Sencha Touch Spotlight: CarSense Mobile InventoryCarSense is one of the Northeast’s leading used car brands, and Nimblelight is a small web development and consulting firm in Philadelphia. The work we do for CarSense has helped expand their storefront to the web and cultivate strong relationships with their online audience.
We recently built a mobile version of CarSense’s extensive online vehicle inventory that enables carsense.com visitors to browse over 1,300 low-mileage used cars on their Apple iOS or Google Android touch device. With an array of search and sort options at their fingertips, visitors can get details on vehicles they like, scroll through car photos, schedule a test drive, send an inquiry, obtain a vehicle history report, and get directions to a CarSense location—all from their phone.
“Other frameworks offered similar solutions, but none that performed as well as Sencha Touch.”
Why We Chose Sencha TouchCarSense’s slogan is “One Less Thing in Life to Negotiate” and it informs all aspects of their no-haggle, no-pressure sales process. So our first priority was to build something very easy to use and, more importantly, easy to find. The fact that Sencha Touch gave us the ability to bypass the app store and still recreate the experience of a native app made it a very attractive solution. Digging deeper, we were impressed that Sencha had solved the “position: fixed;” problem so smoothly and were able to implement a silky-smooth page scroller. Also, CarSense has a large vehicle inventory, and Sencha’s fixed toolbars and menus provided us with a way for users to navigate extensive search results quickly and easily. Other frameworks offered similar solutions, but none that performed as well as Sencha Touch. We knew we’d never be able to replicate the behavior of a native touch application using mouse events, so it really came down to the framework that offered the best native touch events. Sencha Touch expanded and enhanced the basic touch events offered by Mobile WebKit, adding touch events like pinch, swipe, tap and tapcancel. Once again, though other frameworks offered similar shortcuts, none were as smooth and well implemented as Sencha Touch.
Our developers have a strong jQuery background, so the ability to select HTML elements and add event listeners with the Sencha Touch framework was a great advantage for us in terms of familiarity. This ability became particularly helpful when we needed to add button behavior in an Xtemplate’s markup. We were able to keep the number of templates to a minimum by adding event listeners to HTML elements in the markup. By using SASS to theme the CarSense app, we shaved several hours — maybe even days — off our design and development time. Plus, since some of the components of the app required a fair amount of HTML, XTemplates was also a great time-saving feature. Since we started using Sencha Touch, the API documentation has gotten better and better. Any developers just starting out with Sencha Touch should dive into the documentation; it’s a great resource.
“We were impressed that Sencha had solved the ‘position: fixed;’ problem ... and were able to implement a silky-smooth page scroller.”