So… Exploring my three words (Spoon, Intestines, Wean) led me to a website concept about drugs where users would have to explore each page thoroughly to advance to the next page. The puzzles and information would be closely intertwined so that a user ‘playing’ the scavenger hunt would have to assimilate the information presented on each page.
Inspiration for the puzzles came ‘fleetingly’ last Sunday when I was running outside. I was so excited I couldn’t get to work early enough. We were having people over for lunch, so I had to wait until Monday.
After work on Monday, I sat down and started coding/ designing my project through the night. I was so excited with the concept and the emerging prototype, and I had high hopes for my vision. The concept was supposed to be mysterious and hard to solve, and those qualities were supposed to create a buzz, a word of mouth pyramid scheme of marketing that would disseminate information about the concept and the puzzles. So I sent out a link to the live prototype to about 20 close friends and family, and I posted the link on the discussion board with no further explanation (on purpose of course, after all the mystique was an integral part of the concept).
Two days later, I have one tester email me back very excited about the concept. That’s it. A few people emailed me back mentioning apologetically that the link I sent them was broken and the discussion thread was mostly silent except for the professor who sort of chewed me up on a broken concept and cliche typography.
Talk about humbling.
I really had to remind myself of what I wrote in another discussion thread about going on after a spectacular failure, i.e one has to show up and do the work, plod on, or just give up.
I explained the concept to some of those testers who thought the link was broken, walking them trough the puzzles. I recorded a video of me navigating the site (the shock when I hear my recorded voice…) and posted it to the forums. I emailed Sharokin defending my concept (a parenthetical big thank you to Sharokin, who was open to my plea and willing to reconsider her verdict. As it stands now, the project ‘has potential’ which is a huge step in the right direction for me. I might avert that nervous breakdown after all).
The whole painful experience snapped me back into reality. I have adjusted my expectations, both of my target audience and of how much ‘kitsch’ in design i can get away with.
The work in progress will be live on www.rachidmrad.com by midnight Superbowl Sunday.
Thank you for reading