The Making of Routeshuffle 🚀
A new website for generating random routes for running, walking and biking on the fly, made by a high school runner
Towards the end of last summer, I had thought of an idea for a random route generator. I had run almost everyday that summer and it was hard to pick out which roads and trails I was going to run on. Especially since I had been in LA, San Francisco and Minneapolis, I mostly just ran in blocks around the hotels we stayed at because I didn’t know the cities well.
In a few weeks, I had an idea of what I was going to build. I didn’t really know how to code, besides a basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and JS. Here’s a simple mockup of what I had at first:
Then I started actually building something. Picking out a name was the hard part, I couldn’t pick between Routefit or Routeshuffle. The latter seemed better because it sort of described what the website would do. In early November I had this done:
But then I thought about monetization. How could I make money from this? Ads was an idea. But they’re ugly and I wouldn’t make much. A premium plan sounded better. I was venturing into the server side of things, something I had no clue about. I went with Node JS because I already knew basic JS from building the front end.
I got organized and made a plan about what the premium plan would include. For an extra fee, users could get an account to export routes to services like Google Maps and Komoot, download as GPX and KML files, and schedule reminders to use their routes.
Node was actually simpler than I thought to set everything up. I coded straight into Glitch, an awesome free web editor for Node projects I wish more people knew about. Making a todo list at the end of the day with things to do the next day helped to get back to work when I woke up.
I finished the premium plan ahead of schedule, so I added an extra feature called Infinity. It lets users setup routes to be created and emailed automatically at certain times and days of the week! Without even going to the website, you can be both reminded to run and given a route to use.
Now that Routeshuffle is finally finished, I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks. Try Routeshuffle now for yourself, and let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions!