Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Web Development Project Estimator

Category: Showcase

Matt Everson built a simple little micro app for project estimation: Web Development Project Estimator:

Although most web designers have an idea of how long a project will take based on their past experience, far too often this guess becomes a final estimate. If you’ve ever been 300+ hours into a project that’s paying you for 100, I’m sure you know first hand why this can be a serious problem for a business. Up until now, I’ve used an excel spreadsheet to help me estimate accurately. About a month ago though, it occurred to me that I could make this calculator into a sweet little online tool. I figured it can only lead to more accurate estimates, stronger web businesses, and a better valuation of what we do as designers.

Of course, the fun is tracking how close you come to the estimator :)

Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:19 am
13 Comments

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2.6 rating from 43 votes

13 Comments »

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Using Spreadsheets in Google docs offers much more capabilities, e.g. it’s easy to share the estimation.

Comment by Stormbringer — January 13, 2009

Does not work at all with Opera 9.60. Too bad for a tool designed for and by webdevelopers :(

Comment by Remi — January 13, 2009

Does this offer any benefit over a Google Spreadsheet? Specific drawbacks I see:
– There’s no easy way to inspect the formulas.
– There’s no way to share it with anyone (data is stored in browser cookie. fail.)
– There’s no way to customize data and formulas to account for personal business process requirements. E.g. to set up a table of known rates and refer to those.

Comment by broofa — January 13, 2009

I agree this does not offer any benefit over a spreadsheet. But there’s a lot of freelance web designers/developers who don’t have an estimating process at all. It was created for them. I could have just distributed my own spreadsheet, but that wouldn’t be much fun.

The Opera issue will certainly be fixed at some point. Sorry ’bout that.

Comment by astuteo — January 13, 2009

How about it is just simply easy to use. Reason enough for me to use it.

Comment by sds — January 13, 2009

Congrats, a reinvent of a 5 “minute-to-create” spreedsheet, how impressive… ;)
Slow day on the news Dion…?

Comment by ThomasHansen — January 13, 2009

Ever heard of a spreadsheet?

Remind me not to hire you, or you might charge me for your time goofing off :)

Comment by SteveTheKiwi — January 13, 2009

Hmmm, an ajax site and you guys are chiding him for NOT using a spreadsheet. Shame on you all. I’d use it as well.

Comment by rXc3NtR1c — January 13, 2009

I find this useful, systematic and time saver… Nice one… thanks

Comment by businesscards — January 13, 2009

@Remi
Just blew the dust off of my Opera install and upgraded to 9.63. It works just fine.

@ThomasHansen
Proving once again that there is no idea beneath your ridicule. Stay classy dude.

@SteveTheKiwi
Ever hear of toolsets designed for beginners or those taking a first step toward practiced time management?

I think this is a cool little app – love the inline editing. It’s quick, clean and easy and with a few improvements, could serve a lot of people well. Good work.

Comment by jdenton — January 13, 2009

@jdenton
My point was that I think there are probably more important things to write about, don’t you think so…?

Comment by ThomasHansen — January 14, 2009

jdenton : wierd bug => sometimes, it works (progressive enhancements are done) and sometimes not : I still have all the text inputs, the default button at the bottom and no JS is working. Using Opera Error Console (I should use DragonFly to confirm), I cannot see any error.
I’m using Opera 9.60 under RHEL5. When I got time, I will upgrade to 9.63 to check if it solve the issue.

Comment by Remi — January 14, 2009

I think it’s a great little tool! Not everything has to reinvent the world. Every tool has a purpose, not every tool solves every problem for every person. Great job on this one man!

Comment by slajax — January 16, 2009

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