Jacob
Jay
Jacob Jay

Peripatetic British designer, full-stack developer and entrepreneur.
Specialising in web applications and usability.

17 Conception projects

Directory for Cooperative Coliving

Website with categorised and filterable listings of coliving spaces for workations.

Innovations

  • Filter flexibility on some classifications as enumerated scales (e.g. outside spaces from terrace to big garden; workspace from bedroom desk to coworking) enabling results to be expanded with degrees of relevence, instead of simply returning unhelpful 'nothing matched'.
  • Multi-faceted classification system uses both structured and unstructured tags; which may be grouped by parents, optionally redirecting and hilighting child tags; plus enabling customisation of every view where values are consumed.
  • Freeform rates, in which multiple unit classes may be declared with any duration and rate; the system creating summaries of these for common cases (e.g. weekly and monthly rates).
  • Unusual mobile UI giving access to an almost fullscreen map with information panel below it as a single swipable view, instead of the more typical multi-modal/click-panel-close interactions. (Usability value to be ascertained.)
  • SPA-style client-side mapping and filtering, using a compact base dataset, maintained as JSON, supplemented with per-property JSON data upon user interaction, thus avoiding server-side dependencies and database queries. (Obviously only capable of handling a smaller datasets, though under 75k gzipped for 1500 properties, not likely to be exceeded for many years.)
  • Tags for all filter criteria preserved in the URL facilitating sharing. Clicked properties are preserved in the query string thus do invoke a server-side response to permit sharing when first accessed with a property query string.
  • Given a huge variety of spaces and users, anonymised and unrated reviews to focus the user's attention upon their own interpretations.
  • Fallback client-side rendering, should the server be unable to cache Instagram using a private API.

Features

  • The use of tags in a provider-specified order to classify spaces also supports a self-declaration community label/marque using the logo, in which any space may declare itself a "coliving community" by prefixing its core offer or values as tags e.g. «Hub House is a #purposeful #cooperative Coliving Community».
  • Data stored in easily edited structured text format (Lua).
  • Third-party data sources (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Google) cached on the server to eliminate additional latency.
  • Passable/overridable filters in URL, as well as settable with cookies, this statefulness allows the map and list views to be shared preserving the user input criteria.
  • Some data always in-page for instant client-side changes and reduced server processing, and when unspecified shows all spaces in list view with 'disabled' styling thus ensuring all potential results appear on pages for SEO and first-time visitors. If prefs are set or passed the server trims the data set to send a lighter load.
  • Unstructured locations and contextual adjustment derived from declared human-friendly strings, e.g. "Barcelona, Spain" only appears as "Barcelona" on the Spain page, but a space may declare it as "near Barcelona" or anything else appropriate for reference instead of displaying simply an unhelpful administrarive name.
  • Tags permit optional space-specific custom details, e.g. the "meals" tag can be expanded with free-form text such as "full-board included".
  • Friendly URLs e.g: /in/spain /with/pool
  • Custom pages can replace or supplement entire categories; CSS can also easily be used to make changes to specific categories.
  • Currency conversion with rounding to faciliate user information scanning and consumption.
  • Instagram photos only render the two most recent official account photos, also showing both top-ranked and recent location-specific posts (where an Instagram location is known).

Links

2020 — Conception, Web, Content ManagementSummary ↙︎
Details, 8 images

Scouting and plans for Hub House

Identify and evaluate properties for operation with a cooperative coliving model.
Function
Living Space
Tool

Innovations

  • Novel multistakeholder model combining both investment returns as a hospitality business, and flexible fractional ownership, supported by a strong community-interest operation reducing overheads.
  • Space planning for several properties permitted the use of split-level mezzanine designs optimising the number of private units (similar to Zoku).
  • Crowdfunded ownership, with pledges obtained through direct outreach and marketing to potential members. (A propotion allocated for investors has not yet been raised, however some leads were generated simultaneously.

Features

  • database and public portal listing and enabling discussion amongst candidates
  • bespoke CMS to catalogue candidate properties and score them for easier classification, using multiple criteria, colour coded for ease of reference
  • most of the properties involve the replacement of extremely large numbers of windows, thus sourcing was researched from China, to reduce the otherwise significant fitout costs (despite tariffs)
  • some properties include adequate capacity for multi-use event spaces, further diversifiying potential revenue and uses, especially for remote team offsites

Links

2019 — Space Planning, Community, Living SpaceSummary ↙︎
Details, 12 images

Lajpat Nagar for Moonlighting

Fitout of a new coworking space.
Tool

Innovations

  • Partnered with an emerging streetartist to create a Steve Wozniak mural, providing him with exposure, and an atypical but recognisable portrait that prominanetly features in the social media posts of visitors, becoming strongly associated with the space.

Features

  • 6 private offices in an ancillary block at the rear of the space, ensuring the core community space is not overly influenced by predeominantly static users.
  • Two dedicated hotdesk rooms, plus flexible use of common space for events, and also featuring standing deskspace.

Links

2015 — Space Planning, Community, HospitalitySummary ↙︎
Details, 12 images

Estate agency SaaS for duHome

Provide a customisable website for estate agencies.

Innovations

  • Fuzzy-logic search, gradually widening search criteria scope when not enough matching results are found, i.e. for every non-matching input criteria a corresponding potentially acceptable criteria would be used instead such as 1 bathroom instead of 2, with these criteria being colour-coded (match versus near-match).
  • Comprehensive type-ahead search using multiple sources of data (names, telephones, locations, emails, prices), removing need for time consuming paging of adminstrative list views to find relevent records.
  • Use of geohash indexes for high-performance geospatial property search.
  • Use of deferred slideshow loading to improve performance and usability (almost unheard of at the time, most solutions simply advancing to to half-downloaded images on a timer, or attempting to download all upon page load despite potentially not subsequently showing them).

Features

  • Customer-facing functionality including geographic search and display of properties with mapping and slideshow
  • Agent functionalities including search, management of properties
  • Agency-owner functionality including customisation and configuration of website, and management of agents
  • Support for multiple agency locations per site, and agents per-agency
  • Activitiy streams with messaging and notifications for each agency, agent and property
  • Signup for new agencies (clients) with a default name-derived subdomain
  • Automatic geo-location and address completion when adding properties
  • Image upload and optimisation for slideshows
  • Email notifications when agents are not active on site
  • Property owner CRM with agent association
  • Editable print view with QR code for window display
  • Utilisation of Moonstalk's internationsalistion, geospatial data, type-ahead search, and notification features
2011 — Conception, Web, Content ManagementSummary ↙︎
Details, 8 images

Website for Moonlighting

Manage new member registrations, room bookings and accounts for a combined coworking and accommodation provider.
Function
Social Calendar

Innovations

  • Disucssion list emails are handled through a bespoke system that appends a member's presence status and profile to their messages, and also rejects posts from expired members or on lists for which they don't have priveleges, thus removing the usual requirement of additional disucssion list adminstration.
  • Automatic checkin using MAC address detection on the LAN when a member connects.

Features

  • Member directory and CRM
  • Checkin system to indicate daily member presence
  • Per-resource (e.g. bedroom) availability calendar
  • Member accounts and bookings
  • Meal booking and payment
  • Staff task views (e.g. to see when rooms are being vacated, and how many meals must be prepared)
  • Email and web discussions for members and staff

Links

2011 — Conception, Web, SocialSummary ↙︎
Details, 5 images

Delhi for Moonlighting

Establish a house in Delhi with facilities for both coworking and accommodation.
Tool

Innovations

  • First coworking space in Delhi, and one of first few in India.
  • First open-access space offering both coworking and accommodation for those visiting from further afield.
  • Bespoke furniture constructions including large-span communal tables using wood with internal (hidden) iron dowels

Features

  • Regular community events and meals
  • 8 en-suite bedrooms amd 1 bunkroom (convertible between 4 bunks, or 1 double)
  • Live-in cook and 2 kitchens
  • Cleaning, housekeeping and security staff
  • Mixed-use lobby, lounge and dining space with A/V system
  • Coworking desks (and monitors)
  • Colourful paint and fabrics to enliven the otherwise drab interior

Links

2010 — Space Planning, Community, HospitalitySummary ↙︎
Details, 19 images

Moonstalk for The Moon Mill

Open-source web development framework and hosting stack using Lua.

Features

  • Automated filesystem to URL mapping for sites and applications, with no configuration necessary before use (including web server)
  • Includes a bespoke low-latency NoSQL database which shares the web application environment and functions, whilst also supporting a task queue with seperate processes
  • Internationalisation and localisation including handling for plurals and GeoIP
  • Best-practice handling of script-loading, CDN assets, canonical tags, addressing, salted passwords, microcaching, deployment (via dCVS), etc.
  • Many supplementary applications providing functionality ranging from calendaring to geospatial search

Links

2010 — Conception, Server, APISummary ↙︎
Details, 2 images

Marketplace for Verse

SaaS platform for small independant retailers, with a focus on curation and provenance, including product blogs and stock-control.

Innovations

  • Customisable magazine style multi-product 'display' layouts, using an impactful large format image tagged with the products, with their data (price, links) automatically populated.
  • Uncluttered single product layouts with clear call to actions and availability.
2009 — Design, Web, Content ManagementSummary ↙︎
Details, 2 images

ProfileConnect Gateway API for Verse

Abstract API methods from across multiple third-party prodivders into a normalised set of methods for use by clients with either intermediary gateways or end service providers.
Function
API Photo

Innovations

  • Unlike the MediaSock specification which concerns itself with only endpoints (client and server), this specification attempts to deal predominantly with intermediaries (gateways), yet also still offers endpoint functionality. Thus its methods might be used alongside existing API methods fufilling specific functions (whether provider-specific, or generic such as MediaSock), or in a completely-abstract manner on their own to fufil the same functions. However in such an abstract manner the method naming does not reveal the functionality offered by a provider, as compared to non-abstract APIs, instead it must be discovered using introspection, or hard-coded relying upon established behaviours or assumptions.

Links

2008 — Conception, Server, APISummary ↙︎
Details, 0 images

PictureSync Windows Application for Verse

Modernise the architecture and UI of PictureSync for a new Windows application.
Function
Photo Video API

Innovations

  • Optimised service addition and sign-in UI, including transparent post web authentication token retrieval (e.g. OAuth) using a simple 'becomes frontmost' check
  • First application to upload both image data and annotations
  • First application to interface between both multiple applications and multiple web services
  • Comprehensive abstractions for web service behaviours with modular service plugin architecture including per-plugin version checking
  • Co-branded builds with default sign-in prompts for service providers using an automated build system, and with provider-specific statistics (via a private website login)
  • Only application to be able to upload images and then later sync the annotations (e.g. via Flick API)
  • Only application to employ database-free metadata via file system extended attributes (i.e. for service upload IDs)
  • Transparent licence activation after purchase on website

Features

  • Integral image and metadata manipulation functions
  • Support for multiple disparate web-service APIs for uploads with an aggregate progress UI
  • Interfaces with the file system and external applications to collect data, including support for standards-based emebedded IPTC/XMP and XMP sidecar files for annotations

Links

2006 — Conception, Desktop, PhotoSummary ↙︎
Details, 3 images

MediaSock Client Framework for Verse

Abstraction framework for media-sharing web-services, utilising loadable modules, and a flexible properties architecture.
Function
Photo Framework API

Innovations

  • First library to enable use of common code and functionality with disparate service providers.
  • Simultaneous classed data and string handling (suitable for AJAX-type web server deployment scenarios as well as desktop).
  • Was deployed on a Flex server platform, and in a .NET desktop application.

Features

  • Standardised functionality: list/make albums, list/download/upload media.
  • Initially available with modules for Webshots, Flickr, and Yahoo! Photos.
  • Session saving (service dependant).

Links

2006 — Conception, Server, PhotoSummary ↙︎
Details, 0 images

‘Lumiere’ Business Plan for Verse

Research and model a plan to further the development of PictureSync and aligned webapp projects.
Function
Photo

Links

2005 — Conception, Miscellaneous, PhotoSummary ↙︎
Details, 10 images

MediaSleeve API for Verse

Define a specification by which online content providers such as radio streams, may provide metadata (e.g. album covers, song details) to client applications.
Function
API

Links

2005 — Conception, Server, APISummary ↙︎
Details, 0 images

MediaSock Protocol for Verse

Lightweight service discovery protocol and web-service API to facilitate handling a user's media assets.
Function
API Photo

Innovations

  • clients can utilise service discovery not only check with a low cost (i.e. via HTTP HEAD) if a provider supports the protcol, but also what methods and characteristics are supported by that provider (interoperability between clients and servers is notably not guaranteed by the protocol)
  • designed from the outset for easy implementation by service providers; could be implemented simply atop existing page forms, using existing cookies for authentication and utilising other common API methods instead of requiring new implementations

Features

  • choice of implementation models for service providers
  • fixed-string XML and values allow parsing of responses without requiring a heavyweight XML parser

Links

2005 — Conception, Server, APISummary ↙︎
Details, 0 images

Folio Concept for Verse

Product concept, branding and website for professionally-oriented photo portfolio service.

Innovations

  • SaaS with SSL on MivaScript
  • Flexible CSS boxes with custom edge and corner frames
  • Research on hosting latencies for optimal single-location US deployment across metro areas

Features

2005 — Design, Web, PhotoSummary ↙︎
Details, 1 images

PictureSync Mac Application for Verse

Batch upload annotated images to web services
Function
Photo Video API

Innovations

  • Optimised service addition and sign-in UI, including transparent post web authentication token retrieval (e.g. OAuth) using a simple 'becomes frontmost' check
  • First application to upload both image data and annotations
  • First application to interface between both multiple applications and multiple web services
  • Comprehensive abstractions for web service behaviours with modular service plugin architecture including per-plugin version checking
  • Co-branded builds with default sign-in prompts for service providers using an automated build system, and with provider-specific statistics (via a private website login)
  • Only application to be able to upload images and then later sync the annotations (e.g. via Flick API)
  • Only application to employ database-free metadata via file system extended attributes (i.e. for service upload IDs)
  • Transparent licence activation after purchase on website

Features

  • Integral image and metadata manipulation functions
  • Support for multiple disparate web-service APIs for uploads with an aggregate progress UI
  • Interfaces with the file system and external applications to collect data, including support for standards-based emebedded IPTC/XMP and XMP sidecar files for annotations
  • Fullscreen view

Links

2004 — Conception, Desktop, PhotoSummary ↙︎
Details, 19 images

OnDeck Mac Application for Verse

View iTunes track artwork and upload to a website
Function
Music Photo

Innovations

  • First and only application to avoid polling iTunes every second or so, and instead more efficiently poll by simply calculating when the track ends, thus avoiding undue CPU load
  • Use of variables for configuring metadata preferences
  • Creation of JPEG artwork from iTunes PICT wrapper
  • First application to provide artwork upload

Features

  • Locates artwork from disk, or extracts from iTunes
  • Integrated Last.fm scrobbling

Links

2003 — Conception, Desktop, MusicSummary ↙︎
Details, 2 images