411, 2015

Oct 2015 update

Here’s some latest screenshots as we work to bring our ideas platform to the world!

Manage your ideas

Make comments about ideas

Manage the ideas you've loved

We feel like we’re in the ‘home stretch’, and are aiming for a limited beta before the end of the year.

Watch this space!

3009, 2015

Sep 2015 Update

Work has been progressing on the DVP ideas app and platform. We’ve implemented a design across all screens for the app now, and have been fixing UI quirks.

Our back end platform is a renewed focus as we build out our API’s and ideas management system.

Watch this space!

107, 2015

July 2015 update

There’s a ton of great stuff going on behind the scenes at DVP HQ, as we work to bring you our forthcoming ideas platform – provisionally entitled the Da Vinci Project.

We’ve secured a new domain name, which we think will be the new name of the platform and app. (It probably won’t be called the Da Vinci Project.)

We’ve had a steady stream of people signing up, who are finding us serendipitously on the web, and some really encouraging comments.  We’re extremely grateful for every single positive message, and its highly motivating to know we’ve found others who share the same feelings as us.

Over the past month we’ve implemented our chosen ‘hexagons’ design within the app itself. Here’s a picture of the app in action.

dvp-beta-screen

 

The app is working for voting, sharing and storing ideas, and we’re currently working on comments and messaging. We have designs for the other screens of the app, and these will be our next focus.

Don’t forget to sign up if you haven’t already. You’ll be the first to know when we launch, and we’ll notify you of any new blog posts too, starting with the next post.

 

 

 

2005, 2015

We have a winner!

Over the past month, our dev and graphics teams have been working in parallel to develop the first version of our forthcoming ideas app and platform.

Following more than 200 design iterations, we initially narrowed the graphic design of our app down to 4 contenders.

 

“Triangles”

A triangular based design that draws you in to the idea in the middle.

triangles

 

“Jaggedy Robot Smile”

We made some robot designs early on. This was an effort to bring some of that feel into our current design. It didn’t work out so well.

robot-smile

 

“Circles”

This design proved very popular, and prompted a spirited thread on Facebook. Friends likened it to a ‘sunrise’, others wondered whether it appealed more to women (the data was inconclusive), others said it felt ‘free’, ‘natural’ and ‘smooth’.

Contender_20D

 

“Hexagons”

A re-work of an earlier design that was very popular internally, we improved the ‘coin’ at the top and the colour scheme.  This one also prompted chat on Facebook. One friend likened it to a bee hive. On Facebook at least, it got exactly the same votes as the Circles design above.

Contender_20E

 

A month ago we had realized we needed a wider circle of input to our design process, beyond staff and friends. We were coming up with so many designs that we liked, that we needed some external opinion!

We went looking for a service where you could get feedback from real people on graphic designs. Amazingly we found not only the perfect service, but one that had many traits in common with our own.

Usability Hub lets you request people to vote on your designs. You can have up to 100 people vote on a preference between two designs, and there are other design related tests you can do too, like… what do people click on?

Here’s our admin and voting page on Usability Hub, showing 4 tests that we ran over the course of the past month.

 

Admin Page – Usability Hub

usability-hub

 

Voting Page – Usability Hub

usability-hub-voting-page

Curiously (and somewhat bizarrely) Usability Hub has many striking similarities to our own service, in terms of how it gets people to vote on things. Results come in quickly, and you can earn credits by voting so you don’t have to pay if you’re an active voter. These are all features in our planned ideas voting app, and it made us realize we’re on the right track. Companies like Mixcloud, eBay and Zendesk all use Usability Hub.

We ran the test you can see in the image above, as our final test to determine which design to use. Amazingly, the result was a completely split vote. If we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes we wouldn’t have believed it, but (at the time of writing) it is 54 votes to 54.

This wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for in terms of giving us clear direction, particularly since our friends had been split on Facebook too, so we elected for an internal vote to decide things.

Here are some colour variations of the chosen Hexagon design…

yellow-hexagons

red-hexagons

green-hexagons

Hexagon Design

We need to try more colour combinations.

Our graphics team’s next task is to take this design and try it out on other screens of the app and see how it might look on our website too. We elected to design the most used screen first -the voting screen – and then iterate out to the other screens after.

Our dev team can now begin implementing the Hexagon design on our ‘wireframe’ app, starting with the voting screen. Around half of the functionality for version 1 of the app is now complete, and we’ve built a web interface too.

There’s a great deal to be done still, but a really positive sign for us internally has been how staff are using it to regularly record and share their ideas, not because they work for us, but because they want to.

That’s a really GOOD sign

 

904, 2015

Latest graphic designs!

Here’s a few more design ideas from the labs…

02_Da-Vinci_Patents_iphone-Type

Iduoso_App-01

Smashing_Appb-02

Smashing_Factory-03

01-04_Smashing_Voting_Screen

Smashing_Vote-Screen-12

As ideas people ourselves we’re perhaps trying too many ideas… but we’re getting closer!

Watch this space…

1403, 2015

Welcome to our first users!

Sometime in the coming days we will ‘flick a switch’ and temporarily shine a billboard on our site to the world.

It will be a first small test… and if you happen to be among our first wave of intrepid explorers, who for some reason have got this far… the blog!… well, then we welcome you very much indeed.

We’re on a serious mission, and it’s been a ridiculously long time coming. Our mission is the promotion of ideas as something of great value, and to create the ultimate platform for sharing and developing great ideas.

We’ve got a ton of really cool stuff coming very soon, so forgive our ‘under development’ WordPress look. A new look and feel is in the making, our ideas app is in full, active development, and we can’t wait to share with you what we’re working away on in the lab.

There is a ton of information in our Q&A, and not so many blog posts so far, that you could easily read all of them in one sitting.

Assuming you like what you see… the most important thing to do is Sign Up! As one of our first group of intrepid explorers, you’ll earn a very special place in our community, and a super cool and funky low membership number.

No social media accounts yet, for those wondering… We’re doing this old school… for now!

2502, 2015

Graphic design ideas take shape… but what name?!

We’re working with the talented chaps at FruitMachine Design in London, to come up with an awesome design for the Da Vinci Project.

Although we’re working on the mobile app first, we’ve decided to work on the design for the project’s homepage first. Perhaps a little counter-intuitive.. we find its easier to try out ideas on a larger ‘canvas’, and then adapt these ideas to the mobile app, rather than the other way round.

One of the challenges we face is that the project doesn’t yet have an official name! The Da Vinci Project is a code name. So we’re trying variations, to see what we like!

Here are the first 3 concepts for the design of the homepage… there’s more to come!

IDEAFLY_Characters_01 (1)

IDEAFLY_Photographic_01

IDEAFLY_Patents_01

 

 

501, 2015

Wireframes done – Mobile app in development

A new year and we’re off and running with development of DVP!

Our team of 8, working in 4 countries, have begun work on the DVP mobile app. We’ve decided to build a mobile app first as we think it’ll work best for browsing and voting on ideas.

We started with some mockups in the brilliant (and free) Mocqups

DVP_Mobile_Home_Screen_-_Old (28) 03_Signup_Wizard_Screen_2 (18)

DVP_Mobile_Sent_Screen (12)

DVP_Mobile_Home_B (2)

At this stage these aren’t even close to the actual designs – and are just slightly spruced up ‘wireframes’. These are good enough for the developers to begin coding the screens however.

Our first goal with development is to build an elegant login and registration system. Not the most fun part… but essential!

1212, 2014

The problems with Crowdfunding in 2015

Crowdfunding is officially huge, and it’s only just getting started. The astonishing success of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and dozens of other crowdfunding sites, have brought opportunities to small teams, in a way that few could have predicted just 5 years ago. People have raised millions of dollars for their projects, with little more than a video, a prototype, and an idea.

But the success of crowd funding platforms mean the competition for projects is fierce.  How can you rise above the noise of 10,000 other projects, which are all now vying for the same audience?

The problem with crowdfunding, as we head into 2015, is that it is now a hugely competitive affair. It’s essentially becoming a commercial undertaking to get a project funded. The days of posting a few artist concepts and copy on a crowd funding platform, and waiting for the money to roll in, are gone. You need to market your page, advertise it, and get a head of steam going. Unless you have a very large existing audience to market to, or are given substantial editorial coverage, you are probably going to have to spend substantial amounts of money to promote your campaign.

One rule of thumb is that you need to spend 10% of the amount you hope to raise on a crowdfunding campaign, on the campaign itself. So if you’re thinking you’ll raise half a million on Kickstarter with just your idea and an SLR, you’ll probably come away disappointed. You’ll need to spend upwards of $50,000 first.

If you have that kind of money, you’re in good shape. You can spend $10k on a snazzy video, and a bunch on Facebook ads, press releases and social media campaigns. You’ll likely succeed if it’s a reasonably good idea.

But for lesser mortals, who don’t have that kind of cash sitting around, it’s a significant problem. The professionalisation of crowdfunding campaigns, presents real challenges for a significant number of people.

Here at the Da Vinci Project, we want to change all that. We are creating a platform that will allow anyone with an idea, to progress their idea to the next level, without spending any money.

We are building a groundbreaking and intelligent ideas platform, 22 years in the making, that will for the first time allow people to test out almost any idea on the public, as easily as posting a tweet. If you participate in the community by voting on other people’s ideas, you will earn credits allowing you to post our own ideas. You’ll be able to evaluate an idea based on hundreds of real people’s feedback, and refine an idea to make it better (and more appealing), while building an initial fan base for your idea.

Read more on how we will help people with ideas

1112, 2014

Implementation is a ‘Detail’

For years people have said ideas have no value, “it’s the implementation that counts”. We couldn’t disagree more.

There’s a strong argument that a good idea should be readily implementable by any competent group or organization. Indeed, the book has been written on implementation, more than 25,000 times.

In this day and age, if you have an idea for a mobile app, a new gadget, or a website, there are established best practices for how to build it. There’s also a million service companies willing to build it for you. Long gone are the days where you need to produce the tools or product yourself. In fact, all you really need is a prototype to put up on Kickstarter or Indiegogo (and a really good video to go with it). If it’s a good idea, people will flood your idea with cash, before you need to produce… anything. Well that’s the theory.

So it all comes back to the idea itself… Is it a good idea in the first place? Will people buy it? Does it make sense to proceed?

It’s precisely these questions that we will answer for people with the Da Vinci Project, and our forthcoming ideas platform.

You can sign up here for when it launches.