simply forget.)

The website feels way too Apple-ish to me, and to be honest I find it offputting. Bvckup (and I assume Bvckup2) are Windows Applications, and just looking at the website and its usage alone, I get a very strong iPhone or iTunes feel. And the latter has a very bad reputation on the Windows platform.

Another thing I noticed (geez, I'm full of criticism today) is that you seem to be calling it Bvckup2 now? Is this a permanent name or just a codename, and did the application itself not change versions? To quote your blog, and hopefully demonstrate a small fear regarding this naming:

Quote
I can call it a dinner spoon or I can call it a “soup delivering apparatus №2”. Which one sets a better tone for introducing a one-of-a-kind designer product?

Final question - my old Bvckup license, can I upgrade and still use it? Or are there still free licenses for testers? I'm happy to give it another try and report my findings if needed. The new features really do look quite appealing.
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Jibz
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2011, 03:44:29 AM »

Jibz, I made the logo clickable after your initial post (but before seeing it, I got the same suggestion elsewhere), so you were not imagining things.

Ok, good to know Thmbsup.
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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
apankrat
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2011, 06:08:17 PM »

I stopped using Bvckup v1 quite some time back; I remember it was in beta back then and I posted a bunch of findings and such on your forum. You replied to half of it I think, the other half never came (but I don't fault you for that; I know how easy it is to get busy and simply forget.)

Yep, I still have the thread with your UI comments open in one of my FF tabs, and I fully remember that I owe you a reply. The reason I haven't got to writing it is (a) I actually agree with a few of your points (b) I severely lack time to write well-argued, Wikipedia-style reply for points that I don't agree with and I don't want to just blurt something out.

Quote
The website feels way too Apple-ish to me, and to be honest I find it offputting. Bvckup (and I assume Bvckup2) are Windows Applications, and just looking at the website and its usage alone, I get a very strong iPhone or iTunes feel. And the latter has a very bad reputation on the Windows platform.

Ok, point taken. I can't judge objectively as it is my own design, but I don't think it is that reminiscent of Apple's design in anything other than having a certain degree of visual polish. To put it differently - can you think of a Windows product website that has a sense of style, but does not feel Apple-ish?

Quote
Another thing I noticed (geez, I'm full of criticism today) is that you seem to be calling it Bvckup2 now? Is this a permanent name or just a codename, and did the application itself not change versions?

It is a substantial rework of the program - both from the UI perspective and internally, so it is essentially a new product. With regards to upgrading from the beta license of v1 - the V2 will follow the same beta model whereby those who help with beta testing will be provided free or heavily discounted production licenses.

The reason I am considering the heavily discounted option is due to an incident I had not long ago. Someone was recommended downloading the program and hoarding v1 beta licenses so that they could later be exchanged for the production release licenses and (presumably) resold to others. I would be curious to know what your, guys, take on this would be. Is it worth introducing a small upgrade fee to curtail the beta license abuse? Or will it likely fire back?

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apankrat
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2011, 01:39:46 AM »

I think I clicked on Info, thus revealing the 2nd page, but didn't think I had to scroll down to see the rest. So it's the mix of click and scroll that confused me, I guess.
You're not alone... huh cheesy

Fixed it - http://drbl.in/bwAB. Thanks for the nudge, gents.
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MerleOne
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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2011, 02:12:17 AM »

Ok, you're going to hate me for that, but here is another remark : I have a very wide screen (nowadays standard unfortunately), and the "More" is too far on the right, while my attention is on the center/bottom of the screen.  I might have missed it if I were not looking for it.  What about placing the "more" just below "coming this fall".  BTW, how did the guy on reddit got hand on V2 ???
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.merle1.
cranioscopical
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2011, 06:18:13 AM »

I have a very wide screen (nowadays standard unfortunately), and the "More" is too far on the right,

+1
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Chris
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2011, 07:01:34 AM »

Yep, I still have the thread with your UI comments open in one of my FF tabs, and I fully remember that I owe you a reply. The reason I haven't got to writing it is (a) I actually agree with a few of your points (b) I severely lack time to write well-argued, Wikipedia-style reply for points that I don't agree with and I don't want to just blurt something out.

Aww, you remember. Kiss Thanks for remembering, and don't rush a reply. It's good knowing you read it and didn't simply dismiss the words; knowing that you intend to get back to it eventually only makes it better. smiley

Ok, point taken. I can't judge objectively as it is my own design, but I don't think it is that reminiscent of Apple's design in anything other than having a certain degree of visual polish. To put it differently - can you think of a Windows product website that has a sense of style, but does not feel Apple-ish?

No, I cannot think of a specific website or product right this minute, but I have seen them. I generally use websites to use them, not to criticize them - but if I do remember one I particularly like, I'll of course give you a headsup. One thing I do think warrants saying is that you seem to say style == Apple-ish. In other words, grey backgrounds, darker grey highlights, soft gradient 'light' touches on backgrounds and so forth. Additionally, I get a distinct 'the user is an idiot' feeling from the website; if they go to the website, nobody wants to waste 3s staring at a logo, then eventually figuring hey I have to scroll down despite having a gigantic screen that I got to minimize the need to scroll. Websites are intended to supply information; yours just gets in the way of its purpose in the same way those MPAA 'do not steal', FBI etc screens on a movie get in the way of what the (in that case legit!) user wants to do: watch their movie. The current website seems designed as if it were a presentation: because when someone is talking alongside sheets, you don't want tons of texts, and you have distinct screens to go with subjects.

It is a substantial rework of the program - both from the UI perspective and internally, so it is essentially a new product. With regards to upgrading from the beta license of v1 - the V2 will follow the same beta model whereby those who help with beta testing will be provided free or heavily discounted production licenses.

The reason I am considering the heavily discounted option is due to an incident I had not long ago. Someone was recommended downloading the program and hoarding v1 beta licenses so that they could later be exchanged for the production release licenses and (presumably) resold to others. I would be curious to know what your, guys, take on this would be. Is it worth introducing a small upgrade fee to curtail the beta license abuse? Or will it likely fire back?

The point of a beta is to get feedback. Make beta licenses need some sort of feedback flag which you can trigger when you get feedback; for example through posting on your forum (although I wouldn't automate it or you only add spamming to your problem), or by having the license used for at least 24 hours or some other time-limit thing. Probably you want to combine them so the people that do not find any bugs don't get shafted by the concept. If you combine it with some basic IP checks, you can probably keep out most of the automated buggers.
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2011, 09:44:57 AM »

Additionally, I get a distinct 'the user is an idiot' feeling from the website; if they go to the website, nobody wants to waste 3s staring at a logo, then eventually figuring hey I have to scroll down despite having a gigantic screen that I got to minimize the need to scroll. Websites are intended to supply information; yours just gets in the way of its purpose in the same way those MPAA 'do not steal', FBI etc screens on a movie get in the way of what the (in that case legit!) user wants to do: watch their movie. The current website seems designed as if it were a presentation: because when someone is talking alongside sheets, you don't want tons of texts, and you have distinct screens to go with subjects.
I had a similar feeling. Even thought the site shows that you have knowledge and taste to make a good-looking and polished site, it *must* be to-the-point, and I feel that first screen in particular may make you lose potential clients. In particular, had I not known that the site actually had content, for example if I got there from a software listing site's "developer website" link, I would have left when I saw the first screen, thinking it was still in development and the entry screen was a placeholder for the new site.
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« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2011, 10:05:52 AM »

In particular, had I not known that the site actually had content, for example if I got there from a software listing site's "developer website" link, I would have left when I saw the first screen, thinking it was still in development and the entry screen was a placeholder for the new site.

Technically, all it is right now is an announcement of the next version. By all means, it is in development, it is a sort-of placeholder/announcement thing, and it is new. So by that logic, as things stand now, it is sort of on point. But it is a product apankrat is announcing; not the website itself, so in that case it is still the wrong design (in my opinion, anyway).
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apankrat
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« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2011, 10:11:20 AM »

Ok, you're going to hate me for that, but here is another remark : I have a very wide screen (nowadays standard unfortunately), and the "More" is too far on the right, while my attention is on the center/bottom of the screen.  I might have missed it if I were not looking for it.  What about placing the "more" just below "coming this fall".  BTW, how did the guy on reddit got hand on V2 ???

Ok, fair point, not hating smiley Placed it now 480px off center of the page. Any better?
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« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2011, 11:03:50 AM »

I'm a fan of v1 of Bvckup and I took part in the testing and gave feedback in the Bvckup forums. So it pains me to say this, but I don't like the new web site.

Others have said it, but if you didn't already know Bvckup, you would assume from the web site that it's a Mac program. I would take one look at the page (without scrolling) and close it.

I find I do this all the time. I read about an interesting program, click the link to it, and then can instantly tell from the design of the web site that it's a Mac-only program, and I close the page. I'm sure I can't be the only one who does this.

This is not touchy-feely branding nonsense, it's basic design. There is a Mac look. Your site has it.

And the scrolling thing is a terrible idea. Design should never come before content.

Sorry, apankrat, you know I'm a fan of the program, but I really think for your own sake you need to reconsider. You've spent a long time on this design, you're very close to it. Take a step back.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2011, 11:51:01 AM »

I dunno. I kinda like it. It doesn't really seem Apple/Mac to me as much as it seems the kind of clean and simple design of Web 2.0 or HTML5 if Web 2.0 seems too outdated a term.

For a teaser site, I think it's good. Though if that was the final product website (when it was released) then I might find it lacking in content.

Though I am left wondering why you don't just put the "More" link in the same place as the "Info" link. Right in the center, so the user's mouse is already hovering over it when they click the first time. That seems logical to me.

If you're like me, and don't normally run the browser full screen, but still have it fairly large, then the More link is still really far off to the side. See my screenshot here: http://i.imgur.com/AQEe9.jpg
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 12:10:25 PM by Deozaan » Logged

nudone
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« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2011, 12:08:24 PM »

I agree with Deozaan. My first reaction was "html5, css3, responsive, etc., etc." I've not looked underneath to see if it is.

After the "apple" comments I now see that too. Overall, I think I still see the site as a nice subdued single page site rather than an apple site. But I admit, I'm sure it's because I never really see an apple site and see plenty of single page portfolio sites.

(I know the site isn't a responsive design, it just looks like it should be.)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 12:10:16 PM by nudone » Logged
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