Yesterday we put up a temporary homepage at writeminds.com. It’s a tiny thing (just a few lines of code and a little bit of design), but it’s nevertheless exciting to point a domain to something that’s at least quasi-real.
We’re starting early with our search for Beta testers of WriteMinds, and I’d be thrilled if you used the form below to contribute your email to the list of people who want to help us out. We’ll have the Beta ready by early March, and we’ll need everyone’s help to find bugs, refine the way the product works, and generally get things tight for launch.
Still curious about what WriteMinds will do?
- It’s a quiet, chilled-out writing experience that makes digital composition easier.
- It’s a system for collaboration on complex documents, with edit tracking and versioning.
- It publishes easily to a variety of formats.
- It provides all the essential features needed to write articles, blog posts, academic works, and novels.
- It doesn’t do anything you don’t need it to do.
So for updates on the product, early looks at the design and feature-set, and to get on the Beta-test list, drop your email in the box below. It’d make me very happy.
If you missed out on my previous posts and tweets, a little recap: along with a few friends, I’ve been designing and building a new, web-based writing tool called WriteMinds. We’re hoping to have a beta up and running by the early part of March, and we just locked down the actual nuts and bolts of how the application will look.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I want to share everything about it, and I will be doing so in time.
In the meantime, friends, can I have your feedback on our homepage design? My talented and wonderful friend/business partner Kevin Panke designed it from my rather sparse wireframe, and it’s meant to get people to do one thing: sign up. At this point in the development process, I’ve obscured what the app looks like (that’s actually a wireframe in there anyway, so…), but imagine that area shows off a revolving show of the coolest features in the app. It may even be a video. Just imagine that it’s the sexiest, quietest writing interface you’ve ever seen. Trust me—it is.
With that said, what are your thoughts?
- Is it clear what you’re supposed to do, as a user?
- Does the copy resonate?
- Are we missing anything?
Over the past while, I’ve been working with some friends on an exciting problem:
How can we make writing on a computer easier and… awesome-er?
A couple years ago, some friends of a friend came to me and my friends (Eric and Kevin, who do fun projects with me from time to time) and asked us if we could design and build a collaborative writing website, where people could get together to write novels. After a good long think, a bunch of meetings around a table in an office we no longer have, and a whole heck of a lot of calls, we came up with a different sort of thing, correcting a smaller problem: it sorta sucks to write on a computer. I’ve tried Scrivener, Writeroom, Ommwriter, Microsoft Word, Pages, Textedit, and others, and none of them really made sense. They all either did too much or not enough. And with Google Wave and Basecamp around, the collaboration thing is/will be nailed.
So now that Will, Ryan and Robbie have gotten the funding out of the way and the development underway, we’re ready to start talking about it.
The first thing I’d love to get your feedback on is some of the initial application screens that detail a bit of the marketing and account management functions of the product.
The bottom bit is the footer, and hopefully the screen grabs/video bits are compelling enough to get people to sign up.
May need some more detail here, though. Note to self. Thoughts?
Let’s say you’ve signed up, and you’re ready to write. What’s the first thing you’ll see? This page.
Individual Document Page:
Okay, you’re a pro, you’ve made a few documents. Perhaps you want to compare your work to previous versions, or just edit what you’ve got. Here’s where to do that. The stuff you see on the Version 6 bar: that’s a rollover state.
Old Version Rollover View:
For launch, we’ll only have the most recent version be editable. Too many complications with version comparison…
General Account Admin Page:
And the settings page is pretty straightforward. You can see that we’re trying to have a bit of personality with everything about the site, even for the boring bits.
Password Entry View:
So that’s that. Would love to know what you think.
And of course, stay tuned for details.