This project has turned into a somewhat of a diary of my progress of trying to start a studio with some orange juice and some celery. It wasn't my intention to use this page for that but it happened and I might try and stick with it.
After years of not developing my own products I got tired of seeing ideas from years past getting traction in the market and getting acquired or popular. I'm clearly not alone here, everyone has all the same ideas (as many social psychologists have documented). Anyway I decided it was time to follow some of my hunches.
Several products were in development at this time so they needed somewhere to live. A home. A website. Creating the runway before the plane is ready as it were.
Branding has always been a problem for me. I'm not good at logos, I know this. I started with some hand drawn type. I nearly always lean into hand drawn type and then always pull away as I can't replicate what's in my head. It also always causes so many scaling problems with other uses - print, accessories etc later down the line as well. So I abandoned it.
The website was a Squarespace one (like this one) only this time using the Aviator template which scales up well even having a mode called poster that I launched with.
I wanted something very easy going and perhaps organic for a background so I walked into my yard, snapped this and it worked pretty well.
I'll update this as the site and in theory the company, as it makes progress.
I'm in a very very basic Alpha as of 12th July with the first product which is called Little Voices (at the moment). Clearly the structure of the website will change once there is some product information available.
18th July - Little Voices
Moving quite quickly now. Everything is designed aside from the branding which has a place holder, and simply needs finessing. Code complete in maybe 2-3 days. Some window dressing such as loading animations and home load screen still need animations completing and the sound work isn't recorded yet. Still hoping for a complete Beta by August.
25th July - Updates
So that site design lasted about 10 days before I decided I didn't like it. I think this new one is better. A one page site. Good for small agencies.
Not much there yet. Hopefully some Little Voices action soon to occur. Little Voices had a big new update. Nearly all done. Requested some new custom stuff which might slow things down but will be nice. Even came up with a navigation idea I'v not seen in the wild before. Starting to think about Angel Funding for Coleman, which is most likely the second little fella to emerge. Must remember to tweet more as a company! Need to work on the updating the icons which really didn't make me happy enough.
30th July - Little Voices Update
The new design is live. It looks nice now. Some delicate tweaks still needed, but it's getting close... Need to add a couple of small functions and it'll be ready for Beta users...
1st August - Site update
I find it very hard to please myself. I updated the site again. I felt there was too much noise there for so little action. So back to the point where it's just a holding page.
8th August - cleaned up the home page and updated
I also added a email subscriptions button in the footer. I have no idea how to run that with mailchimp but it can't be hard. God knows I've written enough newsletters in my days. Two subscribers so far! That might change when I add the URL as a company on Linkedin. There's no hurry to do that though.
11th August - It begins
This is the first proper day doing this where I'm not employed by anyone else. It's very quiet at home. Finished updating all the assets for Little Voices. I'm convinced Twitter won't like it and while I can't find precise elements that break the Ts and Cs, I bet there are some. I will investigate it further. I finished an animation for the loading screen today, which hopefully will make todays build. Coleman has technically begun. Investigating APIs and what data I can push together to create a bigger win. Almost have the seeds.
11th August - more builds
More builds today for Little Voices. Closer and closer.
21st August - phew
Things are getting busy. Little Voices continues to linger, still not quite ready for Beta. Development delays more than on my side. They are busy, it's ok. Meanwhile Coleman has exploded into action and looks more and more promising each day. I hope to have a set of wires that we're happy with in a week. Hopeful, but realistic. The game which may or may be called PJ is now really also staring to take shape. I hope to also have a set of rules for this in a week. Picking up pace. I've also started playing with a health mgmt idea but that's still only in the sketch book.
I now hate this site again. The impending launch of Little Voices (which may or may not be called that) is annoying me now. The need for a launch strategy is getting in the way of other things. Sigh. Work is proceeding well on Alberson now. About to begin design. Coleman has slowed but I did have two great ideas the other night which tied some loose ends together.
Working on products in other places it was always the vision you were chasing as the designer, but while that vision was something you helped forge it wasn't purely on your shoulders. The ownership perhaps obviously is a very big deal.
So obviously I changed the site again. This is very nice and simple. A name and a twitter icon (for updates). The 'i' button just displays a basic 1 paragraph description. This will do for another month at least!
Sometimes this whole endeavor seems too hard. But then you see a weak product like the Narrative clip camera get an $8M investment. And it's awful. And then I read about Cord, an application by Ex Google kids that lets you send audio messages to friends. I wrote this up as an idea 6 months ago. If I'd had some resources, I might well have tried to make it. It's very simple. Anyway, it's moments like that, that are pushing me forwards.
I made a VERY simple website for Little Voices: http://www.littlevoicesapp.com
And yes, I'm using my same out of focus image from the Sunday Hunches site. Which is bad but there are no inbound links to S.H. yet. I'll need to connect these two sites very soon. I'm almost certain that LV will be ready (in Beta) next week. Slightly (annoyingly) out of my hands. I've been using it as my Twitter application for ages now.
Coleman is making very slow progress. Alberson / Print Job is going well and I hope to have some visuals in the next few weeks.
Yes, I know, it's almost inconceivable that I did this again. But I did. Half the problem of having such rapid and easy tools is that lees consideration goes in up front. This site needs to be very simple for a while yet. Having a tone of voice or branding might do me harm until things are shaped.
Obviously it has been ages since I changed the design. I'm starting to have branding ideas, so I'm testing some things. Little Voices is in Beta now. Finally.
So, it's changed again. The only thing I'm sure of is that I don't know what I'm sure of. I was convinced that I wanted to start an incubator and now I see that for it is and for what they are and I understand that this is probably the wrong path to take. What most incubators now represent is the blind gold rush and I feel as if that's really just a little bit disgusting. As if the incubators that exist now, are not about design but about greed, money and power. Three things that design is not really concerned with at all. Being that I am interested in Design, I feel I might have been leading myself astray. So Sunday Hunches is a studio and a mentality. I think perhaps I need to write that mentality down, which is what I plan to do next.
This is the new first post.