AySites started out as a germ of an idea gather from a few thoughts and asides. I (Explosion Pills) was very impressed with Google Chrome's new tab page. It is nice to be able to see thumbnails of sites you visit and get to them quickly. Opera does something similar, and Firefox 12 is also moving in this direction.
However, it wasn't enough. Chrome's new tab page simply did not offer the customization I wanted. You could remove sites, but there was no simple way to add them, organize them, or move them. Also, as a web developer, I switch browsers all the time, and I use separate browsers depending upon where I am (work, home, out).
I dreamed up AySites after another developer talked to me about a webpage he had that essentially was a list of links he wanted to keep track of. This idea, combined with inspiration from Chrome's new tab page, led to the creation of AySites.
Actually, the site was originally bmngr, but I felt the name was not exciting and difficult to understand. I also thought that the term "bookmarks" was somewhat antiquated, but apparently it isn't. It seems to be preferred over "favorites" as well. My preferred term is "sites." You should be able to keep track of all the sites you want and use -- not just ones you want to remember for later.
AySites is not a full time job for me. I created it, maintain and develop it, market it, and maintain it entirely in my spare time.
The original design was a mess. I spent a lot of time on the application without caring about the design of the home pages. After a lot of feedback about this (and a lot of failures of people to sign in), I spent a about a day researching and designing new home pages and implemented them. With no experience for design and no eye for it, I looked to Twitter for inspiration. I modeled my home page after Twitters and many other similar sites. A brief sample of the utility (which many sites do not offer, mind you) is on the left half. Your eye is drawn to the high-contrast sign-in box on the right side, and the first input of the form is focused. Another high-contrast bar at the top marks the site and allows for a quick sign in. A short mantra of the sites purpose serves as a title block. Ancillary links lie at the bottom looking nondescript.
Once I felt AySites was ready, I released it to the world (in that I told people about it, put it on various sites, and set up those social media accounts we all love so much). No one cared. This was before I had created the new design.
I got some sympathy sign ups from friends and family, but the utility was not being used by anyone but me. This meant two things to me:
My frustration still stands at this point. I'll continue to work on delivering a fast, fun, high-quality app that improves the browsing experience of all users.