PROJECT BRIEF: An online app where users submitted their sins, with the best ones anonymously tweeted out, all in preparation for Yom Kippur.
Role: Project Manager
Developing the Idea
I made the first mock up based on needing to include the following items in the project:
An online quiz that could create a heat map of how people misbehave based on geography.
Teach people the biblical origin story of the scapegoat.
Teach about the Hebrew month of Elul.
Teach a little on the Jewish value of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur.
Get their zip code, age, marital status, and religious level.
I thought it was a real stupid project, with impossible specs, but I took it as a challenge.
Here was my very first mock up of the idea. That classic initial “are we thinking the same thing?” quickie pass.
In the next pass, I made minor improvements on everything, while incorporating a lot of notes.
I started categorizing and tightening the design because it was feeling too long and boring.
These next two passes were based on a request to make it more “dynamic, less of a simple quiz,” thinking that might fix the underlying problem.
More dynamic, but still keeping a poor core idea.
Made main character a goat, simplifying the concept further.
Finally, we landed on the winning idea by drastically simplifying.
We got rid of the heat map and decided the only question that mattered was the fill in the blank. Forget the multiple choice Q’s.
We’d then tweet out some of the best confessions.
Additionally, I moved the data entry as a way to progress to the subsequent screens. It all worked together now.
Scouting Talent & Managing the Production
After looking through many potential designers online, I found the designer, Madelyn, at a figure drawing session, of all places. She was sitting next to me and asked me to check out her site. I absolutely loved her work.
After a little more tweaking of the idea, I brought on Madelyn to actually design it.
I found the programmer, Pavel, through more traditional means online. He did a write up of his own experience here.
Through hundreds of emails, it was great taking on the managing a web app, a challenge from my usual role as video director.
It was a huge success, with tens of thousands of submissions, over fifty articles on it and many sermons written about it.
So we did it again the next year, but bigger and better. You can see the finished designs to the left.
Here’s the website.
Beyond that, we made it customizable so people could make it unique to their community.
Around a hundred organizations got on board and had their community submit, which also meant there was a completely redone, far more involved backend.
There was a curriculum guide to go along with it and all that jazz.
It was far more ambitious than the first year, but that’s a story for another time.