I was inspired by my own words last week when I said I would start to write 150 words each day, and then if it went well, I would produce a website to keep them all on. After hitting publish and cross-posting on Medium, I wanted to envisage what the website would look like and how it would work.
Whenever I had some free time over the next few days I did just that.
It seems quite simple; have a blog, post to it each day, have the date as the title, and leave it to sit there, probably collecting dust.
Reading 150 words about someones life each day does not seem too interesting, or to put it another way, reading about my life each day does not seem too interesting.
Maybe if Richard Branson was doing so, you would gain a bit more.
Despite those thoughts, I needed to make a small concept, one which I could analyse and think about whilst walking in the morning. It was another project which I felt could go somewhere if the idea went into production in the correct way.
As I’m a Web Designer and Frontend Developer, the design of the website is where I wanted to concentrate on at first. 150 Words is all about the habit, the words the user wants to write each day and present to the world as the little glimpse into their life. So there isn’t any need for the design to be overly complicated. A simple, clear, text driven website template is what was needed. One where the words stayed the major point on both desktop computers and small mobile devices.
One of the main aspects I decided on straight away was there were to be no images. Images are central to nearly all web design now, to enhance a page. Even on writing platforms such as Medium, images are recommended to get the users clicking on your articles. But here it feels like it would take something away. As articles will not even have a title on 150 Words, just a date, all that should drive the user in is the author and the categories.
Before we get into the categories and tags however, I would like to show you the first design concept that I created:
Simple, clean, yet colorful. Or that is what I at least was going for, the rest is opinion.
Without any fancy images, colours or text. It is just words on a page. However, I did need something to bring a bit of spruce to the page and that is why I included some lovely button styles from CoDrops Creative Button Styles (http://tympanus.net/codrops/2013/06/13/creative-button-styles/), which I really think bring out the page and make people want to explore the categories and the previous and next link buttons.
I haven’t designed any of the other pages of the website. I think this would work as a homepage for the start of the project, but with the expansion idea of having other people come on board and write their 150 words each day too, it wouldn’t work so well. A category, tag and archive page would also need a lot of work to ensure visibility to all those who write.
As shown in the design, at the bottom of each page are four buttons with category titles within them. These are here as when designing the page I had in mind WordPress as the Content Management System to use for the website. However, thinking about it over the last couple of days, I’m not too sure, I may even blend this project into my current learning of Ruby on Rails and furthering my knowledge on backend coding such as Python.
Anyway, four buttons…
I don’t want to allow people to have unlimited choice on categories, ideally categories will be chosen by a system analysing the text, but that sounds very complicated and very much a ‘Could’ on the MoSCoW scale. These categories will be the whole way people use the website, if they need to learn about habits then they can track down all 150 words which talk about them, and even reduce the search to just the author who talks about that certain topics.
Categories will be pre-determined and users have to pick four which exist. Suggestions will be welcomed.
Tags will work much like they normally do on a blogging system, everything and anything. But they won’t show on the main 150 words pages, they will be hidden so that they can be searched and found, but they won’t take any of the pages real estate. This allows users to use tags to tell their own story. For example if I wanted to discuss 150 Words I could make that a tag and tell my followers to go to:
To see all those days where I have worked on that project.
People will also be able to access tags through the normal link, without a username attached:
This allows for people to collaborate with the world on certain tasks. The introduction of groups and joint users could then also be implemented to allow for further collaboration.
Writing this has led to even more ideas and me wanting to work on this as more than a small idea. I’m loving writing the 150 words after each work day at the moment, and can see that by the end of the month I’ll have a blog up to add all the posts to. Whether it becomes more than that, we will see, but I hope this article gave an insight into thinking about projects, and getting carried away…
Have a project idea? Feel free to contact me and find out how we can work together.