escGoat.jpg

eScapegoat

eScapegoat

 

While I’m proud this trailer I made, the main product I wanted to share is the escGoat.com, which I project managed. Here’s a scroll through of it.

It went on to get tens of thousands of submissions and was written up in dozens of papers. Here it is in the Wall Street Journal.

v07b - WSJ.jpg

Rather than talking about the illustrations or programming, I wanted to step through how we formed the initial idea. I made the quick and dirty mock ups below, trying to arrive at an idea that could work.

It started as a simple online quiz

I made this 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.

The next pass just generally tightened up the concept of this deeply stupid project.

v02b.jpg

It took a lot of passes, tightening the wrong core idea. Here this bad version of the idea looks much better.

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.

v04.gif

Nope. Still not any better.

v05.gif

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.

v06.jpg

After a little more tweaking of the idea, I brought on Madelyn to actually design it. I was lucky enough to meet her at a figure drawing session, of all places.

v07b2.jpg

And it was a success, with over fifty articles and many sermons written about it.

So we did it again the next year, but bigger and better. You can see those finished designs in the video above or at the website - and 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. There was a curriculum guide to go along with it. It was far more ambitious than the first year, but that’s a story for another time. Here are some fun images from that second year.

v09b-backend.jpg
v11 - 10615411_10152687727388688_8691560508877947904_n.jpg
v10 - Media.jpg

You can check out the site at escgoat.com.


Credits:

Programming
Pavel Proger
Prashant Sani

Animator
Andrew Lewitin

Director & Product Manager
Jeremy Shuback

Executive Producer
Sarah Lefton

Illustrator & Designer
Madelyn Lee