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The Bakery:
How I Built a Web 2.0 Dating Site in 66.5 Hours
March 30, 2007 @ 15:53:00

On the Bakery (the CakePHP blog), there's a new case study on how a group of developers created a "Web 2.0 dating site in 66.5 hours" (just short of 3 days worth of work).

Let this be a testament to Web 2.0 and the effectiveness of rapid development frameworks: I built a full-featured dating website (http://mingle2.com), from concept to launch, in 66.5 hours. In a typical 9-5 job this would amount to about a week and a half. Deliverables included: the idea, planning, design, development, testing, and launch.

The study is broken up into the (long list of) key steps that were followed:

  • Identify an Opportunity
  • Brain-dump
  • Generate ideas from your competition
  • Brain-dump some more
  • Have a specific goal, don't try to make the website do everything
  • Keep. It. Simple. Stupid
  • Minimize interference
  • Avoid "feature creep"
  • Web 2.0 names are going to be very tacky in a few years
  • If you get stuck on something, put it on the backburner
  • Prioritize features so you can give prominent real estate to those that need it
  • Put a lot of work into the functional mockups
  • Mix it up, keep things interesting
And finally, "The Design" where he looked at achieving balance, got a "holy crap, that's pretty" reaction, and to make things look up to date. The end result of the labor is mingle2.com, a 100% free online dating website.

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