Product improvements from our toilet-paper tracking experiment

Chang Xiao
Apr 29 · 2 min read

A few weeks ago we hacked together a quick solution to our product, Trakr to track toilet paper inventory from the local grocery store website.

Based on that blog post, we were able to implement many new features and improvements to our product.

Text monitoring

One of the big new features is text monitoring. We realize that visual testing notification might not be as reliable as simply checking for specific texts on the page such as “Add to cart”, or “Out of stock”.

Granular scheduling interval

It is not useful if we can only monitor online inventory on a daily basis. In our proof-of-concept, we added the additional granularity of hour and minute. This, in theory, gave us the ability to check on things in a very short interval. However, it also creates the potential for abuse. After testing our infrastructure and balancing the needs vs. potential abuse, we are introducing hourly scheduling in addition to the default daily scheduled run.

User login support for scheduling

We hacked our way around the local grocery store by supplying the zip code as “user login” information. This turned out to be something useful for other projects that involve user authentication. Don’t worry, your password is encrypted in our database as well as via SSL.

It is always cool to see that proofs-of-concept and experiments being incorporated into our product, especially at extraordinary times. What do you think was the best improvements from this?

As always, if you haven’t, get started with Trakr for free!


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