Designer (contract) The Point
THIS JOB HAS EXPIRED The project in a nutshell: develop a harmonious design language that can be shared by Groupon & The Point, allowing us to easily reuse ideas for both sites, while preserving a distinct experience and mood for each site.
The Point, launched in November, 2007, lets anyone start a campaign asking people to give money or do something as a group, but only if the campaign hits a predetermined tipping point. By building a critical mass of like-minded people before taking action, The Point makes collective action easy and efficient. Learn more here.
All campaigns on The Point follow a general structure if X, then we, the members, will Y. We the members will give money or do something, but only if X happens. This basic model can be used for everything from arranging a party to boycotting a multinational corporation to organizing a fan-based bid for a major league baseball team.
In late 2008, we decided to step up a search for a business model for The Point. One of the options wed been thinking about from the beginning was group buying - use The Point to offer a product at a discount, but only if a certain number of people sign up - enough people to make it worth it for the business to take lower margins.
We wanted the group buying experience to be dead simple. Campaigns on The Point can be used for a wide range of things - thats nice, but it also contributes to a sense of what is this place exactly that is a barrier to entry for casual users. We wanted to get all that stuff out of the way and create a focused experience for people who are looking for deals. For a number of reasons, we also decided to start with a narrow geographical focus - things to do in Chicago (our hometown).
Thus, Groupon was born in November, 2008 - a site that features a deal a day on something to do in Chicago. The guts of Groupon belong to The Point - youll notice all the action happens inside a The Point campaign widget that has been skinned in a Wordpress blog. We did it that way to get it running quickly, knowing wed integrate it into The Point if and when it started to look like we were onto something - and thats just whats happening.
Weve pushed Wordpress as far as it can take us. Now, were gearing up to integrate Groupon into The Point. Were doing this for a few reasons:
To take advantage of some of the features weve already built for The Point (discussion, invitation system, user-to-user messaging, Facebook Connect, etc.)
To add new functionality to Groupon that would be foolish to add onto Wordpress - itll be easier and faster to add it to The Points codebase.
When I talk about integrating Groupon into The Point, I dont mean theyll feel like the same site. Groupon and The Point have different audiences - people looking for deals in Chicago, and (mostly) people looking to do good, respectively. Each site will maintain its own identity - we dont want deal-seekers to be forced to contend with activism campaigns, and vice versa. While were pulling Groupon into The Points codebase, that is so its easier to add functionality; its a top priority to preserve Groupons focus and simplicity.
Looking at Groupon and the same campaign being displayed on The Point, youll notice that weve laid out the information differently on each site. In some cases, the variations reflect the requirement differences between Groupon and The Point. But in other cases, we just found a better way to do it on Groupon. We want to look at each difference between the two sites, and say, is there a reason it shouldnt be this way on both sites By doing so, we think well be able to reduce the differences to a small enough number for a harmonious design language to be established.
If we can establish a common design language that is shared by Groupon and The Point, it will allow us to repurpose the elements that are shared by the two sites and develop both sites much faster. Im speaking mostly of information architecture - can we reach a stylistic middle ground that allows us to reuse elements like user profiles and discussion
The best analogy I can think of is Google. Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Reader are clearly different sites, but they use a common language that makes it easy for Google to repurpose page elements across the sites.
||600 West Chicago Avenue |
Chicago, IL 60622
THIS JOB HAS EXPIRED