in Startup Explorations

Startup explorations #12 / Starting wireframing

It has been a month since I began this exploration—I had no idea where it would go, or where I even wanted it to go, but now it looks like something is just beginning to take shape. I have been finding myself with less and less to write here as my work shifts away from thinking, daydreaming, and thinking some more, and I actually begin to get my hands dirty and create a wireframe. The idea remains that which I described a few posts ago: a tool to help creators build an audience or community.

I’ve drawn it as a mobile app for now, as a small screen proves to be a useful constraint. To my mind, the heart of the application consists of two main screens: a list of people to check out, drawn from some API based on some yet-to-be-designed algorithm, and a list of conversations to participate in. From here, you might check out any of these people, follow them, comment on their posts, and with luck you’ll get a follow-back. Here’s a rough idea of what these two screens might look like:

This is a no-brainer, if the product is ultimately about bringing you people with whom you might likely form good connections. But it’s no magic bullet: building a community or following takes actual work that not even the best app can do for anybody. No doubt approaching the whole enterprise with some kind of deliberate plan or strategy appeals not to everybody—certainly only a number of the initial ten artistic types I talked to. But a good app would make it just a little easier for anyone to get started, and continually encourage its users to keep at it until they see results.

Fitness apps prove to be a good source of inspiration as I work on this problem. These apps might give notifications and reminders; they might have ways to let users keep track of their progress—charts, calendars, etc. I’m working on incorporating such a system of progress reports, reminders, and notifications into the app’s flow so as to make it all just a bit more of a pleasant experience. Hopefully at the end of it we’ll have something helpful, nice to look at, and fun to use.

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