@doorsndots: Because Design Matters

After the iOS release of Doors & Dots version 1.0, the easi6 team received some important user feedback.  And, although we knew that it would be time-consuming and costly, we stopped the march onward towards an Android OS release and revisited the Doors & Dots UI.  Luckily, we had our summer design intern, Derek Nguyen, to help us along the way.  Still, however, it was not an easy decision.

So, why did we do it?  Take a look.  The proof is in the pudding.  A strong design speaks for itself, and the right UI can change everything.  Just take a look at the new background for the @doorsndots Twitter account.  Now, I ask you:  Which is more inspiring?  A twitter generic – or worse, plain white – background or our current, stylized background?  Which has more character and makes you want to learn more?

Doors & Dots New Twitter Background

There’s simply no contest, and the tech startup community knows this well.

As the team at GoodUI eloquently puts it:  “A good User Interface has high conversion rates and is easy to use.  In other words, it’s nice to both the business side as well as the people using it.”

Simple and irrefutable.  Actually, we really recommend that you check out their website, with 20 UI design tips to keep in mind while developing your next app.

The necessity of a good UI is not news, though.  Apple has long claimed the high ground in tech ‘design’, and it’s something that they do well.  From the 1990’s to today, Apple still competes on the basis of design, as evidenced by their latest campaign:  Designed by Apple in California.

Check out this recent commercial:

Pretty sweet right?  The power of an expertly-crafted design; it has the ability to change behaviors and, in doing so, change lives.

Speaking of design, interested in getting your very own Doors & Dots desktop background?  Our next press release (set for release later this week and accessible on the Doors & Dots website) will include this wallpaper for free, direct download :)

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“Doors & Dots” – What’s Up With the Name?

So, what’s behind the name “Doors & Dots”?

We’ve had this question come up time and time again, and, with such a unique name, it’s a fair question.  When we were first starting out with the development of Doors & Dots, many of our friends thought that we were working on some sort of ice-cream app, lol.  You know; something like Dippin’ Dots.

Dippin__Dots_Rainbow_Dots_Ice

Or, at least, some sort of app for children.  The name had that fun feeling.^^  However, the name “Doors & Dots” is actually rather intellectual, and our slogan aims to capture the mission behind the app:

From the dots on a map to the opportunities behind every door, we live our lives between Doors & Dots.

Our first teaser video (just released^^) was produced with this philosophy in mind and embodies the easi6 team’s vision of the world:

With Doors & Dots, we wanted to take the anti-Facebook movement a step further.  We wanted to make it actionable.  Users learn about and share bucket-list destinations every day on social media sites, but they don’t always make plans to go.  Our position was that we could facilitate the making and sharing of plans, tearing down the nuisance barriers of planning and inspiring users to go places by keeping friends connected while in transit (social navigation).

We know that the real magic happens when friends come together.  So, that became our mission:  to take users from the dots on their smartphone maps to the doors of their destinations.  And, somewhere between those dots and those doors, friends would connect, share, and experience; we would live our lives.

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@doorsndots for Android OS

Currently, the easi6 team’s #1 priority is to take Doors & Dots cross-platform.  At this point, the team feels strongly about the functionality and UI/UX of Doors & Dots, and we’re ready to bring the app to both the U.S. and Korean mobile markets in a big way.  However, we know that, in order to be competitive in the Korean market (90% Android OS penetration), we must have an Android OS version of Doors & Dots for release.

Android OS Dev Screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a screenshot taken by one of our engineers very early in the development of the Android OS version.  Our aim is to have a release ready this fall.  So, please stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for the latest.  That is, of course, if you don’t see one of our Facebook Ads first ;)

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“Our Lives Between Doors & Dots”

Since late April 2013, the easi6 team has been working with two esteemed directors, an accomplished musician, and several talented professionals to produce the Doors & Dots teaser video below.  Much-anticipated, we’re proud to welcome you to our world… a world between Doors & Dots ;)

(Our Lives Between Doors & Dots from Doors & Dots on Vimeo.)

As aforementioned, this video did not come together without its share of sweat and hard work.  Check out our blog post from back on July 11th, entitled:  “Shooting an @doorsndots Teaser Video“, for more information on the production team and the project timeline.

See ya en route to your next meeting!

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An @doorsndots Desktop Wallpaper

We asked our summer design intern, Derek Nguyen, to create for us a poster/desktop wallpaper.  And, this is what he came up with:

wallpaper_1920x1080

Pretty cool right?  

While, of course, poster designs can come in handy for advertisements, presentations, and product demos, Co-founder Jordan already has an idea in mind to trade required student ambassador attire for ambassador laptop/MacBook/smartphone home-screens.  While buying and distributing t-shirts to our team and our student ambassadors would likely be a costly initiative – if not also a cheesy, hackneyed one – distributing and requiring the wallpaper design is free and more relevant.  After all, Doors & Dots is an app, not a clothing line.

Plus, the benefit with this option is that it’s not a tacky logo or ad.  (Nobody wants that on their background or home-screen.)  Rather, it’s a piece of designer art~  You might say that it’s a masterpiece of #easiArt.

Wallpaper & App Icon Homescreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There will be more designs to come.  So, stay tuned, folks!

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Shooting an @doorsndots Teaser Video

Tuesday, the 25th, something really exciting for the easi6 team finally went into action:  the shooting of the 1st Doors & Dots teaser video.

Shooting the Teaser Vid - Lincoln Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Starting at 7am at Lincoln Center, Upper West Side)

But, as you can tell from the picture, we wanted to do things a little differently.  Sure, motion graphics are in vogue these days, and you can’t really show screen transitions without them.  However, we wanted something more like Mailbox’s teaser vid, something with a flare of artistic creativity; something that embodies what it means to be an easi product ;)

The Directors

So, we went and sought out two very accomplished, albeit stylistically unique, directors:

1.  Minji Kang – http://vimeo.com/user2317943

2.  (Mimi) Joo Hyun Lee – http://vimeo.com/63300861#at=0 (Her recent film, “Sweet Corn”, also has an FB page at:  https://www.facebook.com/sweetcornfilm.)

Both Minji and Mimi have been great to work with, and the easi6 team is eager to release the final cut of the teaser video soon.  Of course, there is still much work to be done.  Stay tuned to our social media pages (FB/Twitter/Vimeo) for the latest updates!

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How Long Did It Take to Build @doorsndots?

Well, that depends on what you consider ‘building’ Doors & Dots.  Do you include the initial idea formation and wire-framing?  We sort of pivoted in there…a couple times…  Do you just count the actual development (coding) time?  Of course, the developers weren’t full-time.  And, there were stretches in there where the developers were no-time, focusing on internships or grad work, accordingly.  Not to mention, there’s no such thing as a final product; in the tech world, it’s a constant state of open beta at the very least.

Coming Up on One Year

Regardless how you decide to figure it, easi6 was officially incorporated in the State of Delaware, and registered as a franchise business in the State of New Jersey, in July of 2012.  Coding of Doors & Dots began shortly thereafter in August 2012, and would then go on to endure various hiatuses in development through the fall (and very early winter) of 2012.  Since February of 2013, development of Doors & Dots, including redesigns and functionality enhancements, has been uninterrupted and continuous.

Did We Take Too Long?

This question implies that there’s a standard length of time for the development of an app.  Of course, if you’re in the startup business, you know that such a question is moot and baseless.  That being said, the team ran across this infographic, and it naturally got us thinking.  The magic number is apparently:  18 weeks.  (Say what~?)

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You can access the original posting of the infographic here.  According to the source, the graphic was designed by:  Angelina.  You can access her Visual.ly profile here.  We’re not so sure that we agree with the 18 week timetable.  But, that’s the beauty of a startup; every entrepreneur finds his/her own way.

For sure, we know the guys at Betaworks (champions of the “rapid innovation” startup philosophy) would definitely have some issues with the Doors & Dots development timeline.

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