Tag Archives: prototyping

Exploring the Cooper Hewitt collection with timelines and tags: guest post by Olivia Vane

‘Black & white’ timeline detail, Cooper Hewitt data

A physical museum is itself a sort of data set — an aggregation of the micro in order to glimpse the macro. One vase means little on its own, beyond perhaps illustrating a scene from daily life. But together with its contemporaries, it means the contours of a civilization. And when juxtaposed against all vases, it helps create a first-hand account of the history of the world.
From ‘An Excavation Of One Of The World’s Greatest Art Collections

The ability to draw on historic examples from various cultures, to access forgotten techniques and ideas and juxtapose them with contemporary works, creates provocative dialogues and amplifies the historic continuum. This range is an asset few museums have or utilize and provides a continuing source of inspiration to contemporary viewers and designers.”
From ‘Making Design: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection’ p.28

Guest post by Olivia Vane

I’m 4 months into a 5-month fellowship at Cooper Hewitt working with their digitised collection. I’m normally based in London where I’m a PhD student in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art supervised by Stephen Boyd Davis, Professor of Design Research. My PhD topic is designing and building interactive timelines for exploring cultural data (digitised museum, archive and library collections). And, in London, I have been working with partners at the V&A, the Wellcome Library and the Science Museum.

The key issue in my PhD is how we ‘make sense’ of history using interactive diagrams. This is partly about visualisation of things we already know in order to communicate them to others. But it is also about visual analytics – using visuals for knowledge discovery. I’m particularly interested in what connects objects to one another, across time and through time.

I am very fortunate to be spending time at Cooper Hewitt as they have digitised their entire collection, more than 200,000 objects, and it is publicly available through an API. The museum is also known for its pioneering work in digital engagement with visitors and technical innovations in the galleries. It is a privilege to be able to draw on the curatorial, historical and digital expertise of the staff around me here for developing and evaluating my designs.

As I began exploring the collection API, I noticed many of the object records had ‘tags’ applied to them (like ‘birds’, ‘black & white’, ‘coffee and tea drinking’, ‘architecture’, ‘symmetry’ or ‘overlapping’). These tags connect diverse objects from across the collection: they represent themes that extend over time and across the different museum departments. This tagging interested me because it seemed to offer different paths through the data around shape, form, style, texture, motif, colour, function or environment. (It’s similar to the way users on platforms like Pinterest group images into ‘boards’ around different ideas). An object can have many tags applied to it suggesting different ways to look at it, and different contexts to place it in.

Where do these tags come from? Here, the tags are chosen and applied by the museum when objects are included in an exhibition. They provide a variety of ways to think about an object, highlighting different characteristics, and purposely offer a contrasting approach to more scholarly descriptive information. The tags are used to power recommendation systems on the museum collection website and applications in the galleries. They constitute both personal and institutional interpretation of the collection, and situate each item in a multi-dimensional set of context.


Some examples of tags and tagged objects in the Cooper Hewitt collection

I was interested to trace these themes over the collection and, since objects often have multiple tags, to explore what it would be like to situate or view each object through these various lenses.

The temporal dimension is important for identifying meaningful connections between items in cultural collections, so my first thoughts were to map tagged objects by date.

I’m working on a prototype interface that allows users to browse in a visually rich way through the collection by tags. A user starts with one object image and a list of the tags that apply to that object. They may be interested to see what other objects in the collection share a given tag and how the starting image sits in each of those contexts. When they click a tag, a timeline visualisation is generated of images of the other objects sharing that tag – arranged by date. The user can then click on further tags, to generate new timeline visualisations around the same starting image, viewing that image against contrasting historical narratives. And if they see a different image that interests them in one of these timelines, they can click on that image making it the new central image with a new list of tags through which to generate timelines and further dig into the collection. By skipping from image to image and tag to tag, it’s easy to get absorbed in exploring the dataset this way; the browsing can be undirected and doesn’t require a familiarity with the dataset.


‘Coffee and tea drinking’ timeline: designs in the collection stretch from 1700 to the present with a great diversity of forms and styles, elaborate and minimal.

‘Water’ timeline. Here there are many different ways of thinking about water: images of garden plans with fountains and lakes from the 16th–18th Century, or modern interventions for accessing and cleaning water in developing countries. Contrasting representations (landscape painting to abstracted pattern) and functions (drinking to boating) stretch between.

‘Water’ timeline, detail


‘Space’ timeline: 1960s ‘space age’ souvenirs (Soviet and American) precede modern telescope imaging. And a 19th Century telescope reminds us of the long history of mankind’s interest in space.

I’m plotting the object images themselves as data points so users can easily make visual connections between them and observe trends over time (for instance in how an idea is visually represented or embodied in objects, or the types of objects present at different points in time). The images are arranged without overlapping, but in an irregular way. I hoped to emulate a densely packed art gallery wall or mood board to encourage these visual connections. Since the tags are subjective and haven’t been applied across the whole collection, I also felt this layout would encourage users to view the data in a more qualitative way.


Yale Center for British Art: Long Gallery, image credit Richard Caspole, YCBA & Elizabeth Felicella, Esto

Moodboard, image credit ERRE

Dealing with dates

How to work with curatorial dating?

While most of the post-1800 objects in the dataset have a date/date span expressed numerically, pre-1800 objects often only have date information as it would appear on a label: for example ‘Created before 1870s’, ‘late 19th–early 20th century’, ‘ca. 1850’ or ‘2012–present’. My colleagues at the Royal College of Art have previously written about the challenges of visualising temporal data from cultural collections (Davis, S.B. and Kräutli, F., 2015. The Idea and Image of Historical Time: Interactions between Design and Digital Humanities. Visible Language49(3), p.101).

In order to process this data computationally, I translated the label date text to numbers using the yearrange library (which is written for working with curatorial date language). This library works by converting, for example, ‘late 18th century’ to ‘start: 1775, end: 1799’ For my purposes, this seems to work well, though I am unsure how to deal with some cases:

  • How should I deal with objects whose date is ‘circa X’ or ‘ca. X’ etc.? At the moment I’m just crudely extending the date span by ±20 years.
  • How should I deal with ‘before X’? How much ‘before’ does that mean? I’m currently just using X as the date in this case.
  • The library does not translate BC dates (though I could make adjustments to the code to enable this…) I am just excluding these at the moment.
  • There are some very old objects in the Cooper Hewitt collection for example ‘1.85 million years old’, ‘ca. 2000-1595 BCE’ and ‘300,000 years old’. These will create problems if I want to include them on a uniformly scaled timeline! Since these are rare cases, I’m excluding them at the moment.

Skewing the timeline scale

The Cooper Hewitt collection is skewed towards objects dating post-1800 so to even out image distribution over the timeline I am using a power scale. Some tags, however, – such as ‘neoclassical’ or ‘art nouveau’ – have a strong temporal component and the power scale fails to even out image distribution in these cases.

How are the images arranged?

My layout algorithm aims to separate images so that they are not overlapping, but still fairly closely packed. I am using a rule that images can be shifted horizontally to avoid overlaps so long as there is still some part of the image within its date span. Since images are large data markers, it is already not possible to read dates precisely from this timeline. And the aim here is for users to observe trends and relationships, rather than read off exact dates, so I felt it was not productive to worry too much about exact placement horizontally. (Also, this is perhaps an appropriate design feature here since dating cultural objects is often imprecise and/or uncertain anyway). This way the images are quite tightly packed, but don’t stray too far from their dates.

‘Personal environmental control’ timeline: a dry juxtaposition of these decorated fans against modern Nest thermostats.

‘Foliate’ timeline, detail

‘Squares’ timeline

I’ve also tried to spread images out within date spans, rather than just use the central point, to avoid misleading shapes forming (such as a group of objects dating 18th century forming a column at the midpoint, 1750).

Things to think about

Interface design

  • The layout algorithm slows when there are many (100 or more) images visualised. Is there a more efficient way to do this?
  • I’m considering rotating the design 90° for web-use; I anticipate users will be interested to scroll along time, and scrolling vertically may improve usability with a mouse.
  • Would a user be interested to see different timeline visualisations next to each other, to compare them?
  • It could be interesting to apply this interface to other ways of grouping objects such as type, colour, country or other descriptor.
  • I need to build in a back button, or some way to return to previously selected images. Maybe a search option for tags? Or a way to save images to return to?

Tags

  • This visualisation design relies on curator-applied tags and, therefore, would be difficult to apply to other datasets: might there be a way to automate part of this? Maybe using computer vision technologies?
  • Since objects are only tagged if they are featured in an exhibition, the interface misses many relevant objects in the collection when visualising a theme. For instance there are 23 objects tagged ‘Japanese’, but keyword searching the collection for ‘Japanese’ returns 453 objects. While the interface works well with the current quantities of images (up to about 100), what changes to the design would be needed to increase this number?
  • What about grouping tags together? There is no dictionary or hierarchy to them so some are very similar, for instance: ‘floral’, ‘floral bouquets’, ‘floral swag’, ‘flower’, ‘flowering vine’, and ‘flowers’. Though it can be interesting to see the subtle differences in how related tags have been applied. For instance: ‘biomorphic’ is more often applied to modern objects; ‘nature’ is generally applied to depictions of nature such as landscape paintings; while ‘organic’ is applied in a more abstract sense to describe objects’ form.

I’m at a stage where I’d like to get user feedback from a range of audiences (general and scholarly) to explore some of these questions.

This is very much a work in progress, and feedback is welcome! (olivia.fletcher-vane@network.rca.ac.uk to get in touch by email)

Redesigning Post-Purchase Touchpoints

We re-opened the museum with “minimum viable product” relating to online ticket orders. Visitor-facing touchpoints like confirmation emails, eTicket PDFs and “thank you for your order” webpages were built to be simple and efficient. After putting them to the test with real visitors, room for improvement became obvious.

Here’s how we used staff feedback and designerly observation to iterate and improve upon 3 important touchpoints. The goal of this undertaking was to make things smoother for our front-of-house staff (who turned out to have quite a bit to juggle, given the new Pen and its backend complexities), and simpler for visitors (some of whom were confused by our system.. how dare they!).

The original confirmation webpage was designed with visitors buying on mobile (perhaps even while en route to the museum) in mind:

screen shot of a webpage with order number and a barcode for each ticket.

The original “Thank You” webpage was stripped of information, with the idea of getting you through the front desk transaction as efficiently as possible.

The original confirmation email was a few lines of text:

Screen shot of an email confirming cooper hewitt ticket order

Made in a pre-opening vacuum without real visitors to test upon, The original confirmation email was more self-promotional than it was anticipatory of visitors’ needs.

The original PDF attached to this confirmation email was designed for visitors who like to print things out and have something on paper:

The original eTicket PDF had one page (one "ticket") per visitor. The email went to the purchasing visitor's inbox.

The original eTicket PDF had one page (one “ticket”) per visitor. The email went to the purchasing visitor’s inbox.

Over a few weeks of heavy visitor traffic (with about 20% of visitors buying advance tickets online), I sat behind the front desk staff to quietly observe a handful of transactions every day. I initiated my observation sessions knowing that we needed to make the front desk move smoother and faster, but I didn’t yet know which touchpoints/services/operations would need changing.

These 3 touchpoints stood out to me as something that needed re-addressing if we wanted to make the front desk run more smoothly. (My daily observations also led to many efficiency-boosting changes made to internal tools, IT concerns, staffing needs, signage, and more.) This experience has made me a big believer in quiet observation as a direct route to improving services and systems. “Conference room conjecture” is worth very little compared to real observations and listening-based chats with your public-facing staff.

My advice on Observing and Listening for service design:

  •  You may observe a staff person answer a question incorrectly, or a problem that you could resolve yourself on the spot. Don’t intervene, tempting as it might be! You’re not there to fix problems, you’re there to fix problem patterns. Your mission is long-term.
  • When chatting with staff, listen quietly and attentively. It’s OK if you can’t offer an instant fix. You may not have a magic wand, but listening with empathy is at least half as good.
  • Focus on building trust with the staff you are observing over a period of days or weeks, so they will become comfortable sharing bad news as easily as they share the good. Remind them repeatedly that your intention is to improve their daily work situation.
  • Remember it can be very intimidating to feel “interrogated” or “observed” by someone who is your direct/indirect superior. Make sure they know your questions are motivated by a spirit of service, not by “tattle-telling” to other staff that things might be going amiss. You will get more honesty, and thereby, better design insights.

Here are the observation-based insights that motivated our choices:

  • Visitors sometimes get confused by the barcodes. They think something has to be scanned after their visit in order for their pen diary to get “Saved” or “sent to their email.”
  • Because this collateral is called an “eTicket,” some visitors are marching right up to the gallery entrance with their “eTicket,” and bypassing the front desk. “I already bought my ticket, why do I have to wait on this line?”
  • Visitors don’t know what the Pen is, and explaining it takes several minutes, slowing down the line.
  • Visitors may not have great cell service in our lobby, and probably haven’t gotten the wifi working yet, so if their email attachment hasn’t pre-downloaded, this will slow everything down.
  • Front desk staff each have different ways of handling eTickets. Most staff ask for the order number verbally. A few staff take the printout or phone and scan the barcode, avoiding the need to re-print a ticket (this is how the barcode was intended to be used).
  • The diversity of collateral that visitors may bring to the transaction makes things more complicated for our staff. “Is my customer looking at a webpage, an email, or a PDF? Should I tell them to look for an order number, hand me a barcode, or open the attachment?”
two gentlemen at a large white desk in a dark room full of wood paneling. a third gentleman sits behind the desk.

For their own ease of use, most desk reps were initiating the transaction by asking: “What’s your Order number?” so we designed to accommodate that preference instead of working against it.

The ideas we cycled through:

  • A picture of the Pen with an “enticing” explanation of what it does might help offset the burden on the front desk to explain it all very quickly.
  • We thought one barcode per visitor displayed in a list might let us hold on to our original “paperless dream.” (The “paperless dream” entailed scanning each barcode and pairing immediately with pens, bypassing our CRM and house-printed tickets.) When we ran this idea by our colleagues at the desk, though, we learned quickly that this would be extraordinarily confusing for guests, who need to remember their personal URL (usually printed on the ticket) to access their post-visit diary. What if a group of 5 friends come together, will we put the burden on the visitor to remember which URL goes with which friend? Will they have to write it down, or forward around the ticket email with added whose-URL-is-whose notes? That’s too much of a burden on guests, who are already working to assimilate new information about our Pen, which has already buffeted their expectations (and tried their transaction-length-patience) about what to expect during a museum front desk experience.
printouts of an email confirming tickets with barcodes and giant pen scribbled "x" with handwritten pen notes

What seems like a good idea at your desk may not seem so smart after you’ve shown it around to ground-level users

The current solution (after all, our work is never final):

screen shot of an email with lots of information about cafe, hours, map, the pen, and an image of museum interior and pen usage.

The order number is large and at the top of the email. It’s also in the subject line. Click this image to enlarge.

  • This solution makes the front desk staffer’s job simpler when a pre-order person arrives. It’s all about the order number. There is no more choice involved about whether to ask for the order number, or the barcode, or the purchaser’s name… or….
  • There is still a confirmation webpage, and it looks exactly like this.
  • There is no more PDF attachment to the email.
  • Since this is a “will-call” paradigm instead of an “eTicket” paradigm, we hope this solution will keep visitors from expecting that they can enter the museum directly without talking to a desk attendant first.
  • The order number is in the subject line, so if your email hasn’t fully downloaded, you won’t slow down the line.
  • The original idea was to save paper by allowing a visitor’s PDF to work as their ticket/URL reminder. This idea, though it does now involve reprinting tickets, may involve less user-printouts, since we’re simply asking folks to “bring” their order number, and not any printouts.

This is just one piece of an elaborate service design puzzle. More posts will be coming about other touchpoints we’ve created and re-designed based on observations made in the first months of running our new Pen service.

Making of: Design Dictionary Video Series

We often champion processes of iterative prototyping in our exhibitions and educational workshops about design. Practicing what we preach by actually adopting iterative prototyping workflows in-house is something we’ve been working on internally at Cooper Hewitt for the last few years.

In the 3.5 years that I’ve been here, I’ve observed some inspiring progress on this front. Here’s one story of iterative prototyping and inter-departmental collaboration in-house, this time for our new Design Dictionary web video series.

Design Dictionary is a 14-part video series that aims to demystify everything from tapestry weaving to 3D printing in a quick and highly visual way. With this project, we aimed not only to produce a fun and educationally valuable new video series, but also to shake up our internal workflow.

Content production isn’t the first thing you’d think of when discussing iterative prototyping workflows, but it’s just as useful for media production as it is for hardware, software, graphic design, and other more familiar design processes.

The origin of Design Dictionary traces back to a new monthly meeting series that was kicked off about two years ago. The purpose of the meetings was to get Education, Curatorial, and Digital staff in the same room to talk about the content being developed for our new permanent collection exhibition, Making Design. We wanted everything from the wall labels to the digital interactive experiences to really resonate with our various audiences. Though logistically clunkier and more challenging than allowing content development to happen in a small circle, big-ish monthly meetings held the promise of diverse points of view and the potential for unexpected and interesting ideas.

At one of these meetings, when talking about videos to accompany the exhibition, the curators and educators both expressed a desire to illustrate the various design techniques employed in our collection via video. It was noted that video of most any technique is already available online, but since these videos are of varying quality, accuracy, and copyright allowances, and it might be worth it to produce our own series.

I got the ball rolling by creating a list of techniques that will appear more than once in Making Design.

Then I collected a handful of similar videos online, to help center the conversation about project goals. Even the habitual “lurkers” on Basecamp were willing to chime in when it came to criticizing other orgs’ educational videos: “so boring!” “so dry!” they said. This was interesting, because as a media producer it can be hard to 1) get people to actually participate and submit their thoughts and 2) break it to someone that their idea for a new video is extremely boring.

Once we were critiquing *somebody else’s* educational videos, and not our own darling ideas, people seemed more able to see video content from a viewer’s perspective (impatient, wanting excitement) as opposed to a curator/educator’s perspective (fixated on detail, accuracy, thoroughness, less concerned with the viewer’s interests & attention span).

a green post it note with four goals written on it as follows: 1) express new brand (as personality/mood) 2) generate online buzz 3) help docents/visitors grasp techniques in gallery-fast (research opinions) 4) help us start thinking about content creation in an audience-centered, purposeful way

I kept this note taped to my screen as a reminder of the 4 project goals.

It is amazingly easy to get confused and lost mid-project if you don’t keep your goals close. This is why I clung tightly to the sticky note shown above. When everyone involved can agree on goals up-front, the project itself can shape-shift quite nicely and organically, but the goals stay firm. Stakeholders’ concerns can be evaluated against the goals, not against your org. hierarchy or any other such evil criteria.

Even with all the viewer-centric empathy in the world, it can still be hard to predict what your audience will like and dislike. Would a video about tapestry weaving get any views on YouTube? What about 3D printing?

Screen shot of a tweet that says: Last chance! Tell us which design techniques interest you most in this one-question survey: http://bit.ly/Museum4U

We asked our Twitter followers which techniques interest them most.

We created a quick survey on SurveyMonkey and blasted it out to our followers on Facebook and Twitter to gauge the temperature.

a list of design techniques, each with an orange bar showing percentage of people who voted for that technique.

Surveying our Twitter and Facebook fans with SurveyMonkey, to learn which techniques they’d be interested in learning more about.

We also hosted the same survey on Qualaroo, which pops up on our website. My hunch about what people would say was all wrong. We used these survey results to help choose which techniques would get a video.

By this point, it was mid-winter 2014, and our new brand from Pentagram was starting to get locked in. It was a good opportunity to play with the idea of expressing this new brand via video. What should the pacing and rhythm be like? How should animations feel? What kind of music should we use?

grid of various images, each with a caption, like a mood board or bulletin board.

Public mood-boarding with Pinterest.

Seb & I are fans of “Look Around You” and we liked the idea of a somewhat cheeky approach to the dreaded “educational video.” How about an educational video that (lovingly, artfully) mocks the very format of educational videos? I created a Pinterest board to help with the art direction. We couldn’t go too kitsch with the videos, however, because our new brand is pretty slick and that would have clashed.

Then I made a low-stakes, low-cost prototype, recycling footage from a previous project. I sent this out to the curatorial/education team for feedback using Basecamp.

In retrospect I can now see that this video is awful. But at the time, it seemed pretty good to me. This is why we prototype, people!

With feedback from colleagues via Basecamp (less book, more live action, more prominent type), I made the next prototype:

I got mixed reactions about the new typography. Some found it distracting. And I was still getting a lot of mixed reactions to the book. So here was my third pass:

I was starting to reach out to artists and designers to lend their time to the shoots, and was cycling that fresh footage into the project, and cycling the new video drafts back to the group for feedback. Partially because we were on a deadline and partially because it works well in iterative projects, we didn’t wait for closure on step 1 before moving on to step 2.

a pile of scrap papers, each with different lists saying things like: "copy pattern, cover pattern with contact paper, mount pattern" or "embroidery steps: 1) cut fabric 2) stretch main fabric onto hoop 3) cut thread" et cetera

I got a crash course in 14 different techniques.

Every new shoot presented a new chance to test the look and feel and get reactions from my colleagues. Here was a video where I tried my own hand at graphical “annotations” (dovetail, interlock, slit):

By this point my prototype was refined enough to share with Pentagram, who were actively working on our digital collateral. I asked them to style a typographic solution for the series, which could serve as the basis for other museum videos as well. Whenever you can provide a designer with real content, do it, because it’s so much better than using dummy content. Dummy content is soft and easy, allowing itself to be styled in a way that looks good, but meets no real requirements when put through a real stress test (long words, bulky text, realistic quantities of donor credits, real stakeholders wanting their interests represented prominently).

Here is a revised video that takes Pentagram’s new, crisp typography into account:

This got very good feedback from education and curatorial. And I liked it too. Yay.

All-in-all, it took about 8 rounds of revision to get from the first cruddy prototype to the final polished result.

And here are the final versions.

Designing the responsive footer

We now have a responsive main website. To a degree.

Like everything it is a stopgap measure before we do a full overhaul of the Cooper-Hewitt online – timed to go live before we reopen our main campus (2014).

With the proportion of mobile traffic to our web properties increasing every month we couldn’t wait for a full redesign to implement a mobile-friendly version of the site. So we did some tweaking and with the help of Orion, pulled responsiveness into the scope for a migration of backends from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

Katie did the wireframing and design of the new funky fat footer – which you’ll notice, changes arrangements as it switches between enormous (desktop), large (tablet) and mini (mobile) modes.

Here she is explaining the what and why.

Why did you do paper prototypes for the responsive design?

A few months ago I was working on a design for the Arts Achieve website. I showed my screen to Bill, our museum director, to get his thoughts. Bill is a former industrial designer and one of the pioneers of interaction design. The first thing he said was “ok, let’s print out a screenshot.” He then drew his suggestions right onto the printed page. We didn’t really look at the screen much during the conversation. Writing directly onto the paper was more immediate and direct, and made his suggestions feel very possible to me. Looking at a site design on a screen makes me feel like I’m looking at something final, even if its just a mockup. The same thing printed on paper seems more malleable. It’s a mind trick!

Paper also lets me print out many versions and compare them side-by-side (you can’t do that on a single monitor).

Paper also ALSO lets me walk around showing my print-outs to others and ask for rapid reactions without pulling everyone into a screen hover session. This is a simple body/communication thing: when everyone is facing toward a screen to talk about a design, you’re not in a natural conversational position. Everyone’s face and body is oriented toward the screen. I can’t see people’s faces and expressions unless I twist around. When you’re just holding a paper, and there’s no screen, it’s more like a natural conversation.

Post-its stuck to the monitor as a way to quickly agree on our initial ideas

Why do some of the elements move around in the responsive footer? (why do the icons and signups move)

They move around to be graphically pleasing. And to make sure the stuff we wanted people to notice and click on is most prominent.

We had a strong desire for the social media icons to be really prominent. So they’re front and center in the monitor-width design (940px width). They’re on the right hand side in the tablet-size design (700px wide) and in the mobile-size design (365px wide) because I think it looks sharpest when the rectilinear components are left-justified and the round stuff is on the right.

What were the challenges for the responsive design?

We had a really clear hierarchy in mind from the beginning (we knew what we really wanted people to notice and click) so that eliminated a lot of complexity. The only challenge was how to serve that hierarchy cleanly.

One challenge was the footer doesn’t always graphically harmonize with the body of the page, because the page content is always changing.

Another challenge was getting the latest tweet to be clear and legible, but still appear quiet and ambient and classy.

What were some of the things you are going to be looking out for as it the site goes live?

I want to see how the footer harmonizes with our varying page body content and then decide if it makes sense to change the footer to match the body, or re-style the body content to sit better atop the footer.

I wonder if people on Twitter will start saying stuff @Cooperhewitt just because they know they’ll get a few minutes of fame on our homepage. That participation could be awesome or spammy. We’ll see.

I’m really excited to see the analytics. I want to see if this new layout really does boost our newsletter signup and social media participation and everything. It will be super gratifying if it does.

Of course, we’ll reiterate and revise based on all the analytics and feedback.