Visually organise your digital life
Digital Sweetness is a SaaS to organise and add order to your digital life, keep track of your inspiration and manage your bookmarks. Digital Sweetness was born as a side project out of personal frustration, as a highly visual learner I found existing solutions to be too text heavy and tedious to use.
The very first prototype, designed and built in one weekend in PHP and MySQL, served as a very simple MVP and learn how users would use it. The service was built as an inspiration bank to visually store websites and tools, which laid the foundations of what is today.
The concept and interaction of the early site was simple: the user inputs a URL in the text box and a screenshot of the site gets added to the MySQL database and displayed back to the user. The project later became a full-fletched custom bookmarking service made for today's demands, built using Vue.JS and Google Firebase.
The first few variations focused on being used by creative teams to share inspiration and websites with each other, but initial user research showed that shifting the focus towards individuals had more potential.
Talking with potential users made quite apparent that others shared the same frustration as me, organising and managing online inspiration sources is an unresolved issue. By approaching other designers from all around the world, I was able to get a clearer picture of the magnitude of the problem and the lack of consistency of tools used.
The simple question I posted on the Innovation Hackers FaceBook group generated a considerable amount of interest and insights. The comments varied substantially, from users stating that they don't see any value in hoarding digital content, to others using multiple services like Pinterest, Pocket, Google Keep and broswer bookmarks.
Two repeated patterns appeared -independently of what tool was being used-, the mess generated after some time and how spread one's bookmarks were across different services.
The information extracted from the research was synthesised to a few key insights:
- User data is spread across multiple services, making it hard and annoying to find and retreive information.
- Efectively managing bookmarks is too time-consuming and labour intensive, users eventually give up.
- There are many tools in the market but some users reported having built their system around note taking apps, mostly due to their simplicity.
- Everyone loves finding what they need when they need it, hence why some rely on the convenience of instant messaging to quickly store URLs.
- Users are not going back to the saved source, losing them in oblivion never to be seen again.
- There is a lack of an extensic and intrensic motivation to go back to the service currently in use.
The democritasion of the internet has enabled a more lean and empatheitc type of product design. Instead of wating until the product is completed to start iterating I adopted a more lean approach. The MVP was given to a small portion of users to then reflect on their feedback and iterate accordingly.
The implementaion of an iterative development process resulted in the adoption of features and design choices that have been built along the end user. The design of the service is still under development and may be subject to future changes.
All PHP code I had previously written was scrapped due the avaliablity of more modern technolgies. The service now relies on Google Firebase Firestore for the back-end and on Vue.JS for the front-end.
The service is current under development and a series of extra features such as a Chrome plugin and mobile offline access are all also planned for the future. In the meantime, feel free to check out the landing page: digitalsweetness.com