We've submitted to Kickstarter!

The Kanjilicious idea is almost in the wild. I’ve submitted our Kickstarter page to the Kickstarter powers that be, and it’s currently under review, awaiting approval for launch. I got the final version of the video from my videographer Andy Bang on Friday, and cleaned up the copy on the page while it uploaded. Around 10 PM Friday night, after I’m absolutely certain every single Kickstarter employee was definitely in bed, I submitted the project for official Kickstarter review. Call it my last big effort of the work week. So, now we wait and see what they say. The “Thank You” page predicted that review would take 2-5 days. Let’s consider today, Monday, to be day one.

It’s been a very interesting journey these past few years, iterating on a small idea, and refining it, workshopping it with cohorts, changing it, building it up to be too complex, and tearing it back down to something manageable. It’s definitely going to continue to evolve, but for the moment, it’s time to bring “it” out of the basement and let the idea see the light of day. I think I owe it that.

It’s been a journey so far. Over the last two years, I’ve done at least four full wireframes of the app as it rattled around in my head. The first version was done using Omnigraffle and Apple Keynote. It was crude but logical, but it was mainly to get some ideas down on paper. Looking back on it now, it was naive and confused. But whatever, that what everyone says about v01. The second version was all in Omnigraffle, and it was evolving in concept, but I began to see some of the shortcomings of just working with just 2D visuals. It wasn’t really enough to communicate the full vision of what I had in mind. Paper wires, or even storyboards, are flat and unemotional. What a truly great app does, is move. It’s draws you in with sounds, with gestures, and animations—there should be a flow. What app design requires is the ability to produce something swappable, and touchable, and physically on a device, so you can hold it, and frankly, try and break it. It needs a prototype. Anything less, and you’re missing huge swaths of the experience, and therefore will never quite get the details right prior to production.

So the third and fourth versions of the wires were designed first in Sketch 2, and then again in Sketch 3. Sketch exports screens as 640×1136 PNGs, which flow into a prototyping app. I first tried AppCooker on my iPad, which wasn’t bad. But over time working only on my iPad began to feel much too confined. And having to go back and forth between the iPad and my laptop, to edit PNGs and resave to Dropbox, began to seem like too many extra steps. So, in the most recent version, I have changed to InvisionApp.com, which I have to say, works (mostly) like a charm.

Once I had a prototype that could showcase the two primary elements of the app: the multisided flashcards and the basic one-on-one quiz game, I could then storyboard a script that could go to a videographer to help put together the Kickstarter video. So, without giving too much away, as I went to bed on Friday night, having finalized the video and submitted the page. I could look back at the steps that had led to that point, and see a continuous line through the previous 24 months, and feel like the time had come to promote the idea. I was finally ready for the judgement of strangers. Come what may.

In the next step of the journey, which happens tomorrow night, I am taking the video and the prototype to the Orange County iOS Developers Meet Up and see what they have to say about the idea, and the campaign. Their feedback will probably be the final adjustments before the official launch of everything, once approved. I’ll have to let you know how tomorrow goes next time.

Post by saren

A digital tinkerer since Mosaic.