FocalPoint is John Pitchers' personal project. Having built a few projects that required mapping functionality, John saw the Joomla community was missing a comprehensive mapping component. Developed over the course of about 18 months and released in April 2014, FocalPoint has been downloaded by the Joomla community over 5000 times in 12 months.

Functional Requirements

  • The ability to place potentially hundreds of markers on a single map.
  • Locations can be categorised into types. Like, restaurants, churches, camping spots, beaches, etc. and allocated to different legends.
  • A sidebar containing clickable legends where groups of markers can be toggled on and off.
  • Each marker to have an information popup when clicked.
  • A dedicated page for each location.
  • The ability to extend the content of each location with custom fields.

The Design

Following the established convention for promotional product or app websites a single page site was determined to be the best design path. Interest is piqued at the top of the page with headlines describing FocalPoint as "A unique and comprehensive mapping solution for Joomla" and "More than just a map". As the user scrolls down the page, features and benefits are introduced, a video is offered showing how easy it is to publish a map and finally calls to action are presented at the bottom of the page.

The Development

FocalPoint is a complete mapping component and also includes several plugins to extend the mapping functionality. In total it took about 18 month to build before being published and several updates have since been released offering more features and some bug fixes. About half way through development, it was decided that the administration area was too complicated and could actually be simplified. It was scrapped and backend development restarted. Now, maps, locations, tabs, location types, legends and custom fields can all be managed via just 4 screens. On top of that, it includes an instructional walk-through when first installed to help users get their first map published.

The Outcome

FocalPoint has been downloaded over 5000 times in 12 months and has a review score of 5 out of 5 on the Joomla Extension Directoy. It has proven so easy to use that it doesn't require any documentation.

Seen enough...?


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