We took this advice seriously and worked quickly to follow it up. Within 24 hours of receiving that advice, we:
- created 20 proposed screen shots demonstrating the core EpicGem functionality to users (including our very first short story (or "gem"), titled "Farm Tales")
- created and launched online surveys via multiple channels; and
- collected over 1,000 responses from random US residents.
While this latest effort (the survey) was exhausting, what we have learned (and the feedback we received) has re-affirmed our commitment to EpicGem and what we hope to achieve with the platform. 70% of respondents identified themselves as people who share stories in some way (with young children, their peers, or older generations). 80% of those people (whom we call “Story Tellers”), or about 550 out of our original sample of 1,000, confirmed they had a strong or very strong interest in using EpicGem functionality. Over 200 respondents took time to share detailed comments regarding what they liked about EpicGem (as well as other functionality they hoped would be added in the future). Lastly, carrying out this effort provided essential information to underpin our assumptions about cost and revenue projections for EpicGem.
With that feedback in hand, we are in discussions with three user interface (UI) / user experience (UX) designers and continuing to work towards are projected development timeline:
- UI / UX (Hire Designer) – by 19 June
- UI / UX (Initial Design Work Completed) – by 10 July
- Focus Group Testing – by 24 July
- Code Development (Engage Developer) – by 24 July
- UI / UX (Modification for Focus Group Feedback ) – by 7 Aug
- Code Development (Develop initial viable product) – by 2 Oct.