Mercury Day 0: Ideas, Ideas

I’m going to try something new. Well, not necessarily new to the world but new to me. I’m at a point in my life where I have time to work on a dream project: building an app with some dedicated focus. So I have this idea on how an application like Goodreads might be designed if it were designed this year instead of almost a decade ago, how it might flow if it had more minimal set of features and what if it focused more on content instead of user activity. Plus I have a few different goals in mind.

Apps like Goodreads are social catalogs. Their purpose is to curate a set of content a user is interested in and share it with other users. Goodreads is a classic example of this, Rdio was an example of this concept with music, the exception being users interacted with that content directly in the application.

These apps are interesting to me; they have the power to bring together die hard fans of that content and they cultivate loyal users.

So the question remains, what would this app look like? What would I do differently? How would I go about building it? How could some of my design choices be validated? Thinking through building a brand, a visual design system and front-end architecture are some of my favorite things to do; it’s where I get the most fulfillment from. And on top of that, I think I have time to do this thing properly.

This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to start building this app, let’s call it the Mercury Project for now. I’ll document my progress in intervals that I feel are appropriate and be honest about everything.

I’ll attempt to be:

  • Clear in the assumptions I’m making.
  • Documenting the thinking behind my design choices and decisions.
  • Trying to be as expositional as possible.

Working in the public and showing my work is something I’ve always loved the idea of but never fully cultivated the discipline to do so. But Austin Kleon gives me hope. Let’s see where this goes, other than my intentions, I make no promises.

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