A social network built around being nice to each other


When the newspaper business started downsizing its page count and staff, I thought it might be time to consider a career plan B. Having worked in sales and marketing for Village Voice Media and Heart Newspapers, I thought the best skills I had to parlay into a new career were solving problems (oh, so many problems) and working to deliver a great product to an audience we worked to understand and represent. 

It didn't take long for me to set my sights on UX design. Being the bridge between the user and the business goals was a place I was well accustomed to from many years of working with readers, sales and editorial to produce special sections and supplements targeted to solve specific problems for readers. The design aspect was something I was itching to do and everything I learned about the role of a UX designer made me more eager to embark on that path.

I set out to learn OmniGraffle (have since morphed into a Sketch fan,) read all I could on user-centered design and got to a point where my next step was to build something. I put out an ad looking for a developer, roped my graphic artist pal into doing visual design and started wireframes for Altrooist, a social network built around good deeds. 

This was my first experience launching software and thanks to the tiny Altrooist team, I was taught well. I still work with these folks on a regular basis which is one of the best gifts to come from this project. Altrooist was 100 years ago in Internet time so these designs are dated -- and aggressively yellow -- but still full of love.