New Potential Lighterpack Replacement
May 21, 2023 at 7:45 pm #3781581MikeBPL Member
@skinnypeteMay 21, 2023 at 9:19 pm #3781586john mcalpineBPL Member
I just took a quick look. Great stuff! I need to find more time to dig in to what Justin created. I’m looking forward to it.May 22, 2023 at 9:50 am #3781608
A quick review based on my personal experience with this app:
After spending quite some time with this web app I must say that for anyone looking for a desktop web-based application it is quite impressive. IMO a significant upgrade to Lighterpack. PackWizard also includes a Lighterpack data import function. The UI shows a great deal of attention to detail and a focus on workflow. The learning curve is shallow and features are easily discovered and understood. Whomever designed the UI/UX has significant experience doing so…or perhaps is a savant :) I did not find any native printing ability…perhaps printing to paper will be considered archaic by some (most?), but I would encourage that addition. An export to PDF would also be welcome.
The integration with retailer data is clearly how the developer intends to monetize the free application and I find that integration to be mostly unobtrusive. I suspect any experienced backpacker would be unlikely to use such gear suggestions, but I could see some value to someone just entering the sport. A paid option to eliminate this “distraction” could be attractive.
Unfortunately for use on mobile devices I find PackWizard quite lacking. There does not appear to have been any effort to adapt the UI to a smaller screen. The app is somewhat usable on a tablet, although on the iPad it degrades quickly when the left-hand sidebar is displayed, with the entire UI getting smaller and with a strange side-to-side scrolling with large blank sections to the left and right.
On an iPhone I find it completely unusable as the UI suffers the same issues as above and is incredibly tiny as it is simple scaled down to fit. Perhaps addressing display on mobile devices is scheduled for a later update?
As it is, it is quite an impressive effort and most likely will address the needs of those looking for a desktop web app. I’m looking forward to seeing how the developer advances this app.May 22, 2023 at 11:02 pm #3781691MikeBPL Member
It’s basically a beta right now, but for as early as it is, I think it’s going to really take off. He’s planning on making apps also.May 23, 2023 at 5:27 am #3781701
It’s basically a beta right now,
That certainly explains the majority of my criticisms. I wish the developer much success.May 23, 2023 at 8:07 am #3781707
Thanks for the shout out Mike and all the feedback JCH. It’s really neat to hear you talk about the intuitiveness of the site and the UI (for desktop). We still have a long way to go, with a lot of UI cards on the Trello board, but usability has been a primary focus for the site.
Mobile is something that has bumped up as a priority since release and hearing feedback. With 50% of the site visits coming from mobile, we have to shore up the usability on mobile.
Mike is right that this initial launch is kind of a beta but we’re moving quickly. Phase 2 is going to be pretty wild with the features coming down the pipe and the improvements to the database.
We are wide open to feedback, so please share any!May 23, 2023 at 9:59 am #3781714Terran TerranBPL Member
I don’t use the other apps because I have to do so much transcribing, I find a simple notebook much easier.
I’ll compliment you in that PW is much simpler.
I only found my HMG Porter when I entered “Porter” rather than backpack.
I see the product data base as a limiting factor. It seems like an overwhelming project in that regards. Is there a way the community can contribute?
Having multiple gear, I’d also like to be able to organize it into separate kits for different seasons and different trail conditions.
As is, I do believe I may find it a very useful app. Thank you for that.May 23, 2023 at 1:42 pm #3781733Robert SpencerBPL Member
@bspencerLocale: Sierras of CA and deserts of Utah
Justin, well done. Looks to be fun and useful so far. This could be user error…
I narrowed down the tents to a manageable number for review by using the filters, but after clicking on one for more details then going back (using back arrow) the list reverted to original and I had to start over to see the shortened list I was working with.
Haven’t pulled over my list from Lighterpack or created a new one on you site, but one thing I’ve found helpful is to add the year I acquired the item. With constant changes to models, materials and of course, weights over the years, it is nice to have that reference point.May 23, 2023 at 3:55 pm #3781748
Justin H – two suggestions for your consideration…
- A print-optimized version of the pack. No real need for stats, item weights or category totals…just a way to create a compact paper listing of pack contents that can be checked off without an electronic device.
- A way to segregate the gear closet contents into user definable categories…in much the same way user defined pack categories are implemented. Example: One could create an “insulation” category for all warm clothing items…or a “shelter” category to segregate the 14 tents we all own :)
Thanks for listening.May 23, 2023 at 4:49 pm #3781752
Great ideas JCH. The pack checklist feature is on the list. What we are working on is a “convert to checklist” button that turns the pack into a checklist with buttons beside each item. As you check the boxes, the items are striked-through. With the checklist page, you’ll also be able to print or save as pdf.
I’d like to see the gear closet be a full page with a search bar, filter options, and more categories. Being able to create user-defined “bins” might be a way to organize your “closet”.Jul 23, 2023 at 7:59 pm #3785697
We really took the feedback to heart and have incorporated a bunch of the changes:
- Mobile should be in a much better place and getting better by the day.
- There is now a “View as Checklist” option where you can cross things off or print the list/ export as PDF. This feature has already saved me from forgetting things multiple times.
- You can now make packs public, add tags (e.g., trail name, season, activity), and then view/filter/sort/search public packs through the Pack Browser. You can view all of your own or someone else’s public packs on their profile page (e.g., https://www.packwizard.com/user/JustinOutdoors).
- Gear Closet QoL changes (more to come).
Some of the next steps we’re working on:
Jul 23, 2023 at 8:34 pm #3785707Matthew / BPLModerator
- Gear Explore page for quilts and sleeping bags.
- Bigger database for autofill when adding items to your pack.
- More accurate pricing information.
- Fixing inaccurate/missing gear data (so far we have found a handful).
Wow. Finally got around to looking at it and it looks great. Congrats!
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