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Launching – a digital product for festivals

The weekend just gone we launched our first digital product as Beautiful Everything, we’ve called it

The web based app was built for the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and allows people to instantly rate films on their mobile, tablet or other internet enabled devices. It was part of a suite of work that we’d been working on to extend the digital experience for the festival.

Wow, what an experience! From conceiving the idea through to it’s launch it’s been a roller coaster of hard work that’s included rapid prototyping, testing and evolvement, marketing, service delivery and support.

Returning to our office this morning brought home all the hard work through the physical evidence that was still apparent, ticket cut-offs from the excessive guillotining that had to happen to support the verification process, sleeping bags from the sleepover that occurred, numerous empty coffee cups, camera tripods from the content gathering we did over the weekend.

The dust is still settling, the post launch notes are just starting to be written, the data from the event is being compiled to allow the voting results to be shared and I’m sure that this blog post will be the first of many to be written.

What have we learned? Well more than can be summarised here, but in the first instance we’ve learnt:

Testing is invaluable – we knew this from past experience, but the value here really changed some components of the product and will continue to evolve its development.

Digital products in physical spaces are very different to typical web launches – again we were expecting this, but the reality really brought this home. Users critiquing the app in front of you is very different to receiving a support e-mail.

Looking at the whole experience is hard until it happens – Whilst you can anticipate what might happen, it’s very hard to anticipate what will happen on the day when people get their hands on your app.

Overall, it was a thoroughly rewarding experience that left us all with big smiles on our faces, but also quite tired. We’ve already had several expressions of interest in using again in the future, which is fantastic.

If we’re very honest we’re all feeling a bit of the post product launch/festival blues. Now to put all of that learning and emotion into action . . .

Thanks to:

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival Team
The volunteer team at ShAFF
Family and friends who dropped in to help
Tamper for fuelling our coffees over the weekend