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Time Zone Support and A+ Sellers

Since the last post, most of the updates to BoxCycle have been small usability improvements and internal process improvements.  The most interesting customer facing feature we’ve added is A+ Sellers.  I have a well-developed idea of a rating system BoxCycle will use in the future to relay seller performance to buyers, giving them additional information relevant during order placement.  However, I realized that this system, although important, is probably not the highest priority.

At this time, we can achieve much of the benefit by simply adding a designation for our best sellers – this is exactly what A+ accomplishes.  It highlights sellers who’ve processed many orders reliably, confirmed appointments quickly, and otherwise dealt with customers in an exemplary manner.  The designation should go a long way in telling customers concerned with uncertainty who their best bet is and, as a result, rewarding high seller performance.

Time Zone Support

I am very excited about the update released today.  BoxCycle now has full time zone support.  To end users used to dealing with a single time zone this may seem like a non-event.  Programmers who’ve never dealt with time zones may think it’s trivial.  But time zones are more difficult to deal with than it first appears and have a been a constant barrier, requiring ugly workarounds that never fully solve the problem.

The scary part about this change is that it’s so all-encompassing.  Although visually you’ll see only minor changes, nearly every section of our site might be impacted and every date in our database had to be updated.  I don’t doubt we’ll run into issues, but this was a required step in the site’s development and I am very happy to have the bulk of the work behind us.  A number of annoying, odd behaviors regarding time were immediately eliminated and several exciting features on the roadmap are now a big step closer to reality.  Woohoo!

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