My Sandbox Application: intros.me
There are several reasons for me creating intros.me. These are:
WoW Application to Sandbox Network
Sandbox Network is a global community of young visionaries, creatives and entrepreneurs. Their focus is on incubating people, not companies. Within this group are some exceptional talents making changes in their own parts of the world.
In oder to get into Sandbox, applicants are required to submit the 'WoW in You'. This is part of the application where you've done something specifically for Sandbox's application to show what makes you tick.
intros.me clearly shows what makes me tick. I chose to do this because I wanted to show that Unhub.com should have taken a design centric approach to their product. They had years to innovate and they failed on all counts.
I also wanted to show my own ideas - don't just do a pretty design but why not give that control to the users. This is what I love doing. This is what wakes me up. The idea was that this would be something not to just look at but to use. For Sandboxers to use.
What makes me tick?
Before applying to Sandbox, I spent quite sometime thinking about what the 'WoW in me' really is. I thought about doing an infographic but that's so rampant around the web that it feels obvious.
I thought about creating a website that would leverage my social network to petition for me joining Sandbox. People would have been able to do this under things like, 'because he is: creative, an entrepreneur, loves design, etc'. While this is personal, I couldn't see it going beyond me. I wanted something that was more than me, something anyone could employ for their own use.
I did intros.me because it would allow me to showcase what makes me tick: design & ideas.
How did I come up with Intros.me?
I didn't. Skittles did. Unhub.com was the first as far as I know to attempt to commercialize this. Two years ago, I thought is was a great, lightweight way to group your online profiles. I still feel the same way today.
I've been using Unhub as my personal url since its inception: http://unhub.com/DamianMadray. Ever since I've always found Unhub to have a few major flaws:
- its lack of customization
- its lack of design
- its lack of innovation
The mere fact that I no longer share damianmadray.com with anyone shows I have no pride in the website that resides under my name. This is unacceptable. Unhub is unacceptable.
Is this idea even relevant?
All the popular social networks have such great designs, more so today than two years ago. We all know design has been taking center stage in most industries, especially web tech. Take fB's new timeline design, it's innovative. What about Zerply? It's beautifully designed with information I want to share. Onepager is great - this idea ties in perfectly to their platform. We go through all the effort to customize our Twitter, Facebook and About.me pages yet they're all disconnected and unshowcased.
All we really need is a way to tie all these websites together to create the illusion of a personal website by creating a seamless experience. There are many ways to do it. Unhub attempted a unique way but failed to deliver. About.me leveraged good design and gave that control to users. With intros.me it doesn't matter if you prefer about.me or flavors.me. It doesn't care what you use, if Facebook, Twitter or both. Take the parts of the web you love and make it, personally, yours and showcase it with one link.
My team and I created intros.me. Within the space of 2.5 weeks, we designed and developed intros.me which functions like unhub.com. I took a very design centric approach with intros.me. I wanted:
- customization of the nav bar
- a better selection of fonts for more control
- link styles, rollovers and active state controls
What now for intros.me?
In many ways, this is experimental. intros.me is ideally bigger than me and my application, it should extend beyond. I'd love to see people using it because that's the greatest reward in building a web product.
Here are some examples of intros.me