Worked on some internal analytics and maintenance.
Playing around with new error components. Not happy with this one yet.
Tweaked the names of some shortcuts to make it more obvious what they do.
Working on inline Markdown support for comments.
Pushed some new internal improvements and bug fixes.
Pushed some tiny tweaks and the global journal search to production.
One of the things we have been thinking about a lot is shifting Futureland into an invite-only state and growing our user base through our most trusted early users. We think the quality and integrity of this community needs to be one of its defining characteristics. It's something worth trying to be the best at. Early users will be integral in defining the identity of this place, both now and well into the future.
This is something we need to work on together so it would be cool to hear your perspectives! :)
Working on a way to globally find journals.
Thinking a lot about community right now, been studying various things and I'll share some thoughts soon to get your perspectives.
Finished implementing the welcome email that gets sent out after a new users signs up for Futureland. Used this opportunity to refactor some code and improve our worker.
Additionally I used the morning to fix some bugs.
I do this thing sometimes where when I want to understand stuff, I transcribe its Wikipedia page and ponder on each line. I like doing this with words that are thrown around a lot because I think it's easy to get into the habit of thinking you understand something because you hear about it a lot but when I really look into it I find out I know basically nothing about it. I'm currently transcribing this page on Community (lol). So yeah I'm thinking a lot about that right now.
Added proper URL validation for the website field in the journal settings.
I made a slight adjustment to the journals, outside of continually building on this list I'm not sure what else could be included yet. This might be good enough for a first experiment with a Welcome email (we currently do not send anything). I think over time we should include other materials here like some documentation and interesting writing on FL. Like if there was some writing on 'Using Futureland to learn' that could be done in a very interesting and open way, things like that might be interesting to include after links to journals. Hard to stay right now.
Formatting this in an email compose window to see how it feels. Instead of using categories, I put the journals in groups of 4 and mixed up the disciplines in each group. One of the reasons we started FL is because of how categorical everything else is (thanks for the reminder @ethan). I think this will be super difficult to achieve and even more difficult to maintain but we wanted to create a place where it's easier (and safer) to be multiple things instead of just any one thing. It's easy to lose sight of that. Sometimes I feel that blending all of these disciplines together will be the reason FL ultimately fails or succeeds. But I personally don't want to be any one thing. That's just not what I am.
You can now click on all image entries across Futureland to quickly access the fullscreen view.
Feeling really grateful this morning to be able to work on this project every day. Thanks to everyone who is supporting us.
Made the author name and journal title in the header section clickable. This one was bothering me for some time now.
- Fixed a bug that would prevent users from entering the fullscreen view on a user's stream
- Stripping markdown syntax from notes previews in the weekly summary
- Added some new internal analytics from @internetvin and me.
Going to take a break from this now. I'll see what ideas come to me through out the day.
Defining categories is tough! I might need to adjust the 'Animation' one to 'Visual Art' it's hard to say because all of these mediums are kind of blending together since a computer can create all of them. It's becoming more and more difficult to define separations between these things. And in a lot of ways that's why we started working on Futureland. To create spaces where you did not fit yourself into an identity defined by a single creative output.
Starting to break various journals into categories. It's really neat to see the range of experimentation happening on Futureland and I'd say it's my favourite part of this project :)
Adding more journals, it might be worth breaking this into categories and see how that feels.
Adding more journals into this email draft.
Making some progress, trying to be less prescriptive in the text. I think you guys are right. I do not think we ever really need to say what Futureland is (because the truth is we don't know). We just need to show people how it's being used. Understanding what Futureland is, is something we are doing together.
I have been writing a welcome email that you receive from Futureland when you sign up. I keep writing each paragraph over and over again to try and get it right. Once I have a draft I'll publish it here as a text entry and hopefully I can get some feedback, if you have any thoughts now please share. I'm just taking a short break to let my mind loosen and then I'll start again.
Implemented the new worker that will send out weekly summaries in the future. Still a lot of work to do.
Maybe there's some personal stats included as well although I don't think everyone will be into it! Need to find the right simple insights here to make it actually useful instead of just noise.
Working on a little concept for a plain text weekly summary email you can get from FL about journals you shadow and more. Perhaps you'll be able to select between a daily or weekly cadence. This allows you to take a focused moment to quickly glance over all of the journals you're interested in and see how they are developing. :)
- Fixed a bug that would crash the browser when trying to play an audio entry in the fullscreen view.
- Pushed the global sidebar component to production. It can be toggled by pressing the S key.
Woke up this morning really well rested and had the idea to make the sidebar from home available globally in Futureland. This way it is easier to find journals and navigate through the list of shadowed ones.
Added support for animated gifs as journal icons. They can be up to 2 MB in size.
- Fixed the markdown style of block quotes.
- Fixed visual glitches in the full screen entry view.
- Automatically closing the full screen entry view after navigation now.
- Fixed some validation bugs in the user settings.
I caught a cold so I've been laying low this weekend. Drinking lots of water lol. We'll send out Futureland's weekly newsletter tomorrow. I still need to finish writing it! Hope everyone's doing well :)
Removed the sign up with Twitter option.
We created a little open journal experiment called, Futureland Meta. It's a place where anyone can share their insights, experiences and bugs while using Futureland.
A few of you have already joined. Others feel free. I'm curious how and if this journal will catch on!
ty so much for feedback yesterday! I spent some time processing all of it again today. It's cool to see some of the patterns in all of your great insights. Seems like there's some things we can integrate into the work we're doing right now:
- focus onboarding on how journals work and not on how to use them
- make it easier for someone new to explore existing journals so they can form their own understandings and meanings of them
- send out a thoughtful welcome email when someone new joins Futureland and include any finer details of onboarding in that email
As always, you'll see the process developing here. <3
While working through onboarding (and from chatting a lot with everyone here), it's becoming pretty clear that it might be useful to work through some 'documentation' about how to use Futureland. The idea is that we could distill insights from everyone's experiences using Futureland into interesting and detailed writing that can help new guests get started.
- How to use Futureland to learn new skills
- How to use Futureland to create new habits
- How to use Futureland to see through projects
What do you think about this? What subjects do you think need to be explored?
Slight adjustment to opacity.
Asking the user, how they would like to begin their experience on FL.
Seeing the effect across moments.
Experimenting with using some filmmaking techniques in how we first interact with new users. This would be an interpretation of the establishing shot. It establishes the location of the scene. A new guest might see something like this after first signing up for FL. Imagine the visual in the background moving (a video).
Also these days, I find the ideal thing to listen to while working on FL is the album Tropeau Bleu by Cortex (1975). I was constantly playing it at the house by Lake Huron. Still going now.
I'm not sure what it is, but often when I start working on FL in a focused state like this I get pretty emotional (lol) or at least much more sensitive to my feelings. I care about this project a lot and I feel a way about it that I have not felt about other things I've worked on. Been an interesting experience just seeing what happens with this.
Once you click 'Next' on the previous screen, this then would be the subsequent one. The point of this screen is to frame up what is about to be shown. I don't want to show one 'card' after another. I hate doing this in films too (even though I've done it often), but I'm not sure how to handle this yet because before diving into specific components of the journal I want to show it at first in its entirety. And I don't think I can have any text on the screen while I do that.
I just realized that the background here doesn't have to be in black. You can kind of treat this as an establishing shot like in a film. Hm.
Slight adjustment to the position of this 'Next' button
I find using these Journals as you are working is a useful way of staying focused but also as a way of documenting your trail of thinking. I'm just starting to pick up some of the design work I left off while in deep week 1. I can use this journal as a way of remembering what I was thinking and what I was trying to solve. So let's try and pick this back up.
I'm sketching out a concept for an interactive tour. This is could be the first visual that a new guest sees if they decide to take it. I was working on this before but here I replaced the word "Welcome" with "OK." which I think is a better connection between the action the guest took on the previous screen (deciding to begin the tour).
In terms of obtaining useful context before using FL, I think there's two things worth knowing. (1) How the interface works (which will probably be the focus of this interactive tour) and (2) How working through something at a daily cadence can be a useful way of seeing through creative projects, learning new skills and just transforming any part of your life.
It's 1:01pm on Wednesday. Beautiful day. When I stepped outside to grab some lunch, it rain briefly but it was entirely sunny. It's always kind of cool when that happens.
I'm just preparing and sending this little package for @lucas to start playing with. I'm probably missing a bunch of things (and he'll tell me if I am lol). I'm just curious to see how some of this stuff might feel in a browser. This package includes a new home page and a registration experience. There's many events that we need to build on here and chain together and we will make those improvements as well in time.
Sending this little package of interfaces over to @lucas. A little update that adds a 'Join' button to all open journals. Currently you can find the Join button in each journal's expanded menu. I imagine taking the Join button out of that menu and putting it on the side bar will make open journals a bit easier to understand. :)
Looks like @lucas is making a bunch of progress on iOS and watchOS experiments. I haven't had a chance to try everything yet but if you want to start playing around with these tools, message me or him for links!
We need a place on Futureland where we can talk about Futureland. Things like feedback, ideas, insights, complaints or whatever. Many of you share stuff with me via iMessage or email or dm on FL. There's tons of really high quality perspectives coming through.
Ideally for me, I want everything to be in the same place. Like say, Futureland's journal. I want to see discussions about FL on the same surface that I see the actual work happening.
What do you think? How do we handle this?
More sketches of this interactive tour. This could go nowhere, but I'll just keep sketching to see what I learn.
Just a quick additional note, we can probably show movement in the background (the journal) to make this more dynamic and to better communicate what this is. In this case, perhaps while you are reading this new entries are being added to the journal in the background.
Added a simple Next button to allow the new guest to move the experience forward.
I'm starting to sketch out an interactive tour of Futureland. Here's how you might be greeted when it begins. In the background you see one of Futureland's journals with 5% opacity. As the interactive tour begins, various parts of journal will light up. Perhaps we will also jump to other parts of Futureland and explain those too. Probably need to add some kind of progress indicator here and also some kind of next button.
Once a new guest is welcomed to Futureland, perhaps a prompt like this is better instead of creating more pronounced suggestions in how FL should be use (ie; I want to learn a new skill, I want to see through a creative project). Perhaps detailed material on specific use cases can be explored after the guest is already bouncing around Futureland.
Once a new guest fills out the form to enter Futureland, I'm experimenting with a two part greeting. The software acknowledges the user through something like, 'Hello internetvin' and then welcomes them to Futureland through something like, 'Welcome to Futureland'. This might be redundant. But something we can feel out later.
It's 8:31pm on Sunday night, I'm picking up just a bit of work on new onboarding sketches. This is a simple hover state for a screen where a new guest selects how they might want to use Futureland. After sleeping on this, I'm skeptical that this guided of an approach is the right thing to do but I'll just keep sketching this out to see if any interesting ideas or patterns come out of it.
I added another option, 'I just want to explore for now'. Perhaps this allows the guest to move through the experience in a loose way. In that type of experience, we can put helpful hints and suggestions in key points of the interface for just the right amount of early guidance.
Perhaps after you are greeted, the screen transitions into a kind of guided experience that shows you how you can use Futureland. This is going to take a lot of work and experimentation. I think we also need to let people explore the tool in an unguided way. Perhaps this is guided experience is something they can come back to later if they want. For now I'll just have to keep sketching and thinking to see where all of this is going. Or could go.
Sketching a confirmation state after you create your identity on FL. The screen returns back to black and greets you. It's likely that that perhaps we should transition from this to some kind of interactive documentation. I think at this point people will be wondering, what can I do with Futureland? How can it fit within my life? What are other people doing with Futureland? Where do I start? and so on. I think there's a lot of materials and experiences we will need to create to answer these questions. I think to do this well it's something that will take a bunch of time and something that we will never really stop working on. I'll keep sketching. Let's see how this goes.
Fixed a bug that would hide the activity feed on the home view on certain window sizes.
With the form entirely filled out, the 'Create Identity' button brightens white and an arrow appears beside it. Similar motif to what the guest saw on the home page. Perhaps this arrow can move just a bit, pushing to the right to call just a bit of attention to itself. If all of the interactions here feel really tight and the transitions between the home page to this are done well, I think this could be super cool.
Alright. The idea here is that when you begin filling out the form by clicking on one of the fields, the background will transform from a flat black to videos from real entries on Futureland presented in a soothing way. The visual here is from @marco's journal, 'swimming'. There's a bunch of reasons why I think this is cool.
- The text on the left is describing the 'space' or the 'spaces'. For people who have not used Futureland, they might wonder what these spaces are like. By clicking the email field, it's a step towards those spaces. As those spaces are taken it should feel like the spaces are getting closer. Transforming the background is a way of doing. And by only doing it when you click the field, it makes the experience more dynamic, unexpected and fun.
- This interface on its own is flat. Filling out a form is usually a boring thing to do. You can improve the interactions and stuff and those are fun to look at it, but at the end of the day you're filling out a form. Presenting cool visuals from our friends as you fill out the form - if done right - could be like handing someone a glass of water with a slice of cucumber at a Spa while everything is getting set up.
A quick sketch of the form field in focus. The borders brighten and increase in width and so does the label text. We do stuff like this all over Futureland. The thing that's missing here right now (for me) is something more visually immersive. When you're entering a new space, it should feel like you're entering a space. I have an experimental idea of how we can handle this. I'll come back to that though. Time to grill some lunch :)
A few more quick positioning adjustments. I think this might feel better.
The other thing worth noting here is that I'm using the language 'Create Identity'. The idea here is that if someone shows up to use Futureland, they should be open to exploring something new with their identity. I think that's always been one of the cool things about the Internet. How it can be used as a way to evolve through experimentations with identity. Often in our existing interpersonal relationships we are limited in what we can be. This can cause you to narrow the the things that you think you can do or learn. I'm hoping we can create a space where identity is a more flexible thing. Where people are working through some things they are great at and many things they suck at. The focus is on being in process instead of trying to package and maintain some perfect identity for others to see. The focus here is on the continually changing process learning and experimentation at any stage.
Just trying to figure out the right spacing here. I'll need to finesse that through implementation and with guidance from @lucas. For now I think this is good enough to move on as a reference point. I don't particularly like the width here and some other positioning elements but I'm hitting the limit of my knowledge for now. When it comes to interface design, there's so much I do not know. I'm surprised you guys put up with me here lol (ty)
Working on the second step of onboarding. As I mentioned yesterday, the idea is that the home page is a single sentence and when you click it begins the first conversation with a new guest. Perhaps this is the first thing they see when they enter the space. We will need to continually work on this over time (maybe years). One of the big limitations I see with this is that it is not visual enough but we can fix that with some help. I would love to see some kind of immerse visual work here, illustrations or animations or something. I think I might have a cool idea of something unexpected we can do here. I'll share in a moment.
I have obviously split this layout into two components. If you look at entries from yesterday, I was progressing towards a longer vertical layout but after sleeping on it I started to wonder if there was too much text. It's a matter of deciding whether a new guest needs to know what Futureland is already being used for. I think that might matter. It's a way of saying, "when you walk through that door, you're not alone." So I thought maybe a way to make the text feel shorter is to split the layout in have horizontally. It also separates your attention in a functional way. On the left is the context on the right is the next step.
I wonder if it makes sense to add some kind of progress bar to this experience. I'm not sure yet that is definitely something I will need to revisit as this work progresses. I won't know the answer to that question right now.
Spent the morning hours to
- fix a couple of minor bugs
- slightly improve editing of entry notes
- updated a buggy dependency that would crash the server when an error occurred.
Sometimes I wish there was a way to use FL in offline mode. Where I could go through all of my dailies and each time I’m publishing them they are getting cued until the next time I connect my computer to the Internet. I’m just not sure if I need (or want) to work in a way where the computers I’m using are always connected to the internet.
Black Mountain College, VISIONARIES episode
www.craftinamerica.org. Curator Helen Molesworth and Black Mountain College, VISIONARIES episode. PBS premiere December 21, 2018. VISIONARIES documents the w...
Taking a little break
In these current sketches, the first thing you see when you visit futureland.tv (if you aren't signed in) is a simple sentence that says, "A space to see through your visions." There's no sign up button or register button, just an arrow that suggests clicking something will progress the experience. You enter by clicking. So then what should happen next and why? In this moment, I imagine a person might be asking, "What kind of visions can I use this space to see through?" or perhaps "how do you realize a vision at all?" or "how do I know that this tool will actually help me realize a vision?" I think we need to answer these question in these first interactions with our new guests.
Once you click from the homepage, I imagine we can share some more context with our users about what Futureland is and then allow them to define their identity here. Although I'm worried this might not be visual enough. Hm.
Changing the position of the arrow to see how that feels. I'll leave this as is for now and come back to it as I build out more of this. So, if someone clicks that sentence what should they see next and why?
I've always felt words like 'Sign Up' or 'Register' feel so weird. They immediately make you feel like you are just being added to a list. I wonder why we started using them. I'm sure there is an interesting metaphor. I think another drawback of using words like that is it makes you feel like you need permission before doing something…
I wonder if a simple arrow is enough.
Thanks again for your notes on the entry here titled, FL is __________. I transcribed your replies and I'm writing notes on them to better understand them. I think understanding patterns between everyone's use of FL might help give new people better experiences when they first arrive here. I wonder as I read through if everyone is describing it in the same way or differently. For example, when Futureland is describe as a way "to document what I'm working on", is that the same as "Futureland is a great tool to stay on track with projects"?
A big part of what we'll be doing over the next few days is trying to improve FL's onboarding. Here I've mapped out the existing onboarding flow. It helps me understand how the conversation with everyone is currently structured and it's clear that there's a lot to be done (lol). This is a cool thing to work on because it is the first experience that someone has with Futureland. Working on this also kind of reminds of working on film. If you look at the visual here, one could say these are a bunch of frames and you're progressing through them in a kind of narrative. You visit the url and in a sense you enter a world. A party perhaps. You're making immediate judgements about this place. What's the vibe? Is this my vibe?
Something I was thinking about recently is that with projects like this, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every person who joins Futureland is a 'user'. You start thinking about things like conversion rates and other numbers like that which are useful but they can make it easy to lose sight of why you started the project in the first place. I think what feels more right is,
'everyone who joins Futureland is family'. I wonder how that might influence the way we do things.
Deep Week 1 Notes
Just getting set into my routine here for the next few days. At home my desk is always in the standing position. I do not have a chair. It felt weird sitting at a desk here so I had to adjust that to a standing set up. Feels much better now. I can walk around to think, if I need to sit down there's a couch behind me facing the water. I can unplug my MacBook Pro from this monitor and just type on the couch. I'll see how this develops but a thought I'm having is that when I isolate myself like this, the kinds of thoughts I can have are more divergent. It's been very emotional already. In my usual environment, I practice repetition a lot. There's so many benefits to that and it has made me so happy. It has made me think that anything is possible. But here by isolating myself from usual attachments, it creates open space in my routine. I still move through my routine but there's so much more space to think. In those moments, you remember why you are doing things. Why it's important to do things your way. You remember that your time here is finite. And it's OK to make mistakes. It's difficult to describe. When I get stuck in my thinking, I turn to see the water rolling on through the windows. The trees groove slightly as well. Each time I do that, I feel the energy inside me growing. I'm part of all of this. Futureland is too. :)
Used my first pomodoros of the day to
- fix a bug that would not show the streak modal when publishing entries to quickly
- improve the interaction when removing journals from daily
- improve the accuracy of the daily graph in stats
I spent most of today packing and travelling. I'll be staying at a house by the water as part of an experiment I'm calling a 'deep week'. The idea is to isolate myself from any distractions for multiple days and try to focus entirely on deep work. While I'm here, I'll be trying to improve Futureland's onboarding which needs a lot of work. I'll start on that tomorrow morning.
Decreasing the profile icon size. I might need to increase it by another 8px. The smaller profile pic allowed me to play with the position of the journals and the header a bit. I'll need to refine that tomorrow. I got some feedback from @lucas and there's a bunch of other things I need to fix and I'll get to those soon. I also added a message icon here in the form of an envelope on the top right of the profile.
Removed the streak numbers from missed streaks in the daily view.
Two things I would love to have on FL
- Live streaming in Journals while dropping specific artifacts from the process into the Journal. When I start a design session, there's times when I would love to go live and talk to others. But at the same time I still want to be able to drop various screenshots and thoughts for reference into the journal.
- Deep work mode. It would be cool if that was built into FL in some way. I could click an icon and it would start a 25min timer and also adjust the interfaces on FL for deep work.
Added 8px of vertical spacing between the heading '8 Entries' and the grid. 6:57am now. It's interesting once there is a bit of light in the sky, it rapidly brightens up. It's a really neat visual effect. The kind of weird thing is that, the reason the sky is starting to change is because our planet is spinning at an absurd speed and at this current point in time this massive thing we call Earth is turning to face the sun again. And of course it gets weirder the more you extrapolate. For example, the Sun is so large that you could fit 1 million Earths within it. And if you extrapolate out our solar system relative to other things like galaxies, eventually our Sun is as small as we are to the size of the Earth.
I'll take a few mins to watch the sun rise now :)
I'm just pulling in these text labels a bit on the left (Mon, Wed, Fri) to match the width of the rest of the profile. I think it feels better. I need to increase the spacing between the heading '8 Entries' and the grid. I want this to feel really well spaced out and easy to absorb on desktop.
Just adding in the days and the months in this grid. I'm not sure how I feel about it right now. The months on the top of the grid is off in terms of spacing. I'll have to play with that later. I'm also not sure about how the labels on the left side of the grid (Mon, Wed, Fri) fall outside of the width of the rest of the profile. I'll try and pull that in to see how it feels. I'm still a MAJOR amateur with Sketch, so doing some grid stuff and measurement stuff like this can be frustrating for me lol :)
I'm starting to work on this stats view again now that the journals element is a little bit more sorted. I might send @lucas a package with a bunch of new profile interfaces for the new journal components today.
I've changed 'Daily Average' here to Lifetime Daily Average which is more accurate to what it actually is. My Daily Average on FL is 8 Entries. This is calculated based on over 2 years of working like this on a daily cadence. But it's not accurate to my more recent experimentation. Over the past few months I average about 25 entries per day. And that's reflected in my 14 day average. So there needs to be some kind of separation there. A distinction between your recent usage and life time usage.
Giving the highlighted journals here a bit of positional separation. It's 48px above the rest of the journals which are vertically spaced at 16px. When I looked at this, I wondered if in this view there wasn't enough separation in visual elements. If everything kind of felt jumbled together. In this view it might be tough to get a quick understanding through the visual information.
Highlighting journals in the list view. Perhaps when you are viewing highlighted journals in the list view like this, there's an increased separation between the ones that are highlighted and the ones that are not highlighted. I've worked out something similar to this in the grid view.
Good morning everyone. It's 5:38am here in Toronto. Still entirely dark. It's like working at night. This is my ideal.
Enabled switching between todays date and the last modification date of each file.
Built a first prototype that enables users to upload multiple entries at once. I tried to focus on functionality over UI today. The prototype works but still needs a lot of work design wise. Will improve this soon.
The video shows that the files were last modified in May and July this year. Futureland automatically derives the order of entries by their last modification date. I want to make this optional and include a setting that toggles this behavior later.
I also thought about giving the user an option to create entry notes before the files get uploaded. Don't know if this is useful as every entry can be edited after it was uploaded.
Added a little grid icon before the Journals label. It's at 40% opacity. I applied this same opacity to the list icon that is displayed on the grid view.
Sketching how long descriptions could work with this longer rectangles in the list view. I add '…' at a specific point in the description. So in this version of the list view of journals, it's a way of seeing a lot of journals at any given time and not necessarily for expanded information about a specific journal which the grid view provides. The journals in the list view can be displayed in the way that they are ordered by the user. With highlighted ones at the top. It might work.
Experimenting with showing private journals with this same kind of visual treatment. Dotted border with opacity. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet as a way of indicating private journals. It might be too subtle. It feels like one those things you need to keep playing with until something feels right.
Starting to sketch out a list view of journals for profiles. The size of these profile pictures still seem off. I think I notice it more now without my eyes drawn towards the grid of rectangles.
Started to work on a new way for users to publish multiple entries at once. The goal is that a user can drag and drop multiples files into Futureland and upload them in the correct order of their creation. The browser file API unfortunately does not provide the creation time of a file. Instead it offers a timestamp of the last modification of a file. As the time of last modification and creation is mostly the same for images, videos and audio files I will use this data to provide a simple way to quickly import existing files to Futureland.
One use-case for this could be importing @internetvin's 365 days of music project to Futureland by dropping all of his mp3s into our UI.
I'm experimenting with putting the 'list icon' besides the Journals label. I felt like the previous location cluttered the interface and demanded too much attention. This seems like a better location. It will only appear when you are viewing Journals. If you click over to Stats, you will not see it.
I'm experimenting with adding opacity to private journals to differentiate them from the other ones. Private journals are only viewable when you are viewing your own profile.
Making this list icon to the left of the grid a little bigger to see how that feels. Maybe it should be on the right side.
We sent an email out to all of our subscribers last Monday. It was an interesting experience. There were a bunch of replies and for some it lead to renewed interest in Futureland. The plan is to send another one this Monday. Hopefully we can figure out a day and time that makes sense to repeat every week. We're torn between Sunday and Monday right now. And we definitely don't want to waste your time and attention. So these will take focus, hard work and of course mistakes.
This early experimentation with email is essentially the potential birth of a periodical publication (a newsletter?). It's interesting to think about how we should communicate periodically and why. I'm enjoying studying email right now as a mechanism of distribution. Over the past decade, I have been so hyped on tools like Twitter that I've kind of forgotten how many great things existing tools already do (lol). Email seems like such a great form of distributing messages to a lot of people while retaining the ability to have a direct and private conversation with any single recipient. I think I really like this format. We're all very busy, but maybe email allows for a 'bit' of slower more focused consumption. Email clients are not as focused as social networks on diverting your attention to different things.
I also did not realize that newsletters were the origin of newspapers.
I have a lot of thoughts swirling right now. I'll share more soon.
- Futureland needs a meta, a place on Futureland for all of us to talk about Futureland
- If you build an audience on Futureland, you should be able to take it with you if you ever leave here. This probably means 'Shadows' should also mean 'emails'. Building an audience somewhere and then being locked in is trash.
- I think we need to support the creation of periodicals (newsletters). There should be a respectful and cool way that you can package together selected entries of all media types and share them with those who shadow you (in a way that makes everyone happy).
- Thank you so much for using Futureland. For real, all of you. Just talking to everyone and learning from you. I can't put into words how lucky we are. Thank you thank you thank you!
Adding a quick list button on this profile view. This likely needs to be a lot bigger. The idea here is that anyone can click that button and it will show you all of a user's public journals in a list instead of a grid like this. In that list view you'll be able to more quickly scan through the journals and get some more information on them as well. Let's see how that feels as I start working on it.
Added unsubscribe links to our newsletter.
Optimized the mobile navigation for really tiny screens (iPhone SE).
Started to show the current streak at all times.
Added a new animation when creating comments.
Pushed several different bug fixes and the new full screen entry view to production.
Thanks to everyone who wrote us emails this week. I've been making my way through them and setting up times to hang with everyone. It's really neat hearing perspectives on Futureland and also directly sharing how I am using it. I really enjoy the insights that come out of that too. :)
Experimenting with a dotted border to note private journals when a user is viewing her own profile. Not sure how I feel about this yet.
Like this. Any time a Journal is highlighted, it remains at the top and takes up the entire row. So if only a single Journal is highlighted, it will isolate itself on the top row. Perhaps then we set a limit on the number of journals that can be highlighted at any given time to 4.
If a user highlights a Journal, perhaps they can always be displayed in the first row. If there are multiple journals highlighted, perhaps the user can drag them around to order them in a specific way. If a journal is highlighted it will always take up the first row. Even if only a single Journal is highlighted. I'll show you what I mean.
Time for a short break.
I moved the entire profile up by 16px to match the vertical position of the menu in the top right to see how that feels. Not sure yet. It seems like one of those things we will have to feel out while implementing things. It makes sense to do it, something seems just a bit off. Perhaps the size of the profile pic or something.
Adding more real information into this sketch to see how it feels.
I'm just starting to add more real information into this sketch. I've also started to adjust the position of the title, description and entries. Moving the title up by 8px balances the rectangle more I find. Moving the entries to 16px from the bottom border opens a lot more space for Journals with longer descriptions.
Added a Journals and Stats toggle to the Profiles here. A simple way of toggling between viewing all of a user's public journals and their stats on FL.
Just starting to get a sense of how this feels. I also need to figure out a way for users to highlight specific journals. Hm. And I wonder if a list view could be useful. When a user is viewing their own profile they would need to be able to clearly see which of their journals is private and so on. A lot more to think about. But taking some steps forward.
Just laying out these Journals in their normal state to see how it feels. To see if it feels too flat. I'll populate this with more dynamic information soon.
Trying another approach that builds on the variants from yesterday and considers @ethan's suggestion. This seems like it might make sense. In its normal state the Journal displays its title, description and the number of entries. When you hover over it, the entire rectangle will slowly cycle through recent contents. A way of peaking inside.
Now the worry is whether the Journals look too flat or not in the normal state. I'll lay them out on the profile to see how that feels. We might be able to incorporate Journal icons on the normal state as well when the user has selected one.
Working on an option to unsubscribe from our newsletter. Not really happy with the interaction. But currently not worth it to spend more time on it.
Implemented email confirmations to validate email addresses of new users.
I need to think a bit more about those journal units on the profiles. Sometimes I find things make more sense if I walk away from my MacBook or work on something else for a bit. Started sketching a bit of 'stats' on these user profiles. I'm super excited about this. I think it will be fun to see someone's work and then poke around their stats. :)
I think the squares on the grid here might be a bit too small for a profile like this. Not sure, I'll need to check this out on a bigger display. I find my sense of dimensions are a mess when I'm designing on my MBP.
Processing @ethan's feedback on these profile sketches I'm doing. Here I'm sketching out more variants of how journals could be displayed on FL profiles. In this concept journals are displayed as simple rectangles with a title, description and the number of entries. When you hover over the journal, it displays various media in the background. I'll need to figure out how to handle text here. Hm. Or maybe that's something we do not include in the effect, not sure yet.
Office hours (?)
We sent out an email yesterday to everyone asking if they would be interested in having an audio or video chat about Futureland. I mentioned that I could share how I am using FL in my own life and I thought it would be cool to hear perspectives on that and FL generally.
The feedback on this email has been really positive with a lot of interest. I'm slowly replying to everyone who wrote back to me. It's got me thinking that it might be interesting to do some kind of regular office hours here. Perhaps a weekly time for us to come together and chat about our experiments and FL as a tool.
What do you think?
Pushed a new Futureland app version to TestFlight. It includes support for iPad and the stats view.
Added the full screen view to comments on the activity feed.
Adding the word Stats instead of an icon to see how that feels on these profiles.
Adding a stats icon to this profile so you can see another user's FL stats. Might be an interesting thing to explore.
Perhaps users can highlight specific journals on their profiles and drag them around in a specific order to kind of suggest how their profiles are explored by visitors.
Picking up a bit of work on the redesign of profiles.
- Worked on a lot of little tweaks and bug fixes
- Server maintenance
- Prepared a newsletter
Futureland has developed and expanded a lot in 2020. It's not always the easiest thing to understand and I think making that easier is a community effort. I'm planning on emailing everyone who's signed up for FL to see who's open to give us another shot and who's open to just chat about stuff in general. I've also been getting interested in this concept of office hours. I wonder about it a bunch and how something like that might work here.
FL is __________
We're trying to learn more about what Futureland is and we're curious about what you think about it. So here's a prompt for you. Fill in the blank in the title above and share with us in the comments!
Credit goes to @tmm for this idea. He's becoming a good friend of mine. Just like others here, he's always sending me ways to improve FL and new things to think about.
Improved the mobile version of the new comment interface.
When you've joined an open journal, the button adjusts to its active state and says 'Joined'. I wonder if that word sounds off - might be another thing that just works for now.
Adjusted the 'Join In' button to 'Join' feels more simple. This is the hover state at 100% opacity. I wonder about stacking two buttons on top of each other like this, but maybe it just works for now.
Almost finished with the weekly review email. This would have been mine if I got this email today. I am not satisfied with this yet so I will take it slow to not rush things.
Experimenting with adding a 'Join in' button on open journals. There's an opacity on this button. It will brighten on hover. I'm wondering whether we title the button 'Join' or 'Join in'.
Working on active state. When you start typing the text area becomes white instead of grey and the send button is highlighted in white as well. This might need some more work still but it's a good start I think.
Adjusted the comment text to a grey instead of white in this full screen entry interface. I still need to fix the arrows to be an overlay to allow for full screen width.
I deleted Twitter last night. It's a funny thing to write about and even think about really. It's just an account on a social network. I used it for 11 years though (lol). I think what happens with these social networks is we project parts of our identity on to them. So deleting the account becomes a killing of that identity. Deleting Twitter was not a quick decision. I ran lots of different experiments over multiple years. Tweeting about different subjects and at different frequencies. I followed people, curated my list of followers and then eventually I stopped following everyone. That last thing - unfollowing everyone - was a useful way of focusing my Twiter only on publishing. But there's always some content that shows up in explore or trending that ends up distracting me. My Twitter use wasn't super high. I was able to slowly use it less and less over time. I did not have the app on my phone and I would only use it on my Mac. The one thing I could not get rid of though, was the need for recognition. Whenever I would tweet something, I would often check to see if it had any likes. I needed to know. Is this something people liked or not? Am I a winner or am I a loser? Twitter became a way for my brain to turn thoughts into dopamine. On a subconscious level, I feel I would automatically imagine ideas that would do well within the format of Twitter. After 11 years of use, my brain had the circuitry to make that type of ideation happen whether I liked it or not. I've become very curious about how my brain might work without something like Twitter as an outlet. Deleting this account also means I am no longer on any social network except Futureland.
I've always imagined Futureland as a place where anyone feels comfortable sharing things in process, where it's easier to stick to things, and ultimately sustain ourselves. Maybe the best way to create that place for others is to try to create it for ourselves.
Today on Futureland #11
- Getting a bunch done on full screen entries. Should be ready for you soon but still things to work out.
- Some of you are using the early iOS app now which is great. If you want a link let me know. We’re slowly adding more components to it.
- Making good progress on a weekly email experiment that shares some insights about individual and community wide activity. We’ll try and send the first one on Sunday morning!
- Our onboarding is not good yet, mostly because it’s hard to tell people what FL is when we are figuring it out for ourselves! But this is something we are working on now and will build on each day :)
Weekly emails from FL
We're going to start experimenting with a weekly email that you can opt-in or opt-out of. It will include both individual and community wide stats. It will take practice and experimentation to find the right mix of useful information, but here's some things we can start with:
- Total entries this week
- Your most active journal this week
- Your average publish time this week
- The day with your highest entries this week
- Total entries this week
- The most active journal on Futureland this week
- The most active entry on Futureland this week
- Some recent users who have joined
We can definitely expand on this over time. What do you think?
Today on Futureland #10
(1) New use case developing where groups use FL for real time public discussion
(2) Opt-in weekly individual & community wide stats
(3) In addition to the stats every user can access on any journal which can be very powerful
Fixed a bunch of bugs that users where reporting last night.
Idea: weekly insights
We’re thinking about putting together a simple email for you (that you can opt-out) that includes interesting insights on your individual activity on FL. It can also include general platform statistics so you can see how things are developing. I share more thoughts in this audio clip.
What do you think?
Thought it would be cool if the URL and window position changes while navigating through a journal when using the detail view.
Today on Futureland #9
(1) We're trying to improve how conversations happen on FL through new full screen entries
(2) We made a little iOS app that improves publishing to FL from your phone. It supports text, photos, video and audio
Help us test our early iOS apps
We have a little test iOS app that we can share with a few friends. Its focus is entirely on publishing for now, so functionality is limited to 'Daily' and adding Futureland to your share sheet. You can use the app to quickly publish to journals from your phone - photos, videos, text, audio. This is interesting experimentation because @lucas has been using FL to teach himself iOS development to build this app. He uses a journal titled, Native Software to document his process.
If you have iOS 14 and you are interested in testing out the app, drop a comment!
Today on Futureland #8
(1) You can now Shadow Journals on Futureland :)
(2) We added the ability to download original media on public journal entries.
Added a new "All" section to the home view that shows all Journals the user is contributing to.
Today on Futureland #7 - A daily video update on our work with Futureland.
(1) There's new interface improvements to 'Daily' on desktop, a tool to help you revisit things that are important to you ever day. New skills, side projects and anything else you find interesting.
(2) Shadowing is almost ready for public testing. A way to opt-in to updates on a creator's work without notifying the creator.
Improved the UI for creating/deleting bookmarks.
Today on Futureland #6 - A daily video update on our work with Futureland.
(1) Making some good progress on Shadowing, a way to opt-in to updates on a creators work without notifying the creator.
(2) Early challenges, questions, and wondering about how people will end up using Shadowing
Pushed a tiny update that makes shortcuts in the hints section clickable. Additionally added a new global shortcut
J to create new Journals.
September 8 2020 daily audio update on Futureland
Experimenting with making the daily view available on every page.
Here's another clip from a video I am working on about Futureland. In this one I describe how comments work on every Journal's timeline.
A clip from a video I am working on about Futureland. In this clip, I am beginning to describe the 'timeline' that's on every Journal on Futureland.
September 4 2020: audio update on our work on Futureland.
Prepared some major refactoring and tweaked the daily view in our developer preview.
Slightly improved the daily view today.
This is current state of a video I am working on that describes recent improvements to Futureland. I'm letting myself be open while I think and work through this - so as you will see the video is long right now. It might end up becoming something that we break into components. I'll continue on it today :)
Improved the new Daily view with more information about entries and an enhanced Journal picker.
You can collapse the sidebar on Journals by pushing 'c'.
This is a rough clip of a video I am working on about some improvements we're making to Futureland :)
Sept 1 2020: A daily audio update on our work for Futureland.
Pushed a small update that disables the autoplaying of journal previews and some minor bug fixes.
Here’s an audio update on what we’re working on for Futureland today.
I spent a bunch of time today thinking and writing about different components of Futureland. Thanks to everyone who is always messaging me and sharing feedback on using this thing. I'm starting to sketch out an improved version of the Activity view, in this concept there's something called 'Shadowing'. Users would be able to Shadow journals, which means they can opt-in to updates on them but the creators will not be notified of it. This would be a careful step in understanding how concepts like 'Following' or 'Subscribing' should or should not work on Futureland.
Testing audio entries on Futureland
We have a working version of 'Hints' in the developer version of Futureland. It will likely be in production very soon. While I am hovering over objects on this Interface, you will see 'Hints' displaying more context about everything I am hovering over on the bottom right of the screen. I am very proud of the work we are doing here because it's been a fun collaboration between @lucas and I and also because I believe this is rooted in good design principles.
Today I worked on some internal optimizations, refactoring and several bug fixes concerning the Journal Sidebar.
Experimenting with new ways to show errors. This one would show the error in the Toolbar.
Pushed a small update that caches the state of Daily on the client. This makes the most important journals instantly available without loading times.
- Fixed a bug that would prevent audio covers from being stored correctly. No data was lost. If you notice that one of your entries is missing a cover, please contact me.
- Fixed tiny UI glitches that appeared after the big update from Thursday.
- Our worker service that processes/converts all incoming media like images and videos and sends out email notifications was offline for several hours. The problem is now resolved.
Pushed a bigger update with the following changes:
- Added a global Toolbar at the bottom that displays useful keyboard shortcuts
- Added a global search component that can be toggled with
CMD + /
- Improved Journal Sidebar design
- Improved Timeline design
- Improved text editors across Futureland.
- Only the creator of a Journal is allowed to change its settings or delete it.
- Only the creator of an Entry is allowed to edit it or delete it.
Having a lot of fun while playing around with the new quick search. Added a simple solution to search users and navigate to their profiles. Can't wait to ship this feature.
Starting to add hints to our new Journals Interface. As I hover over buttons in the menu here, you can see hints are being displayed in the bottom bar. Here the bottom bar is displaying the purpose of each button in the menu. We will add these kinds of hints across all of our Interfaces over time. I'm really excited this! :)
Started to work on a quick search/commander/spotlight component. For now it is possible to quickly navigate to journals and all other Futureland areas. In this session I focused on the functionality rather than the design. Feels really great. Will improve the design later.
Added a subtle animation to the new toolbar and navigation when logging in and out.
Spent this morning tweaking the design of the upcoming journal changes. Played around with only showing a few comments on the timeline because it starts to look cluttered on journals with a lot of comments.
Playing around with hints that we want to show in the toolbar when hovering over various UI-elements.
Added a toolbar to the bottom of the web version of Futureland. It shows all available keyboard shortcuts on a page. Later we want to display little hints on the left side of the toolbar to make it easier to use Futureland.
Pushed several bug fixes and small style tweaks to our dev version. I think we can push this to production soon.
- Pushed an update that optimizes loading times for journals with a high number of entries.
- Fixed a bug that displayed wrong colors in the stats view and changed the order of the charts.
Used this morning to make some changes to the journal according to @internetvin's latest package. Overall everything feels way cleaner and more balanced on the screen. I am not sure about the new menu position though.
I am not 100% happy with the result yet but the improvements are already noticeable. Will probably ship a new optimized version to production tomorrow.
Pushed a new update with the following changes:
- Futureland+ is now available.
- Made the sidebar state persistent when browsing Futureland.
- Unified look and functionality of several view components.
- Moved the buttons for shop, grid and video chat into the sidebar.
- "Collaborators" are now called "Contributors".
- Several smaller design tweaks and bug fixes.
Chinenual is Steve Tynor. He's a software engineer who dabbles in composition and sound synthesis, but can't quite figure out what genres he works in. In fact he's not really sure what many of the genre titles mean -- ambient? post-ambient? retro-electronica? chilly-tribal? acid-ambient? space music? Doing his best to fuse the right and left sides of his brain and make music.
I hopped on a video chat with @stevet today, who I find to be a very interesting fella. He has a diverse set of interests and has been using Futureland since it was just this little I was trying to code. It's still a little thing but I like to think it has improved a bunch since then :). He's always been super supportive and he has over 365 music entries on Futureland. You can listen to snippets from his process here: https://futureland.tv/stevet/music
Put the Grid and other buttons into the journal sidebar yesterday. Today I tried to improve the spacing and transition.
- Fixed a bug that would prevent users on mobile to create new journals.
- Fixed a bug that would render the notes input in the push view way too small in some cases.
Started to show when users join journals on the activity feed.
Spent a lot of time playing around with the Stripe API this morning. Found out how customers can give themselves full refunds and how to set up subscription based payments.
The basic implementation is almost done.
Played around with the new output detail component.
Pushed some minor design tweaks for the push view and markdown rendering.
Futureland is a tiny team. There's just two of us and we really care about this project. Here are a few of our developing thoughts on the Sustainability of Futureland.
Grow at a Natural Rate
Futureland should only ever grow at a natural rate. We do not want to create the biggest company in the world, we just want to be the best for our activities and our users (artists). Even if that means we are always small! We believe that if we make things people love, those people will support us. And if we don't, they won't! It is our challenge and responsibility to put in the work to figure out how to make the kinds of tools that artists love.
Free for Public Use
Futureland can be used publicly or privately. The public use of Futureland will be free. When you use Futureland publicly, anyone can learn from and interact with your process. So sharing publicly becomes a way of contributing to the lives and the work of everyone else using Futureland. You will be able to create unlimited public Entries and unlimited public Journals on Futureland.
The tools we make are for people who understand that some things can only ever be finished on longer time scales. That's what makes those things special! Learning a new skill requires practice. Tending to a garden is a slow and joyous process. Writing a book or making a film requires continuous attention for months and years. Our tools are designed for exploring and sharing these types of experiences.
Active Refunds and Pure Revenue
We want all of our revenue to come from users who actually use Futureland. We call this 'Pure Revenue'. There's a pattern in subscription based businesses where a lot of revenue comes from users who forget to cancel their subscriptions or from users who do not use the tool. We do not want any of this revenue. We will actively seek out users who are not using Futureland and ask them if they want their money back. If you purchase a paid version of Futureland and do not see value in the tool, you can get a full refund. We see it as our responsibility to create tools that our users love. If people try our tools and do not love them, they will always be able to get their money back.
Priced for Sustainability
We do not want to create the biggest tools, we want to create the best ones for our users. The best tools are ones that can last over many years of use. This means we need a sustainable way to continually put time and money into the research, experiments, design and development of these tools.
Futureland will not create the cheapest tools, but we hope that our users feel the higher quality and deeper thinking warrants the higher price. A higher price also means we can achieve a sustainable project with fewer users. This allows us to spend less time trying to chase new users and spend more time focusing on improving tools for the users we already have.
Here's a few early thoughts on pricing:
- Free: Unlimited Public Entries, 50 Private Entries
- Plus(+) $240/year: Unlimited Public and Private Entries, API access (coming)
Spent some time this morning to work more on the new detail component. In this session I tried to focus on improving the display and composing of comments. I can say that it already feels way better than the old comment component I built in one morning when we were still together in house one.
Projects and Outputs to Journals and Entries
If you have been using Futureland, you know that two important terms are Projects and Outputs. Today we are changing those terms to Journals and Entries. These terms better reflect the expanding use cases of Futureland and the work we have been putting in to improve the tool.
A Project was a skill you were learning. An Output was a daily unit of progress towards the completion of your Project. The hope was getting to 365 Outputs in a Project. This would mean you had worked on learning a new skill by creating something for 365 consecutive days. Quite a few users have completed these Projects in a range of disciplines like computer programming, visual art, 3d modeling, yoga. It is a life changing experience to go through.
As we continue working on Futureland and improving its functionality, it is becoming clear that this tool is expanding beyond just learning skills through a daily Output. Futureland is becoming a way to continually bring your attention back to anything that is important or interesting to you. This still includes learning new skills, but it has expanded to include other things like your observations, relationships, research, experiments and more. Projects on Futureland are starting to feel more like unique digital Journals.
I created an open Journal where anyone can share photos of the Sky. By adding it to my Daily, it encourages me to look up and appreciate the sky each day. Since it is an open Journal, anyone can add an Entry and it currently has 146 Entries. I have Journals for research themes I am working through like, 'Sustainability' and 'Self-reliance'. I have a private Journal titled, 'Kaito' that I use to cultivate a healthy relationship with my son. I have one for Meditation, Yoga and the various books I am reading. Whenever a Journal is important I add it to my Daily until it is time to remove it. Others use Futureland in similarly expanding ways, Disconnecting by @tmm, Native Garden by @ethan and @sloane, making art by @marco, organization by @justin, etc.
This might seem like a simple change of terms, but it's an important step for us. It took a lot of work and experimentation to get to this point. It's really cool to be a part of Futureland and to observe how this little experiment continues to develop.
I wonder how we could collect and share your perspectives on Futureland. I wonder what the right way is to do that.
Started to work on a simple detail view for all kinds of entries. This does not look like much yet and needs a lot of work. I want to use this as an opportunity to improve the comment experience as well.
Pushed a new update with the following changes:
- Added descriptions to the "New Journal" and "New Entry" buttons on hover
- Show the "New Journal" tile as first one in the profile view
- Replaced all occurrences of "Project" with "Journal" and "Output" with "Entry"
- Fix position of the comment component when it would partially be displayed outside of the window
- Updated the homepage
- Removed the video banner
I am experimenting with adding new sections to this home page concept. So you can explore various components of what Futureland is and believes in a focused way. In this little Sketch, the current sections are 'A Network of Digital Journals', 'How to Learn with Futureland' and 'On Sustainability'. I am not sure what the final sections will be. They will be added as they are completed.
Trying to make the functions of the new buttons in the navigation more obvious.
Pushed a new update with the following changes:
- Tweaked the overall design of the current push view
- Added a word count on the push view
- Added a simple "Focus Mode" that helps to focus on the notes of an output
- Moved the collaborator settings to project settings
- Included the new sidebar in the grid view
I am working on a new modular home page concept for Futureland. As I have mentioned in earlier writing in this Journal, I see a 'home page' as kind of a table of contents for an interactive experience. It is a way of holding the entire concept of something in your head. There's a bunch of stuff we need to work on for Futureland to have a great home page (table of contents), but we're slowly starting to work on components of it. As each component starts to make a bit of sense we will update the home page with it.
Futureland allows you to create a network of public or private digital journals for anything important or interesting to you. These digital journals have very unique abilities. You can instantly jump to any point in time. Seeing a Journal's progression from a day ago, a month ago or even years ago. You can use a feature called 'Daily' to stick to Journals that need your attention every day. Maybe ones that you are using to learn a new skill or ones that you are using to get healthy. You can share Journals with your friends or share just a single entry. When you're working with others, you can add them to a Journal as collaborators so they can share progress and insights as well.
Using Futureland is a different experience. We find it is difficult to overstate the power of continually bringing your attention back to the things you care about most.
Added a "Collaborators" section to the project settings to invite other users to collaborate on projects. Additionally this lets users invite people to projects that are not on Futureland yet.
Added a toggle button to switch quickly to a more focused push view.
Learning a new skill is the inevitable byproduct of repeating the right behaviours. If you write some kind of code every day, you will learn how to code. If you make some kind of music every day you will learn how to make music. This pattern applies to every skill that you want to learn. Animation, filmmaking, meditation, yoga, gardening, writing, Jiu Jitsu, anything. In a world where we have access to unlimited information, the only thing standing in the way of continuous learning is practice. Futureland helps you repeat the activities that lead to the acquisition of new skills and it visually documents your progress through public or private digital journals.
Futureland is designed for you to transform anything. To transform something is to change its nature, function or condition. You might want to transform one of your abilities like becoming someone who can make music or write software. Perhaps you want to transform the state of an idea into something tangible. Maybe you want to transform the environment around you. Or maybe you want to transform your relationship with someone or something. Futureland is designed for these kinds of transformations.
To transform something, you need to repeat specific behaviours, widen your identity, take in high quality inputs and reflect often. Futureland integrates all of these activities into a single, simple and powerful experience. There is no other tool like this and it is the product of our own research and experiments.
To help users focus more on writing I added a button to the push view that makes the media preview smaller.
Added a word count to the push view.
I am starting to make some small improvement to the settings Interface for our Journals. No major changes, just widening it, including a space to add collaborators and improving the usability a bit if I can.
Implemented this little file preview on the side.
I'm moving around our navigation menu to see if it feels better in any other position. It's funny we have tried so many different things with this. Last week I spent a bunch of time designing an icon based menu and @lucas put a bunch of time in trying to get it to feel sharp from an interaction perspective. At the end of that work, it still never felt as good and simple as just having a text based menu at the top right of the screen. It requires the least thinking and allows for an immediate and direction understanding of what everything does. It's funny how that works. Kind of cool. I hope as we move through designing more of this tool we can stay focused on letting function and simplicity drive the decisions we make.
Pushed a new update to production including:
- New project sidebar
- Project icons that get displayed in the project sidebar. Users can upload them in the project settings
- Added /stats to the desktop menu
- Several small bugfixes
Sending @lucas another package of Interfaces that attempts to improve the publishing interface on Futureland. These interfaces accommodate every type of media (except audio) which I will dive into soon. It would be super tight if our experimentations in native software eventually take us to a point where we can quickly drop audio into any Journal.
Added some subtle shadows to the button.
Testing out some new hover and active states for the icon menu.
I have been making some design improvements to publishing on Futureland. There's A LOT of continual work that needs to be done on this but these are small steps in a positive direction. This is a little package of interfaces I am sending over to @lucas for some early feedback.
Also it's likely that we will be pushing a new side bar to all Journals soon. And a new menu too. There's ways we can refine both of those things and I'm sure you will tell us how once you start playing with those things.
Playing around with different active and hover states.
Played around with subtler hover transitions for the new menu.
There have been a bunch of us here recently who have completed experiments in continuous creative output for 365 consecutive days. This output ranges from disciplines like violin, software, water color, pixel art and 3d modelling (soon). This is straight up incredible and I am still processing all of it. I cannot believe it. I'll be writing more about these users and these projects very soon. I have been quiet about this because I am just at a loss for words observing all of this.
A massive congratulations to everyone who some how managed to see through these experiments. Life brings so many ups and downs. To see this is just crazy inspiring.
If you are viewing one of your own Journals or a Journal that you are a collaborator on and you click the New entry button, Futureland will infer that you want to add a new entry to that Journal. In the Where field, the Journals name will already be displayed in a dimmer text and a blinking cursor beside it suggesting that it is editable. This allows you to quickly backspace if you want to publish somewhere else.
In this updated publishing view as the user is typing the name of a Journal, Futureland will infer and show you various Journals you might be trying to select. This mechanic assumes that users always start with a blank 'Where' field. We need to figure out how to infer where you want to publish sometimes so you do not have to go through this step every time. I just had an idea while writing this.
I'm working on a little update to our publish view on Futureland. This could be the empty state. There's a field titled 'Where:' that is where you input the name of the Journal you are publishing to. I also added text at the top of the interfaces that says 'Esc to exit' The 'exit' text is underlined because it is a clickable link that will close the publishing view. This text also shows the user how to exit out of this view with their keyboard. Push the esc key. Other subtle details are that the 'New entry' button on the top right is faded. This is to indicate that you have already triggered this activity and cannot trigger it again. I'll share a couple of other little developments in a moment.
Worked on a minimal UI to add project icons.
I am starting to experiment with a little design update to Futureland's existing publishing interface. I think we need a more prominent display of the Journal you are publishing to. Quick Journal switching would be useful and an immersive feeling when writing. I would also be cool if you could publish to multiple Journals at the same time. :)
I am starting to experiment with an icon based menu on the right side of Futureland. The labels will be triggered on a hover state. The hope is that an adjustment like this opens up more space on the interfaces and takes Futureland towards more desktop tool patterns.
Made multiple tweaks to the upcoming sidebar component and fixed a bunch of bugs.
I started working on an inline entry component for new entries. This means when you click the + button or drag a file onto the Journal, you will be able to compose your entry right on the surface of the Journal you are publishing to.
Implemented a drop-down menu for the new project sidebar.
Adding a new persistent Header to Journals on mobile so that you don’t have to click away to get into new information (a feature of my previous mock up). I still need to add a Way to access settings and sharing. Of course the icon at the top of these journals will always be yours.
I'm sending sketches of these new interfaces to @lucas for feedback and implementation. They include updates to a new side bar component of Journals we are working on and mobile sketches that reflect the same behaviours on smaller screens. As always, we will have to keep tweaking and working through these.
Pushed a small update:
- Output timestamps are now clickable links.
- Users can now move, edit or delete an output directly from the activity feed and publicly shared outputs.
I'm starting to sketch out new Journal interfaces for mobile that reflect some of the things we are experimenting with on desktop so there's a shared language between larger and smaller screens.
Playing around with some sidebar animations.
Started to show our new output menu on the activity view.
Started to implement the first version of the new sidebar that @internetvin designed. This still needs a lot of work, but I am confident that we can make this feel really good. Can't wait to keep working on this tomorrow.
I had a good conversation with @lucas about this new side bar on Journals and he's started implementing it so that we get more of a tactile feel for it.
I'm adding some more detail to this collapsed state. Right now I can't see a way in which we could include the name of the Journal in the collapsed view. I have included the total number of entries, which is helpful to see to understand the size of a Journal but in a way perhaps the wrong thing to do. Humans have this thing with numbers where when they see them they think the only thing that matters is increasing them. A journal with 10 entries could be just as useful as a journal with 15,000. So something to think about there.
The collaborators icons shrink in the collapsed state and can enlarge in the expanded view. Lucas showed me a cool transition effect that he thinks could really bring this to life in a compelling way. There's still a lot to think about here.
I'm sending this package of Interfaces over to @lucas now. It's a step towards experimenting with this new side bar concept. Clicking the journal's icon will expand and collapse the side bar.
Right now we don't have Journal icons, so I think something that would be interesting is a slow fade between entries like we do on Profiles but slower. Let's see what Lucas thinks. Hopefully we can start playing with this our developer version.
Working on a collapsed state of this side bar concept. It really opens up the interface. I'm separating this work into two projects. Let's call them 'Sidebar' and 'Timeline2'.
Sidebar is about moving key information to the left of the Interface in a way that can be expanded and collapsed to result in a cleaner and more focused interface.
Timeline2 is about moving the timeline closer to the entries so that it's easier to associate the entries with the timeline. Ideally this improves the experience of interacting with Journals on Futureland. This might be a good time to make some other little improvements to it as well.
Added a new button in the output menu that enables users to move outputs to different projects. This is especially useful for outputs that were accidentally pushed to the wrong project.
I'm thinking through a bunch of improvements to how we view Journals on Futureland. Not ready yet but I think we might be getting closer to running some experiments. I'm SUPER stoked to be working on these desktop improvements right now
Thought it would be cool if users would be able to join open projects on their own. This would enable them to display projects they contributed to in their profile and gives them the option to add them to daily. Came up with this working prototype for now.
Pushed a bigger update to production. It includes the following changes:
- A redesigned output menu.
- Option to create public links for private projects.
- Option to create public links for single outputs in private projects.
- A new daily output graph in the stats view.
- Several bug fixes and design tweaks.
Hit a flow state tonight. It was fun! I lost track of time and space :)
Good night FL!
A quick update to how comment numbers are displayed on entries to build on some of the improvements we are making to these components. I'll send this over to @lucas now.
I have been using these new expanded menus we have added in the developer version of Futureland. They are a blast to use! I find it makes Futureland feel a lot more stable or something and also makes it super easy to grab quick links of your entries and share them with your friends. And also to just jump into things like editing and deleting entries. I think we did them well!
Hopefully you can try them out soon!
Experimenting with a new timeline position to see how it feels…
Last night @tania brought to my attention that outputs that include markdown can look weird when posted to Twitter. As of now we strip away any markdown that was used when creating outputs.
That means outputs that use markdown like this:
### Visual Hierarchy in UX Design #### Sizing • use sizing and scale to draw more attention to elements more than others - need to be care...
will now get tweeted like
Visual Hierarchy in UX Design Sizing • use sizing and scale to draw more attention to elements more than others - need to be care...
Text variant of single output display. I think this will be useful for writers and those who want to encourage a longer form discourse related to something on their projects / journals.
I have started working on a concept for a single entry display. You might use this when you have a private project and only want to share a single entry with someone. Or if you want to show an entry in an isolated view for whatever reason.
Looking at this it's making me think I need to get to a new commenting interface soon.
Tried to add a minimal display of the expiration time of a sharing link. Not 100% happy with this yet.
Playing around with this minimal interface to publicly share single outputs that were pushed to a private project.
Working on a minimal UI component to create sharing links for private projects.
Started to share some new thoughts with @internetvin today.
- Connecting outputs to multiple projects.
- Referencing outputs inside other outputs.
- Sharing private projects via unique links.
- Sharing outputs inside of private projects via unique links.
Wrote some logic to show the output menu on the left or right dependent on the available space.
Implemented closing of the output menu when the user clicks outside the menu.
Pushed a new Futureland version to production with the following changes:
- Moved the push button on desktop under the main menu.
- Improved the interaction of the push button on desktop and mobile.
- Fixed a bug that would not allow users in an open project to delete or edit their own outputs.
Tried out the output menu concept that @internetvin sent me last night. I like this idea a lot, although I have to figure out how it could work on mobile. It could be problematic that not all of the desired user actions are always visible on the output surface. I really like that this approach is extendable. As I look into the future there will be a couple of additional options for our users, like downloading the original or creating a public link for one output only. So it could be good to already have a place like this. Additionally it could be a place to display more meta data about the output.
During implementation I noticed the following problems:
- As the screen gets smaller this starts to overlap with the main menu. Showing the output menu on the left instead of right could be a solution for situations where there is not enough space to show the menu on the right side.
- I was worried that I have to loose the little interaction I built into the "Copy link" button. I solved it by creating a 300ms delay before closing the menu if that button was clicked before. I hope that still makes it obvious enough for the user that the action was executed successfully.
- Users might not know that it is possible to quickly share on twitter or copy the link to the output.
- We have to adjust this a little bit to fit into the activity view concept.
Sent another package off to @lucas. The headers of the entries here have been adjusted. There's now a comment icon and then another icon that triggers an expanded menu that includes a bunch of ways to manipulate the entries. This will allow us to add more options as we learn more about how users want to manipulate these entries.
I am based out of Toronto and he is based out of Germany so he's sleeping now! Let's what he thinks of this when he wakes up and what he learns after experimenting with implementation. We played with implementing my side bar concept today and there's a bunch of quirks with it. It does not look ideal with short text based outputs. I like the immediacy of having all of the controls available with a single click but it clutters up the interface a bunch and you might not always need all of the controls available. So let's see what we learn from this approach.
Implemented the new output Sidebar Vin sent me last night.
This is the current state of a new video I'm working on for Futureland. Would be cool to be able to render stuff faster! lol
Started to experiment with showing a daily graph view for outputs. Not 100% happy with the design of it yet but it works. I hope this will help users to find out more about their personal behavior and output patterns.
Working on a new section for this vid about recent updates to Futureland.
Updated client dependencies and fixed some bugs.
I'm experimenting with an updated Profile view for Futureland on desktop. There's still a bunch of stuff to do but I'm really liking how this is starting to feel. I think it's super cool to see a person as a 'Stream' like this.
- Optimized rendering of the push button on desktop.
- Fixed a bug that could accidentally push outputs to the users stream in some cases.
Working on a way to switch between 'Stream' and 'Projects' in these new profiles. The more challenging part will be trying to figure out how someone might want to structure a Project (or a Journal) relative to their identity. At times you identify with certain projects more than others.
- Fixed wrong project links in email notifications for comments that were created in open projects.
- Started to send email notifications to output creators in open projects that are not collaborators of the project.
- Started to experiment with a better push button placement on desktop.
- Added new
CMD + D (Mac) and
CTRL + D (Windows) shortcut to quickly open the daily view.
- Optimized the order of navigation items on mobile.
- We are now hiding the push button on the mobile stats view.
- Added a subtle animation when pressing the push button on mobile.
Sketching out concepts for new Profiles on Futureland desktop. What I am trying to do here is turn down the volume on a profile being a finite projection of your identity and turn up the volume on a profile being a dynamic stream of consciousness.
Prepared the current output streak calculation for the upcoming change that allows to push outputs to multiple projects at the same time.
More sketching, getting a bit hungry.
Running some tests for a vid about new updates to FL.
- Fixed some bugs that arose through the architectural changes I made this morning.
- Removed the ability to push outputs to the "Stream" project.
Pushed an update that will allow to push outputs to multiple projects at the same time. This is a major architectural change that fundamentally changes how we handle outputs on Futureland. I tried to test everything as thorough as possible before pushing to production. If something seems broken please don't hesitate to contact me.
We will release an update that actually allows our users to push to multiple projects soon.
- Fixed automated scrolling of our comments component.
- Fixed links to open projects.
I think there’s a lot of tools that are great for slower velocities. When you want to stop and think about stuff, there’s a bunch of software for that. But when you want to speed things up, when you want to share at a very high velocity with no filtering it seems harder to find tools for that. I published 26 times to FL yesterday and it still feels too slow relative to how fast I want to share!
Finished fixing a bug that would prevent some users from connecting their Twitter accounts to Futureland.
@zsmith and his violin
@zsmith hit 365 outputs on his violin project today! That's a lot of days to sit down and make something with your violin! I still find it hard to process this kind of stuff when I see it happen. It's just so cool to see someone experiment like this!
I liked watching the video he made on his first day. You can see him kind of just figuring out how to hold the violin correctly. He really just dove in! @zsmith is one of the earliest users here and he's supported this project a bunch! Thanks for everything man!
Here's his first video :)
Starting to work on that video (https://futureland.tv/internetvin/futureland/16819) again for Futureland. I took a break from it to work on some necessary improvements first with @lucas. There's a lot to cover and we're excited to share our thinking with everyone. Some of you have already noticed the changes (especially if you use FL on mobile).
Here I'm just starting to write a script for the video. I write sections and then perform the audio to see how it feels. My writing is almost always verbose. If you ever want to clean up your writing, force yourself to make a video of what you've written! It's as if everything we right is always too long!
Added a new way to remove and reorder projects from the log.
Improved comment creation on the activity feed.
I made some improvements to the Public Activity interface. In this variant, there's more focus on the conversations that are happening on Futureland. A new comment button is more prominent and well placed so it is easier to share your thoughts on anything you see. All of the text has been made larger and the events are more well spaced to improve readability.
I'm sending this little package over to @lucas now so we can start to see how this things feels!
Made some small improvements to comments in the activity view.
I designed over 30 variants of this Public Activity interface for Futureland on mobile. This variant tries to increase focus on the conversations that are happening on Futureland. The comments are displayed in context of an output / entry. Telegram was a big influence here. Outputs / Entries are still large on the screen. You can easily comment on anything by clicking the prominent arrow icon. For now it will trigger our existing comments interface.
I am sending this little package over to @lucas now to see what I can learn from his feedback and from a higher fidelity implementation. Once this is done, it seems like we're pretty close to shipping a mobile update for all of our users. I'll make some videos about that and I'm excited to see how people use this stuff!
Then I'll return to working on Futureland desktop and there's a lot to do there!
The final solution now is to have a fake input element that is not visible and gets focused right after the user clicks the "Add Project" button. After the animation is finished the actual input element gets focused.
Started to highlight the days with the highest output count in the stats view.
Thinking about improvements to Public Activity on FL.
Follow on Futureland
Usually on social networks, when you 'Follow' someone you subscribe to see everything they publish on the Internet. I don't like doing this because there's never an instance where I would need to see 'everything' someone publishes to the Internet. It is kind of absurd that this has become the default way of subscribing to something. In general, I expect my tools to keep me focused on my own creative process over anything else. Of course, there is tons of value in observing someone else's work and ideas. I want to be able to do that too! I just believe my tools should have extreme restraint in diverting my attention elsewhere without my permission.
I have been thinking about how 'Follow' might work on FL. I am not entirely clear on it yet, maybe you have some perspectives for me. I already have mixed feelings on our Activity feed. I think it's important to have for now because our community is still small and we are learning what FL is together.
Here's some thoughts I have been having:
- Maybe on FL you can follow a person (all of their projects) or just one of their projects.
- Maybe Following something should not default to getting updates on 'everything'. Perhaps you can select different types of Following. Perhaps the default is Intermittent Following, where you get an update across all of the projects you Follow in a clean summary once a week or once a month. And if you want to subscribe to 'everything' in the traditional sense, maybe you can do that too. But it is not the default.
- If FL has a feed, maybe it should consist of your own projects and the projects you're working on with collaborators. Again trying to keep the focus on your own creative process.
In summary, I think we need to make some important choices about how things will work on Futureland. I personally think FL should be something that takes you deeper into your own work and experiments. It should never divert your attention from you own process without your permission. If we do that right, maybe over time it will allow you to observe your own work and the work of others at a higher and more insightful fidelity.
What do you think?
Updated the color of the charts in the stats view.
This is how it should feel. Not happy with everything yet tho.
Built new UI to add projects to the log. I think it is a little bit overpowered for what we need here but we will see.
Once again super fed up with Mobile Safari because it ruins the transitions that feel way better during development. Also had struggles to automatically focus the search input field at the top of the project selector. Now it focuses the correct element but somewhere in the middle of the screen instead on the top of the page where the input element actually is.
Rewrote a bunch of code for the upcoming update that enables users to connect a single output to multiple projects. Looks like I am almost finished.
Additionally I tweaked a lot of tiny animations in the developer version of the log.
Experimenting with a new modal to let users decide if an output should get removed from the current project or all projects. Not happy with how this looks yet.
Started improving the modal interaction in case the user performs an action that causes loading times.
There's a bunch of interesting things we are working on right now and it seems like each day we're learning more about what Futureland is. As @lucas mentioned in the entry before this, we're thinking about some architectural changes to how Futureland works. To start, we want to enable users to connect a single output to multiple projects. This change requires us to rework a lot of our codebase. And by we, I mean @lucas! lol
He started working on this today and a bunch of questions came up while he was doing it. How will comments work? How will deletion work? And other things like that. We jumped on a video chat to catch up and ask, "now that we know a bit more, does it still make sense to allow an output to be connected to multiple projects?". The answer is still yes!
Started to work on some fundamental architectural changes to support pushing outputs to multiple projects at the same time.
Updated the log according to @Internetvin’s sketches.
Added some smooth transitions to make completing tasks more gratifying. Thought it is a good idea to redirect the user to the log directly after pushing.
Not happy with how this looks in mobile Safari yet. The transitions look way better in my dev environment. Will keep tinkering.
Pushed a new mobile web version that includes these improvements:
- "Average Publish Time" now works reliably across different timezones
- Added statistics for every project within the stats view
- Redesigned the mobile navigation
- Added a new global publish button to quickly add new outputs from anywhere
A few notes:
The purpose of this Log is to observe the state of your day as one unit in your creative process. Repetition is very important but it is not the goal. So we do not always show your streak count. We will show it only after you’ve published to the project.
Once you publish to a project, it will drop to the bottom of the interface and turn green. As you publish to more projects a little chain is formed that moves up the list as you complete more of your daily outputs.
Each circle on this interface will trigger the publishing view for that project. So you can easily publish to the projects that are most important to you right now.
A heightened focus on the present day is retained through a large date at the top and a large display of your total outputs for the day.
Sending this over to @lucas now. Good night!
Sending this over to @lucas tonight. It's an updated design of the Log. It reflects a bunch of the insights I've had while using the current version extensively. It will be interesting to see what Lucas does with this thing.
I wrote about the functional purpose of these adjustments on my Interfaces project. But I'll share here as well for documentation purposes.
In this version of the Log, I am trying to increase focus on the present day and on your own creative process.
Increased focus on the present day
You will notice a large heading at the top which tells you what day of the week it is. Also, your total outputs for the day have increased in size so you can quickly glance at it and see where you're at.
Increased focus on your own process
I have tried to make it easier for the user to focus on her own creative process by bringing images of recent outputs into the interface. As the user publishes through the day, the interface will fill up with recent images from that day's work.
Used a native
<select> element to enable quick project switching in the new mobile stats view that @internetvin sent me last night. Liking this way more than yesterdays solution. This feels more natural and native. The instant switching and transition of the charts make this almost feel like a real app.
I designed a new bottom menu for the mobile web app yesterday and after carrying around the interface for a day, some parts of it kind of suck! So I'm trying to make some improvements to it. I adjusted the size of the icons and the text and played with case sensitivity. I think it looks a lot better than when the labels were entirely upper case. I also added a separate icon for Stats and used a different icon for Activity.
Stats as its own space
In the developer version of Futureland, we've added the ability to see stats on every one of your projects. But switching between your projects was kind of annoying! You had to scroll to the bottom of the interface and then select a project. So I was trying to figure out a way to make it easy to quickly jump between your projects and see data on each of them to compare.
Adding project selectors to the previous Stats interface just cluttered the whole thing up. After a few variants it became pretty clear that it makes a lot more sense to separate this into its own thing. And that's what this is about!
The two interfaces on the right are a separate section in Futureland that show you stats on all of your projects. You tap All projects at the top and it will trigger a selector for you to quickly see data on another project.
I'm sending this little package over to @lucas now. I wonder what he'll do with it.
Fixed a bug that would prevent the upload of JPGs that use a CMYK color model instead of an RGB one.
Implemented @internetvin's latest package into the developer version of Futureland. It features the display of stats for specific projects, labels for the mobile navigation and a global push button that makes uploading outputs more seamless.
Not 100% happy with this yet, but I can feel how things slowly come together.
- Started to calculate the average publish time of users by respecting the timezone in which the output was created in.
- Automatically refresh projects when the window gets focused again.
I made some more progress on this video that shows how I use Futureland in my own creative process. There's still a lot to do. The audio balances might still be off!
Unlocked the new mobile stats view for all users that purchased a forever or early gem.
- Improved automatic detection of the user timezone.
- Created a test suite for correct project slug creation.
- Corrected the creation date and time of roughly 6000 outputs.
- Fixed a bug that would not allow creating projects.
- Fixed a bug that occurs when renaming projects.
- Save the users current timezone for every output.
Created a new test suite for the upcoming statistic route and fixed some bugs.
Starting to work on a section in the Stats interfaces to show you your Most Active Projects. I have been observing an interesting correlation when using Futureland. I get happier and more focused as my outputs grow. Why this happens is kind of obvious. There's a bunch of stuff I want to do in my life and I use Futureland to work on that stuff. If my outputs are high, it means I am doing more stuff that I want to do.
However, within each of these projects there's 'priority'. Some things are more important at a specific time than others. It is great to be able to see my outputs increase generally but are the most important projects also the most active ones?
Sending this to @Lucas to experiment with implementing. This Finder view now includes a 'New Project' icon in the top right as well as an icon for an expanded menu. We will improve over time, but should add something like this now because it is a bit difficult to quickly create a new project on mobile interfaces.
Added the "Average Publish Time" to our upcoming stats update.
Sharing private projects and outputs with your friends
Sometimes when I am working on something in private, there is a point in the process where I want to share it with others. This might not be sharing with everyone in public, but just sharing with a few of my closest friends. I might want to share an entire project or just a singular output.
It would be cool if there was a way to generate some kind of private link to a project or private link to an output that expires within a few hours (or something) of being generated.
This is still a rough sketch of the Stats view in Futureland's log but I'm going to send it over to @Lucas now anyways so we learn more about how it feels and how it should work.
I think all of this is a cool first step towards getting more insight into your own creative process and life.
I'm working on a new video about how I am using Futureland in my work and life. I just finished some work on the beginning of it and the audio of this thing still needs to be balanced a bunch. I think I've destroyed my ears from years of listening to music all the time.
Updated the new mobile finder view.
Sending this over to @Lucas to implement tomorrow. It's a view we call Finder (like on your Mac). It's a quick away to jump around all of your projects on Futureland including sub-projects (soon).
We have been experimenting with a lot of new updates and I have already been using the tools as we work on them. I'll make a video showing how I am using this stuff!
Pushed a bigger update with the following changes:
- completely redesigned mobile navigation
- added a new header component on mobile
- fixed several message related bugs
- multiple wording changes
- started to lazy load elements on the activity feed
- added simplified stats in the log
- made desktop navigation sticky
esc to cancel editing output notes and
enter to save them.
more to come soon.
Worked on adding some basic stats to the log. Not really happy with it yet. Will keep improving.
I'm sending a new package of Interfaces to @Lucas. I think things continue to get better each day. I'm really excited about it!
I am never entirely happy with these Interfaces. I am always noticing things that need to be improved. I am getting a bit addicted to going over it again and again until I understand how this discipline of interface design works. Still a long way to go!
- Fixed some bugs in the upcoming redesign.
- Improved our new mobile prototype.
- Fixed a bug that could occur when trying to invite someone without an Futureland account to a project.
- Removed video chats from projects. (If you want one for your project hit me up)
I am starting work on some kind of a profile tray / overlay. This one will integrate finder like elements. The ideas is that when you click on your profile image on the mobile interface, it will trigger an overlay like this. This overlay allows you to quickly see information like your total number of outputs, marathons and projects. It also serves as a way for you to quickly jump to any of your projects (and eventually sub projects).
- Fixed several messenger related bugs.
- Added a new header component for the upcoming mobile overhaul.
- Tweaked the mobile navigation.
- Refactored multiple components.
- Rebuild the activity view for mobile with the help of the sketches from @internetvin.
Linking to projects and outputs
I am using Futureland for many different public and private projects now. It's become an even more integral part of my life and creative process. I currently use Futureland to work on Futureland. I am using it to teach myself interface design. I use it to stick to and reflect on my meditation and exercise practice. I use it for writing and I also use it for reading and making notes. I do all of these things daily through the Log.
One of the things I think about often is how we might link to outputs and projects. It would be cool to be able to use a # to quickly reference another project. Or a # and a number (or something) to quickly reference an output. Say #interfaces and #interfaces-28 or something.
However, there's a bunch of conceptual holes with this. My proposition only works if all of the hashtags are local to my user and my project network. So if you're viewing one of my projects and see #interfaces, it would point to my interfaces project.
But what about if I wanted to point to someone else's output or project? You can always use links. There's a handy link icon that copies the link of any output to your clipboard. But I find myself wanting to reference things a lot faster. As I'm typing even.
This is a mock up of Futureland's Activity view on Mobile. The font here is small, but I like the general direction of this. I mean, I think I like it enough for us to try for now. In this design I've added some ideas on how to handle comments and adjusted the placement of comment, twitter and link icons.
I am realizing I need to make a bunch of output block variants to understand what makes the most sense in our Interfaces. It'll take some research and experimentation. I'll probably think of that as a separate project and work on it next week.
Started implementing more of the improvements @internetvin sketched out for mobile in an internal branch and added some subtle transitions where I saw fit. Fixed some bugs along the way and refactored some code in preparation of more changes that will be made tomorrow.
I have started syncing with @Lucas a bunch on these new Interfaces and he's already started implementing components of it to a developer version of Futureland and it's super neat so far!
I surprisingly use Futureland a lot on my iPhone. I added futureland.tv to my home screen and the experience is pretty good. You won't see these interfaces there yet, but if you end up trying it out let us know.
I'm super stoked on the next batch of improvements we're working on.
- Fixed a bug where uploaded GIFs would only be displayed as a static preview.
- All users in a comment thread will now get notified via email. Even if they are not mentioned.
Starting to work out how this public Activity feed might work on mobile. This will probably take a bit because I want to sketch out a bunch of different updated variants of the output component.
- Tweaked the log design to look more like the latest sketches from @internetvin.
- Worked on the architecture behind sub-projects.
- Tested and improved some core functionality related to streaks.
- Fixed a bug in the log that would prevent users from adding projects without outputs to their log.
Still a lot to do here. I don't like the publish button on the bottom in purple yet, but it works better than other options. Can always change it later.
I'm experimenting with a slightly elevated persistent profile picture. It will trigger a project picker (finder) view that allows you to quickly jump between your projects.
Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with @internetvin about a new idea I had. Will call it sub-projects for now. I want users to be able to build a proper "project network" where every project can have an infinite number of child-projects and parent-projects. These sub-projects inherit all features of a normal project and can be used to organize outputs within a project. They might also have their own sub-projects, collaborators, microstores, notifications and URLs. Parent-projects should have a summarizing timeline of all outputs from itself and all of its sub-projects. My goals is to make categorizing and navigating through all of this as easy as working with a local filesystem.
The idea is still pretty raw, so today I started to design an architecture that could support all of this.
Played around with browser drag and drop today and implemented simple project reordering for the log.
I am working on how different components of FL will look on mobile. This is the Log and the interface is kind of getting there. I will keep tweaking it and then start working on other components of FL as well.
The Log on FL has become a central part of my daily process. I wake up each morning and work through my projects until everything in my Log is green. If there's a new project I need to focus on, I add it to my Log. I do not work on other tasks or random things until everything in my Log is green.
This has been working super well for me. I find myself wanting push more of my work through this tool.
I'll make a video showing how I use this soon.
Fixed automatically replying to a Twitter thread if the user deleted the last tweet. Futureland will now automatically reply to the last tweet in the thread.
Starting to sketch out concepts for a bunch of key tools at the bottom of FL’s interface when you’re using it on mobile.
Updated the Futureland homepage to show the activity view.
Helped some users and fixed some worker related bugs this morning.
Trying to make improvements to the Log. Each rectangle is smaller on the screen. Two new buttons. One adjusts the projects in your Log. The other shows you analytics on your creative process (soon). Menu button might be too prominent, but I kind of dig it right now. And a bunch of other things have been refined like the how completed work is highlighted.
Streaks might not be prominent enough yet.
Pushed a little weekend update to preserve output notes on the push view between sessions.
Added a modal that will ask users if their current output should count for the day before if the corresponding project is in the user's log and an output for that day is missing to fulfill the user's ongoing streak.
Experimenting with trying to make some visual improvements to the Log.
A bit more work on a persistent input box. I am starting to like the direction here. I like this new type of grey I have stumbled on to.
- Fixed notifications for projects posted to the stream.
- Rewrote the image thumbnail creation to get images with a higher quality and smaller file size.
- Uploaded screenshots that are are smaller than 1920px x 1920px will not be compressed.
- uploaded PNGs will get their own PNG preview to reduce file sizes and increase quality of uploaded PNGs.
- Correctly rotate images that are rotated using EXIF information.
- Remove all EXIF information from images during upload.
A bunch of people have asked me about adding a persistent input component to FL similar to what you see on Twitter and I studied their component a bunch. It's clean and simple.
For now, the only thing I can get to kind of work on the profile is suggestive text with appropriate spacing. I am not sure where we would put an upload button yet. I tried outlining the input box but it feels too noisy.
Gonna talk to some friends and come back to this.
Improved resolution of Twitter preview images.
Want to make it easier for our night owls to keep their log streaks intact. I plan to introduce a simple way for them to mark ouputs that are made after midnight to still contribute to their ongoing streak.
Working on a video that shows how you can connect projects on Futureland with threads on Twitter. What do you think?
- Fixed a security issue where a previously public project that was set to private could still be cached as public
- Fix fullscreen output video display for Safari
- Let unmuted output videos play through while scrolling
- Let muted output videos loop
- redirect from /user/project/settings when user has no permission to change the settings
- Small design tweaks
- The Twitter sharing button now mentions the user in the tweet when sharing an output or project on Twitter.
- Fixed some bugs with our worker thread.
Just got a bit of time tonight. Adding visuals to 'Activity'. This could be a step towards figuring out how to handle exploration on FL. We get a bunch of questions about that every day now so it's something we need to start playing with.
- Fixed some bugs that occurred when trying to push to an open project.
- Implemented basic internal event logging system to gain more usage data.
We have experimental support for live video streams online now. If anyone is interested to try it out please send me a dm.
I have been learning a lot from @gndclouds. I was chatting with him today about how FL projects connect to Twitter threads. He shared something that @lucas and I have chatted about too. The ability to not just connect a project to a thread but also to produce a thread from a project and all of its existing outputs in chronological order.
Maybe you’re working through a project on FL in public or in private and don’t want to share it on Twitter yet. Then maybe later you have a bunch of outputs and feel like it’s time to share. It would be cool if you could turn that project into a thread for Twitter with a couple of clicks.
Added autoplay for videos again.
CMD + P (Mac) and
CTRL + P shortcuts to quickly open the push view.
Deployed the changes I was writing about yesterday. Had some problems while deploying because of excessive RAM usage. Should be fixed by now.
Worked on making output uploading much faster. There will be almost no time „processing“ the output anymore after the upload is done.
We will process all outputs in a worker thread to generate multiple new assets for different use-cases. Depending on the output this can take up several seconds or even minutes (videos). In the near future all this will happen in the background and you will never again have to wait till processing is done.
The new assets will include H.264 videos in 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p that automatically get selected dependent on your screen size and bandwidth.
Before we did not compress or convert your videos which was problematic because not all browsers and operating systems support all video file formats and it also effected loading times in regions with a lower bandwidth.
For images we now generate multiple new photo sizes for previews, the image that gets shown in the timeline and the open graph image that gets used as link preview on Twitter.
All audio files get now converted to an mp3 with a variable bitrate.
These changes will dramatically improve loading times and decrease overall network usage.
All your outputs will also get stored as an untouched original. We will later add a feature that lets you download your original file whenever you want.
All of this is not live yet. I plan to ship this over the weekend.
I was chatting with @pugson and he suggested adding a component to the top of the Profile stream that allows for composition and inputs. This seems to make sense. I am not happy with this interpretation yet. The right one will take some time.
A component like this might be useful on all of your projects as well.
I was talking to friends who use FL yesterday about the Log. A common note that came up was, "Why is my Log always empty?". It is not currently clear how to add Projects to the Log. Currently you click an arrow that points left and it reveals a drop down menu. I thought maybe using an equalizer icon might be more fitting. Maybe it should be on the right side of the interface instead of in the center. I have always seen the Log as something that allows you to bring your projects in and out of focus.
The Log works well for me and I use it every day. I think there's value in starting to slowly tighten it up. I would love to one day see a visual of the times I usually publish on Futureland. It might create a heightened awareness of my behaviours.
Started stripping mentions from automatic tweets because we don't want to accidentally mention strangers in our Twitter threads.
Hello @internetvin will result in
Hello internetvin and so on.
Also thought about replacing the Futureland mention with their corresponding Twitter username (if the user has connected their Twitter account to Futureland), but this could be annoying because users possibly want to keep posting to this thread for multiple years and all mentioned users would get notified every time it is updated.
Open to suggestions.
Implemented the latest sketch from @internetvin. I made a few changes and adjustments where I saw fit.
This update brings two new features:
- An output stream on your profile page that shows every output that you uploaded to Futureland including our timeline feature.
- The option to upload outputs without assigning them to a project. These outputs will only be visible in your stream.
Naming this open space 'Stream' instead of Outputs because the things you share here will not just be 'Outputs' but could be any artifact from your process at all. The name can obviously be changed and I figure you'll tell me if you hate it.
I also added a Follow button to someone's profile. Maybe on Futureland you can Follow a person and everything they publish or just a specific one of their Projects.
All of this is experimental. Very open to your perspectives.
Spent the whole day optimizing our upcoming video compression and the storage of the needed video chunks.
Also started refactoring the output data model to support all of this changes.
Had a bunch of conversations today. One of them was with @emu and he talked a lot about how he wished there was a 'thinking space' on Futureland. A space to share various artifacts from your process or consciousness that might not be part of any project yet. I thought this made a lot of sense. There's a lot I want to share on Futureland, but I don't always have a place for it. I started to share this concept with others and the response was immediately positive.
So I started sketching some interfaces for a feed that shows all of your outputs including random ones. The idea is that when you visit someone's profile you can see all of the projects they are working on but then flip over to an 'outputs' view where you can see a feed of every artifact from that person's process. A place where it's fine to be messy. And when an output / artifact is associated with a project it will add a project tag that you can click.
Not a fan of calling this feed Outputs, but a place to start.
Studied more how HTTP Live Streaming works and came up with the idea to use it for normal video outputs as well. That way all videos on Futureland will initially load way faster and the quality is adaptive dependent on the users available bandwidth and the screen size of the device. This means mobile devices with bad reception will be able to load the video with lower quality while still being able to show high quality versions on desktop.
HSL works by making smaller chunks of the video for every resolution and bandwidth like you can see in the screenshot. If we make the chunks for example 5 seconds long your browser has the chance to decide every 5 seconds which version it wants to load dependent on your current connection.
An example: If you start watching a video on your phone via your home Wi-Fi you probably will start out with full quality (1080p). As you slowly go outside the connection gets worse and the next chunks will get loaded with a lower fidelity (480p). You maybe drive somewhere with a bad reception and load an even lower quality version (320p). This all happens without you doing anything and without interrupting playback.
Worked on the authentication and direct integration of live streams on Futureland. After this is done we can offer video live stream functionality on a per project basis for every user. Will try to ship this by tomorrow.
Started experimenting with video livestreams for Futureland projects.
Set up a video streaming server and tested it. Seems promising.
Next: authentication and direct integration on Futureland.
Worked on making the Twitter integration a little bit simpler. In the future it will show you the last tweet of your ongoing thread. Additionally we will let you choose an existing Twitter thread to post to.
Pushed the new project settings and Twitter integration.
Working on an Interface for updated project settings on Futureland. It's part of connecting Futureland projects to Twitter threads.
Another reply to see how collaborative projects on Futureland could render in a continuous Twitter thread.
And just testing again to see if this replies to that thread. 😱✨
Just testing to see how a project on Futureland might be continuously shared to an on-going thread on Twitter. :)
Started to work on new project settings this morning. This also enables users to set a website for their projects that will be displayed on the project view.
Later night than I wanted. Making some improvements to this design for how direct messages might work on mobile. Added a button to the top left that will trigger your conversations to slide out from the left. Still thinking this through the. Not sure how I feel about this icon. And need to review other elements I might be missing.
Improved the mobile navigation.
Started working on soft deleting outputs. That means that we will not delete an output right away but rather mark that it should be deleted. After 30 days of being marked as deleted an output will be completely wiped from our system if a user does not decide to recover it before.
Of course you will be able to force an immediate wipe for every output you upload. We strongly believe that you should always be in control of your data on Futureland.
An interface to connect everyone learning a specific skill
I added icons to see if it makes this view more informative at a glance. At this point I think the most important events are when someone new starts a project, when someone creates something or when a user interacts with another project. I still think the spacing is off here but maybe it's good enough as a starting point.
Functionality for the future that I was thinking about was, what if there was automatic grouping of users learning the same skill. For example if you decided to learn how to code you would automatically be connected with 3 others in some type of group chat. Just something to think about in the future.
Fixed multiple bugs that prevented some users to publish their outputs on Futureland.
The most difficult of these bugs was caused by a limitation of one of our upstream providers called Vercel. Its http proxy prevented users from uploading files when the upload process would take up more than one minute.
As a solution we no longer send outputs through that proxy.
I also loosened 2 limitations when uploading new outputs:
- The process of uploading can now take up to 15 minutes
- The maximum file size of one upload is now 1 GB.
An interface to connect everyone learning a specific skill
Thinking through how this might look on mobile. Definitely not happy with this yet. Just feels off and like it is missing something fundamental. Within the activity portion of the Interface it's difficult to just glance at the view and quickly understand what's going on. I have some ideas and I'll play with more tomorrow.
Pushed some bug fixes
An interface to connect everyone learning a specific skill
Adjusting the location of the Join button. Moved all primary content lower on screen. Moved key information about view including number of projects, number of outputs and number of users to the top left.
Improved rendering of link previews for links with small images.
Fixed some bugs that surfaced through the new error reporting system.
Working on this interface again that attempts to connect anyone learning a certain skill. I added number of users to the info in the top right corner and I added a Join button to the center of the Interface. Not sure how I feel about its position yet. I might think about this on mobile to better understand how something like this should work. And in what ways it can be useful to someone.
Took it slow today with developing new features.
Concentrated on fixing bugs and preventing future ones.
Rolled out a new error reporting system for the client-side.
Wrote a quick script to fetch some meta data from outputs that were created via Vin's API. It also sets correct cache headers which should dramatically improve loading times through out the globe.
Tonight I started working on a new interface. It aspires to connect everyone who is learning a certain skill. The general idea is that once you decide to learn a new skill, you should be able to turn on any computing device and immediately be connected to everyone else in the world who is learning that skill right now. I am limited in my abilities as a designer here, but I think on a conceptual level this could be really cool. There's a lot to work through.
I am thinking maybe we start by trying to connect everyone doing #100DaysOfCode projects on Twitter and see what happens.
- Fixed a bug in the chat messenger that kept it from working when opening it through the link in the email.
- Added multiple real-time capabilities to project pages. That means that changes to the project page like creating outputs or comments will be displayed live as they happen.
- Improved the UX of the comment box through automatically scrolling to the last comment and auto focusing the input field.
It is now possible to invite collaborators to your project who do not have a Futureland account. Once you invite someone, they will receive an email that explains how to get started on Futureland.
When someone invites you to join their project, you will also receive an email notification and a digital invite to that project. Any public project that you are a collaborator on will be displayed on your profile
This is how an invitation will roughly look like for users that already have a Futureland account.
Today I started working on a new invitation system for collaborative projects.
Before this feature anyone could add anyone as collaborator to their projects. With this new feature the user you invite has to accept the invitation before he gets added a visible collaborator.
In addition to existing users this new feature lets you invite people by email that don't have a Futureland account yet.
Adjusting project design to display the total output number at the top. Adjusted position of Edit project text.
Yesterday i silently added support for link previews.
Today I started to improve the link detection and loading performance.
From now on text outputs containing a link will automatically obtain a link preview. This preview will automatically get updated once you edited the content of the given output.
Futureland uses the The Open Graph protocol to scrape information about links. Additional to title and description we support image and video previews (if available).
Working on a new output block for link previews.
After someone sends a new chat message on Futureland a new job in our queue system will be created. This job will be executed after 15 minutes have passed.
If after 15 minutes there are no new messages sent to that user and the user has not read the message yet we will send an email to the user to notify about new chat messages.
Making some small improvements to profiles. Adjusting spacing of key information and adding a space for a url.
Launching direct messages on Futureland really soon. We will start by enabling it only on Desktop and then a few days after that we'll enable it on Mobile. I'm still working out some of the design mechanics for Mobile. Once you start experimenting with it we'll talk to you about what works and what doesn't and adjust. <3
Pushed some comment box fixes for Safari and Firefox. Optimized performance when creating new comments.
Empty states for direct messages. Added new message icon which triggers a search function for you to select who you want to message.
Refactored the Docker images to allow sharing of source code between different services and tested them in staging.
Making adjustments to the direct message design based on early sketches of a mobile use case.
Pushed some bugfixes and performance improvements.
Testing the new worker in production.
Thinking through direct messages on mobile. Still a bunch of stuff to do here.
- Added email notifications for mentions in comments
- Started working on a worker process that will handle time consuming and repeating tasks
Added a subtle input prompt for this direct message interface, input styling and send button which only appears once you start typing. Switching back and forth on font styling. I think this is cleaner and better.
Added Twitter handles to profile pages.
Working on the direct message interface a bit more. Pulling inspiration from IRC.
Sketching out a minimal direct message interface for Futureland
Pushed some small bugfixes today and revisited the backend for an upcoming messaging feature.
Starting to explore subtle improvements to the output component on Futureland. Specifically, trying to make who's publishing more prominent. This is still very very far off. Have to experiment with various output types and profile images. And just trying to make it better in general.
Improved client- and server-side validation of files.
More work on a list view for profiles. Starting to experiment with using small rectangles and then anchoring attributes like output number and marathon state just slightly outside of it. Need to see how this looks with longer project descriptions. Still not there yet but I'll experiment more. Maybe there's some aspects of the Log that I can incorporate here.
Started implementing a general purpose real-time chat component.
Fixed some bugs and started to think about how to protect private projects even more.
More work on a potential list view for profiles. This still needs a lot more experimentation. Obviously real world project data but also what's the best to highlight outputs or Marathon projects. The part I like about this is the simple distillation into text.
Updated Markdown Support
This morning i implemented the remaining new styles that @internetvin designed a few nights ago.
I updated the styles for mentions and links and implemented styles for
code, bold, italic and blockquotes.
Starting to think through what a list view might look like on projects. I think this might be useful for users who have lots of projects on Futureland. This sucks right now and it needs a lot of work. I'll experiment more in the coming days.
- Improved loading times of our index page (https://futureland.tv/).
- Simplified handling of cookies and added the dreaded
- Started working on replacing the last remaining API stuff (media upload) that @internetvin built when initially developing Futureland in his first year of learning how to code.
Thinking through quote blocks on Futureland. This needs work, not sure how I feel about it yet but it's a start. It's funny I'm doing this for the first time ever in my life.
From now on we will automatically use the Twitter profile image of new users that sign up via Twitter.
If you are an existing user without an avatar we will use your Twitter profile image the next time you log in via Twitter.
You still will be able to change it and we won't touch your existing Futureland profile image.
Starting to add more contextual real world data into these markdown styles to see how it feels. I ended up changing the code block, adjusted the colour of the text and made the background darker. These code blocks might not be ideal in terms of contrast on low performing displays, but I think I like them. I'll need to play with this more though and get some more perspectives.
Fixed the Twitter integration and added the Twitter handle of the connected account to the user settings.
Did a lot of bug fixing today and pushed some smaller improvements.
Starting to put down some of my thoughts on markdown styles. Selecting a highlight colour for Futureland is always difficult. I'll continue studying and working on this.
Of course not everything always goes well at Futureland. In case it does not our error page will now show you a reference id that will help us identify your problem when talking to us.
Added basic Markdown support for all types of outputs.
We will keep improving our Markdown implementation in the near future.
Today we're launching something we're calling a
Log on Futureland. It's a single daily view you can use to finish your creative projects and learn new skills. You can access it in your menu now and we'll continue learning from and developing on this experiment.
This video begins to describe its functionality.
I like how we're moving in a direction where there are both personal and social views to a project. Each time you click on a project in your Log it will take you directly to you that project. I've already started using it as a quick way to navigate between my projects, instead of my profile.
Today we started highlighting projects that have outputs for 365 consecutive days as marathons.
Getting down my own thoughts on a little Mac app for Futureland. But definitely not working right now.
added new /log page for all of your daily projects and activities. It helps you finish things and learn new skills by showing your daily outputs and streaks.
I have been using the new log concept daily and adjusting the design based on my experiences. Design now includes a quick reflection of yesterday's output when you open the log for the first time each day.
Adjusted the design of the log so that you can add new projects to it without leaving the Interface. And added text that explains the purpose of the log when a user opens it and has not added any projects to it.
Working on a video about this new projects log concept. We're going to publish an experimental version of this very soon.
A growing hypothesis I have is that you can learn everything there is to know about innovation, creativity and creating sustainable companies by studying Coral reefs
Made a slight update to this based on using the log so far. I want to see how many times I've outputted on each project in a day, so I've added that into the design. Also improved spacing a bit.
Still playing with this, I'll try to finish it this week.
Linking to and networking process
I love working on Futureland and many of the users here have become great friends of mine. It is so much fun working on a tool for people that you align with and believe in. I get a lot out of talking to everyone here. There's a lot of talent and it's growing every day. I'm learning so much.
One of the benefits of talking to and hanging with people who use Futureland is that they give you really good suggestions on how to improve it.
A conversation point that's come up is, how do we link to other points in our own process and why? Also how and why would we link to the process of others?
A straight forward reason is to reference something or point to something. To start experimenting with networking process, perhaps we could link to points in a project's timeline using #.
Very early sketches of a concept we're calling, 'Log'.
Really excited about this concept. I've started sketching out a new tool for Futureland that we're calling, 'Log' for now. The idea is to have a single and immediate daily view that shows you how you're doing across everything you're making and learning using Futureland.
It will show you things like: a streak for each project, the last time you added an output and perhaps how many outputs you made that day. I think this could be really useful tool, especially when connected to Futureland's other components.
Working on a component for 'windows' you use when setting up new projects. Definitely not working yet. I need to do more research and find some interesting references for this.
Added little user images on the timeline to show current visitors of on any project.
Add username validation before registration and in user settings.
Removed character limit from comments.
Added a new "Chat" item to the main navigation. It will navigate you to our Futureland project and automatically join the ongoing live video chat.
Additionally it indicates the current number of participants in that chat.
A little bit more work on a new settings menu. Adding hints and explanations. I might have to cut these down a bit.
added the new text preview images to link previews.
added text previews to profile pages and the grid view.
Still working on furthering this evolution, but testing some ideas on motion from the static work I've developed.
Started visualizing Personal vs Project based networks.
The language of the circle and square continues to show how they interact with each other.
The rings surrounding the nodes are representations of field of exposure and connection. When the fields get close enough a connection forms.
On the left we see how a personal network works, through something like a peer to peer model. Connections are made through the limited field of each individual.
On the right we see how a project network could work. The field is much larger as it spans further than just a personal identity, an example would be like a project based on the covid crisis. The reach would be much higher. Planning on adding further connections to each node as they can connect to each other within the project's field.
Completed visualization of Personal and Project identities
Starting to develop a visual language to differentiate Personal identities and Project identities.
I think using a circle and a square is the most distilled visual I can use.
Circle = Personal Identity, it is represented by an organic shape
Square = Project Identity, it is represented by a more rigid shape
I found adding patterns into the shapes helped communicate the more diverse and complicated nature of their identities
Personal identities use only organic shapes where as projects use a mix of both.
Essentially I really wanted to define a clear difference in nature for the two types of identities.
Visualizing static elements to describe the behaviours
Working on visualizing the fundamental behaviours possible on Futureland.
1. Experiment - The space to create outputs in high frequency allows for exploration and incremental improvements
2. Log - An archive of your thoughts and outputs allows you to view and track your process
3. Share - Projects are showcased to others on the platform
4. Subject (noted as perspective on diagram) - Subjecting your work to others allows it to be viewed from multiple perspectives expanding your possible approaches and workshop ideas.
5. Realize - With the network of people on Futureland, there is a possibility of finding the people needed for a project who may possess the skills that you do not have to help realize the project.
6. Fund - You can fund your projects using the microstore
A note: These all happen simultaneously
From today on new users are able to use Twitter Single Sign-On to create a Futureland account and to login.
Cleaning up the menu bringing more focus to Activity and Profile.
Working on a really, really basic settings menu
Working on new login and register screens to support Twitter authentication.
Working on a Twitter integration.
This is a demo of Futureland I have been working on
More work on a text based activity feed. Not a fan of this blue, but not sure what other colour to use to retain a functional feel yet.
Thinking through a simple text based representation of various kinds of activity on Futureland as a way of starting to experiment more with 'exploration' on Futureland.
Today we’re launching Text Outputs on Futureland. That means that users don't have to upload a file every time they want to create a new output. This can be used to write about the general development of a project or for projects that are centered around writing.
More thinking into how to highlight projects that have outputted across 365 consecutive days. Wondering if it makes sense to call these projects 'Marathons'. I tried the word 'Skill' but it didn't quite make sense, because skills are not limited to the results of these projects. People can have a wide ranging set of skills outside of a project where they outputted consistently for 365 consecutive days. Hm, maybe the word Marathon does work in this context. What do you think?
Built basic authentication functionality and a project browser for iOS. Still ugly but functional.
Thinking through text only outputs on Futureland. Should the text be limited and then expanded or always show in full view?
First experiments with react-native. Really happy how fast i can build GUIs with this. Excited to see where this is going.
Thinking through some kind of verification and highlighting for projects that have outputted across 365 consecutive days. Open to any feedback on this. I'll be putting a lot more time into Interface Design in general over the next bit.
Added a new type of journal today. It is called “Open” and everyone with a Futureland account will be able to post to it.
Updating the way Otis publishes Futureland outputs to Slack.
Audio of me talking about Futureland while sitting in a car which is my new office.
Audio Edit with Visual placeholder.
Found a more natural flow for the video after playing around with all the audio bites. There are bits missing that still need to be filled in, but the cohesion feels much better.
Nice day for some graphics and social distancing ✌️
:10 onwards is fire.
Motion Test 4 - Shape Evolution
Playing around on After Effects
Exploring the shape evolution for a visual. Setting up illustrator file for motion.
Missing some key scenes but liking the overall structure at the moment.
1. Projects instead of people visualized
2. Surface and perception diagram scene to be animated
3. Script and recording needed
1. Glow is inconsistent
2. Transitions need polish
3. Timing needs improvement, would like it to match the beats more
Motion Test 3 - The Space between Id-Entity
Motion Test 2 - The Frontier
Futureland Storyboard 2/2
Futureland Storyboard 1/2
Storyboarding and planning motion. This one is for visualizing the timeline and journal posts.
Visually I feel I can use the line in ID------ENTITY to visualize the space in which Futureland is experimenting and exploring in.
4:48 am Freestyle.
1. The Id is the unconscious self.
Existence without awareness.
2. An Entity is a collective agreement that something is what it is. Existence via acknowledgement.
3. An Identity then is the marriage of the unconscious self and and a collective agreement that you are you.
Existence with awareness.
4. There is a line from getting from the Id to the Entity that we know as our self. That is the space in which all acknowledged existences have come to have been acknowledged - including all identities.
5. That space is what we are exploring! This is the frontier! This is the sphere! When asking the question: What happens when you create a network focused on projects instead of people? Futureland's is experimenting within that sphere. This is the bigger sandbox for Futurelands over iterations to explore.
In exploring the word identity I was trying to visualize its flexibility, in order to support the idea of a project first identity. I noticed the separation of ID and Entity, which I thought was cute just as some visual wordplay but then I started to follow the logic. I looked up some definitions:
1. Identity - the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
2. Id - the part of the self that is completely unconscious and derived from instinctual needs and drives
3. Entity - a thing with distinct and independent existence…
Sometimes you have happy accidents in the creative process and they spur you to go into a whole mess of new ideas, and cause you to totally not sleep because following this train of thought could possibly be the missing piece that helps everything come together.
Well, in the midst of messing around on illustrator trying to figure out how to visualize some concepts, I ended up having a revelation. (To be fair it could also have been the sleep deprivation)
The prefix inter- can mean between. So an interface can technically be anything that comes between your face and someone else's. LOL so i guess my scarf is an interface. Anyhow this is a cool visualization of how we perceive of others.
Pushing further into the diagram for surfaces and perception. It's been really helpful to look at visual models of projection, sight, perspective, dimensionality and perception. Used a lot of the visual techniques like the double view, 3d perspective, image projection. I don't particularly like how cluttered its getting as I want it to be easily understood, but I think this is something i can solve with motion.
Starting to see the marriage of 2d and 3d to visualize multidimensional ideas. The double view is interesting, the information is extremely clear.
Thinking more about iterations in terms of projections.
Playing with perspective in minimal ways. I like the idea of a frontier because it alludes to uncharted territory. The digital frontier is the outer edges of the known and what lies beyond is waiting to be discovered.
Thinking more about 3d spaces and how to visualize some of the more multidimensional concepts. This one is pretty rad, I have a good sense of space.
Playing with the idea of spheres and worlds. I like the idea of Futureland's question being a single Cartesian dot in a much more vast quadrant. Have been trying to define that larger space, as I think the metaphor of exploring an entire realm of thought is a compelling idea.
This metaphor really helped guide the some of the abstraction in the video. It helped me visualize and tangibly realize Futureland as a place. I found it much easier to describe when I started to look at it as a place.
Trying out different colors for the bookmarks GUI.
Working on the GUI to allow adding bookmarks to journals.
Motion Test 1
Found the song Renee Sleeping by Suzanne Kraft and really liked it as a placeholder song. Just playing with the ideas of how the iterations can move.
I really liked the way projects are framed as scholarships (defined as a fund of knowledge and learning). The understanding of the need for multiple disciplines is also interesting. Most of all however I like the way they state that projects are projective.
Some definitions of the word Projection:
1. An estimate of future possibilities based on a current trend
2. A transforming change
3. The act of throwing or thrusting forward
4. The forming of a plan : SCHEMING
5a. The act of perceiving a mental object as spatially and sensibly objective - also : something so perceived
5b. The attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects - especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety
6. A view of a building or architectural element
7a. The act of projecting especially to an audience
7b. Control of the volume, clarity, and distinctness of a voice to gain greater audibility
This was an interesting visualization of understanding the multiplicity of projects and how simultaneously messy progression actually is.
Treatment Test 3
Treatment Test 2
Treatment Test 1
Playing more with the ideas around iteration. Using a repeater effect to blend into another shape gives an interesting flow. Still experimenting with how these can move.
I like the idea of an evolving shape as a metaphor for how Futureland is evolving as a platform. It also acts as a direct reference to the catalog process of work and how it develops. The idea of having multiple evolutions that branch off and end is a good way of showing the organic nature of exploration and how it feeds into the evolution of a project.
As I played with the Futureland Logo I liked the idea of the logo progression as an expression of evolution of the platform.