Mr. Snowflakes!

Last year we, in partnership with Elliott Draper of kickcode, built a little Christmas app called Mr. Snowflakes where you can decorate a Christmas tree and then send it as an e-card.  We built it in our spare time in between contracts. Last year though, it was a complete failure, and we had so few completed cards that we were left without christmas spirit.

So, after wallowing in self pity and a bit of wine, we redid it this year, with fresh illustrations and a new UI process.  It’s launch day today, so time will tell if our hunches were right, but already today we’ve had more hits than for all of last December.  Here’s a bit about what we changed.

Logging in first sucks

Last year, we wanted to avoid spam and allow people to reuse and edit their cards.  So, we integrated with a login from facebook.  Big mistake.  By not allowing people to play with the card maker before asking for their facebook login, we lost loads of potential people before we even started.

Don’t overengineer it

It takes 10 seconds to decorate a new tree, so we stripped features out:  You no longer could have a list of your cards, except via url you got in the email once we sent it.  Once you sent it, no more editing.  So far, no complaints!

Emphasize its free-ness

Many people are a bit weary about apps online, because they worry that they’ll have to pay something.  This app is a Christmas present to the world, but I think the old version didn’t make it clear that it was free.  Now it’s in headlines.  Hopefully that helps!

It’s still not perfect

Ahhh, twitter.  The best way to test a design!  So far people have been great and the tweaks that we’ve made because of their feedback has been invaluable.  Thank you to all the opinionated folks I know over there.  You rock.

Some people have pointed out that they didn’t understand why there were two versions of every ornament.  That was a personal choice in order to have more decorating options!  Sometimes you do things just because you want to!   It’s a work in progress…

Stay tuned!

We’re trying out  some google ads (yay free credits!) and few facebook ads to see how the general public get along with it.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy decorating the trees and we will get some good data that will help us become even better app designers.  Any feedback is greatly appreciated, as well as ideas for next year! Try out Mr. Snowflakes here.

App design

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