Find a friend to build your next hack
ProjectBuddy is a side project for side projects. I often have ideas that'll take more than one person's time and effort to build, especially for college students like me. I wanted a community where people post cool and fun ideas for projects and find interested people to collaborate together. That's why I built ProjectBuddy: a community to find friends to build your next hack together!
The core mission of this website is simple: a place to post and find interested individuals. From there, two core functionalities need be implemented for the MVP:
- A user can post project ideas with description and title.
- A user can contact another user if his/her project seems interesting.
Without a doubt, ProjectBuddy is meant to be a community for the builders. I want to project a fun, friendly and techie experience for users. For some reason, when I think of "fun and friendly," Nintendo's console system design comes up first in my head.
The round corners, soft edges, ambient lighting, smooth and matte texture, warm color palette and in particular, the Japanese rendition of rounded English sans serif letters all contribute to a welcoming and lively interface.
Taking inspiration from this, I decided to make the primary font ヒラギノ丸ゴ Pro W4 (Hiragino Maru Gothic Pro). I know, you're probably thinking: "what on earth is that?" It's a common high-quality Japnaese font family that comes with Mac OS X that renders Latin letters in a style similar to the font on Nintendo consoles.
Hiragino Maru Gothic Pro has big and breathable counters and uniformly thin strokes. These slender figures have an ever so slight exotic feel to them. Hopefully, they will evoke some fun feelings.
For the color palette, I picked something warm but low-key. Super bright colors are flying all over the Internet, so I want ProjectBuddy to be a place where you come with fun ideas and build a calm and friendly community without flashy gimmicks.
The logo has a cool motivation behind it. Collaboration is the key of ProjetBuddy here, and it's best reflected by Aristotle's quote:
"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." - Aristotle
I combined the greater-than sign ">" and the summation symbol "∑" to make ProjectBuddy's logo:
… which incidentally resulted in a bookmark-looking icon. That is fine as well, because "knowledge is power!"
ProjectBuddy is all about projects, and a big part of the homepage reflects just that.
The Pinterest-style board presents a visually pleasing browsing experience. Another unique part about ProjectBuddy, is the top-navigation status bar, which shows you the general section you're in without having to refer to the (increasingly nonexistent) title bar in your browser. It's a good use of the space that'd otherwise be vacant anyways.
Development and Iterations
The first iteration was done in less than a week. I advertised the site on Facebook, Twitter, and several Reddit communities and received great feedback on the idea and execution. Within a few days, ProjectBuddy reached 200 users and thousands of unique visits. I summed up some of the feedback that align with ProjectBuddy's vision:
- Ability to track how many views a project received.
- Ability to ask project OP questions.
- Ability to search by tags.
- Ability to archive projects and hide from public.
These user stories were then broken down into tasks and put into the next two iterations. On average, ProjectBuddy received 2 deployments per day. Now that's what you call Agile Development Methodology!
The version of ProjectBuddy as of writing this project description features organization by tags, view tracking and Q&A.
Future of ProjectBuddy
Past certain point, I alone won't be able to invest enough efforts and time into ProjectBuddy to turn it into a true thriving community. The future of ProjectBuddy is in the hands of open source community. Three weeks after launching ProjectBuddy, I open-sourced the repository and invited the same initial users to join and contribute to the website. Currently I'm in the process of setting up a workflow for everyone. I will update this page in the future.
Here are more screenshots of ProjectBuddy as of writing.