Starting up a startup
Two guys came to us with an idea, to turn your childrens fantastic doodles into incredible artworks to hang on the wall. The goal was crystal clear but the road how to get there wasn’t. Stefan and Fredrik are both parents to small children. And like so many other parents they kept stacks after stacks of drawings up in the attic collecting dust. Just a selected few made their way to the refrigerator door, while the rest were forgotten. This needed change. The children’s art deserved way better.
Turning doodles into artworks
The first step for every entrepreneur with a new product or service is to convince investors that people really need it. This was the first task we needed to solve. Through a number of workshops, by talking to a lot of parents and by putting our bright minds together, we managed to distill their idea in to one core service with a clear value proposition. But before showing anyone our ideas we had to make sure that they would actually work. So the developers did a tech spike and the designers a quick and dirty clickable prototype. We realised this bird would actually be able to fly.
A video says more than a billion slides
The core idea was simple enough — take a picture of your kids drawing, (re)design it and then order it home to your doorstep. Instead of a creating a pitch deck, we decided that shooting a short video explaining the service would give us most bang for the buck. First of all; Most people don’t like keynote decks all that much but everyone loves videos. Secondly, a video let’s you explain the idea to someone even when you're not in the room. And last but not least. Creating a video forced us to really understand the product. We took some time to write a voiceover, set up a moodboard, create a storyboard and improve the prototype of the app so we could show it in the film. We then spent an afternoon in a friends kitchen with a bunch of kids, bribes in the form of cinnamon buns and a camera. Fast forward a couple of weeks. The bet (video, remember?) was a success and they quickly raised the capital needed for building a MVP.
A minimum viable product
Designing a prototype is one thing, It’s a whole different ballgame to design something that’s going to be developed and launched. The super easy and basic user journey set the foundation; take a photo, design, order. We designed our flowcharts, user scenarios and interface around that flow. Taking a little inspiration from Instagram, we then fine tuned every step of that flow. This was our first and only focus for the initial version of the product and a while later we ended up with our first MVP
1. Take a picture
2. Create magic
3. Hang on wall
A great camera experience
One of the most important features of Doodlespot is the camera. It doesn’t matter how great our image processor is if the photo looks like shit. Taking great pictures isn’t that hard if you know some tricks, like using a dark background for a white paper for instance. We custom built a camera view that detects the paper and corrects the perspective, lets the user fine tune the cropping, and improves the photo automatically. The lazy or stressed out user can adjust the filter by using one big doodle-slider.
A playful and vibrant design
We kept the visual design and the tonality playful with a little splash of vibrant colors. Quite some work has gone in to designing icons that naturally supports every step of the flow and makes it very easy to understand. The basic idea is to let the painting take shape in front of your eyes in each and every step. From doodles to artwork in a matter of minutes.
Close collaboration is key
The biggest enemy for startups is time. You have to have a product that deliver on your key metrics to present to the world before your money runs out. To make sure we collaborated closely and that we could deliver in time we invited Doodlespot to borrow a room at our office. That way we could just pop by every time we had something to discuss or when decisions needed to be made. Our small dedicated team worked very close with their small dedicated team. Birds of a feather stick together.
"Our close relationship with Apegroup and their engagement has helped us create a product that has gone above and beyond our expectations"
Fredrik Nyström, founder Doodlespot