Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Not sure how to say what I am asking for.

Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
1 of 8
What I need is an "estimating tool" that will allow users to input parameters and then return a value based on a formula. The tool is to be used on web sites to help users select the proper amount of materials to complete certain jobs. I would like the code (if that is the correct term) to be such that the tool can be dropped into a web site and will always look and function the same. The style and look of the tool are as important as it's function. What would I ask for in a job description? What skills would be required to create this tool?
Active Member
Exp U Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
2 of 8
As with everything to do with the web, there is a certain amount of "it depends" involved. The uncertainty here is mostly to do with the environment you want your app to work in and relating specifically to Wordpress...hands down the most popular CMS on the web; but it does insist on things being done the Wordpress way. You can have a standalone app; but if you want it to work in Wordpress too then you have to plan it out that way and format it so that it can also be dropped into a Wordpress site as a widget, plugin, or dropped straight into a page (the latter option would probably require disabling some WP security and therefore isn't recommended). The task itself is relatively easy...slap together a list of variables according to a formula is more or less what programming is for. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for every single site on the internet though. There are different OSs; different programming languages etc. For broad appeal, you should probably write the app in PHP with optional MySql if you want to record and track the people using the app. You should consider seriously making it compatible with Wordpress as to not do so would be carving out a large number of potential homes for your app. And then we come to the UI. Specify that you want it to also work on mobiles in the job description. If you have a specific look in mind, then draw that out and include it in the job specs...doesn't matter if it's chicken scratches in MS Paint, just as long as it gets your vision across.
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
3 of 8
Estimating Application needed for Wordpress Site(s) Application should be developed in PHP with MySql features to allow tracking of the people who use the app. Must be formatted to work with existing UI. App must also be responsive for use mobile devices. This application will accept user input and use a formula to calculate materials required for a job. It should be designed so that the input fields and formula are customizable to work with variable inputs and materials. If that sounds right to you, it is hilarious because I don't understand 50% of what I just typed!
Active Member
Exp U Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
4 of 8
Try: [quote]PHP/MySQL estimation calculator to add to both Wordpress and standalone PHP sites.{1} This application will accept user input and use a formula (supplied to the successful candidate) to calculate materials required for a job. It should be designed so that the input fields and formula are customizable to work with variable inputs and materials.{2} Design considerations: > Must be responsive for mobile users. > Should adhere closely to the supplied UI {3); although suggestions for improvement are welcome. > CSS so that end users can adapt the app to their own site. When applying, please use the words "Honey Badger" in the first line of your application {4) [/quote] The numbers in curly brackets are footnotes for you; not part of the description: {1} Gets the skills required and the environment into the title. Saves time. With standalone PHP sites you can just drop PHP directly into the pages; but Wordpress sanitises it's input and won't let you do that because it's less secure. So you're letting applicants know up front that you require both. {2} With materials, you're probably going to have a drop-down list or limit the choices as you're not going to have the relevant numbers for every material known to mankind. {3} UI = User interface. I added the 'suggestions are welcome' part because there is every chance that a programmer is better at designing UIs than you are. You want it your way, obviously, but at the same time you are hiring an expert to -in part- let you know when something isn't going to survive the real world. Some programmers will give you exactly what you ask for, no matter how stupid; but the better ones run it through a common sense filter first. {4} If you include this bit (the choice of words is entirely arbitrary) then you'll be able to tell at a glance if the applicant has read the job description or not. This will save you time if you get hundreds of applicants...copy/paste spam applications will be immediately obvious.
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
5 of 8
Thanks again Darren!
Active Member
Exp U Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
6 of 8
Welcome. The CSS bit, by the way, is Cascading Style Sheet which is a text file describing the colours and layout of your app. Because the colours you choose for yourself are guaranteed to clash with somebody's site the end user can play around with the CSS file and fit it in better with their own site. Of course, if you're designing a full-fat commercial app that you want to sell then you could also include a backend interface that has a colour-picker and a place to add in materials that you haven't included; but that's extra expense and complication.
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
7 of 8
If you haven't done this already, search for similar plugins, widgets or apps that have already been created. I have a feeling they exist, since they would be so useful. Reviewing their capabilities can give you a better idea of what to include in the specs for your custom tool.
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
8 of 8
I feel like I have done my due diligence when it comes to an existing app. There are hundreds of material calculators out there. I have studied how they work and what parts of them are customizable. To my best assessment I would need to use 3 or 4 existing apps in series to get the output I want. What I need will function with if/then formulas. In essence it will be a formula picker. For each answer you input, it will calculate a total and then select the formula to be used for your next input. Lets say we want to get something wet and we are trying to figure out how much liquid we need. First I need to know the Gross Surface Area. L x W = GSA (repeat for each surface to get total gross surface area) Then I need to know what material the surface is made of(variable1) Then calculator looks up the number to plug in based on variable selected. GSA*(Variable1)= Actual Surface Area to get wet. (Rough surfaces have more surface area to get wet than smooth surfaces) Then I need to know what you are using to get the surface wet(variable2) Then calculator looks up the number to plug in based on variable selected. ASA*(variable2)= Gross needs (Different liquids have different wet-abilities) Then I need to know how you are going to apply the liquid (Variable3) (a drive by splashing is more wasteful than using an eye dropper) Then calculator looks up the number to plug in based on variable selected. Gross Needs * (variable3) = actual requirement.
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS