After over a year of learning new technologies and writing code, the big site update is finally here!
This update is not an end—it is a new beginning for StudyBass.
What Has Changed?
Don't worry. The lessons and their organization haven't changed. You're still learning music and the bass the StudyBass way.
What I've done is rewrite, redesign and re-code all of the site infrastructure. How drastic the changes you see will depend on what device and features you use. I hope you'll experience significant improvements. Here are some quick highlights:
Layout & Design
First, you'll notice better layouts for mobile and tablet users. This is significant. The old site's mobile experience was very poor. Now you can learn and practice on a tiny screen anywhere. I'm sure I'll be tweaking this based on user feedback. My main intent is few distractions so you can learn.
Better Audio; Better Graphics
The old site had some problems playing audio—especially after a recent iOS update. There were memory issues with having many fretboards on the same page. There were flats and sharps not visible on some of the fretboard notes. This all just works now.
Lesson, Exercise, Song and Quiz Pages
All of these apps have been redone and work much better now.
User Lesson History
Now you can access your user lesson history from every page. Just click the white box with the orange border in the menu. I still have more navigation and visualization options I want to add.
Marking lessons complete and editing your history is less error-prone now.
You can also quickly jump to the exercise, song and quiz pages from your lesson history.
The fretboard app has been completely rebuilt. There are still some issues, but I think people will be happy with it.
New Metronome App
The new online metronome can give you a simple click if you want. In advanced mode, you can create different time signatures, accent different beats, change sounds, create programs of advancing tempos, and set alert tones. More on this later.
Bass Clef Tutor App
This app is greatly improved—especially on mobile. Learn your bass clef notes!
The My Practice tool for supporters is all new and incorporates many feature requests from users.
New Email System
The old site's email system for registering users, password requests was a mess. I've changed providers and expect it to run much more smoothly.
New Content Delivery Network
You should see graphics, audio and other resources load much faster.
Adding content on the old site was cumbersome. The new site will make adding content much easier for me. And, I can continue to streamline the process with the new system.
There are thousands of other little tweaks and improvements, too.
Why Was the Update Needed?
A major reason for the update was some software used on the old site was reaching end of life. That could cause site problems, introduce security vulnerabilities or even make the site go dark. The new site relieves me of a lot of that pressure. The new system is much easier to maintain.
The amount of time I would spend every day helping users with technological issues, lost emails, etc became too much. I expect issues and to help people, but if I can avoid a lot of it, I can be more productive with the lessons and teaching part of StudyBass.
Most importantly, the new site gives me the flexibility to take it where I've always planned for it to go. The old site really held me back. I have an enormous outline of lessons, curricula and tools planned for the site. So far I've only gotten about 3% of it up!
The first step is to make sure all of the old features and what StudyBassers expect of the site works. It's really impossible for me to test every page on every size device by myself. I think I've done a good job of testing, but I expect a lot of bug reports and problems to fix.
Then, hopefully I can take a day or two off. I don't remember the last one I had. I need some outdoors!
Then, after fixing any major issues with the expected site features, I have some new features to roll out. A lot of these features require creating a lot of content before I release them. They will be a significant improvement to the site.
Then I need to do an audit of all of the existing lessons and make some revisions and update some really old graphics.
After that I will get back to a rhythm of releasing new lessons and adding videos to older lessons, adding and updating gear articles, and developing more apps for the site.
I hope you're as excited as I am about this new beginning for StudyBass!
Love & music,