Doors of Perception
A San Francisco People's Choice Webby Award winner in 1999, the Doors of Perception website is one of Zuper!'s succes stories. After designing several sites for the Netherlands Design Institute through Van Riet On Line Productions in Amsterdam, they asked us to completely redesign and restructure the site for their annual conference about new technology, design and philosophy. I designed the interface and the rest of Van Riet filled in the content.
In good old Dutch style, the interface is very solid and simple and yet a lot of fun to use thanks to the lively colors, the sounds and the splash movies.
For their fifth conference which had 'Play' as its theme, we wanted to make something special. So I came up with this crazy idea of a very playful discussion environment. It was crazy in the sense that it did not really serve any deep utilitarian purpose while it was quite difficult, and thus costly, to develop and to top that off, there was no way we could get it to run flawlessly because again I was forcing the technology to do things it wasn't designed for.
And they actually found the money to pay for it.
Play/Quotescape is basically a threaded discussion environment where people can posts texts to which other people can reply. Etcetera. Usually the interface to such an application is a long list of clickable titles. This version, however, feels like a game. It's more like Space Invaders than like Microsoft Word.
Also, for a threaded discussion forum, the things you could do with it were fairly unique. People could change texts other people had written or even delete them. When deleted, texts ended up in the trash where other people could rescue them. In the trash is a fish that announces the date when the trash will be emptied. People who have texts of them being trashed by other people, get an e-mail warning them about permanent deletion also giving them the e-mail address of the person who trashed their text. The user could find a complete history of what happend to a certain text and who did it in the website. In addition to that people could completely redesign the layout of the environment by moving texts around and changing their sizes.
I had finally succeeded in making a website of only one page that costed about a million Belgian Francs.
Hardware: Intel P200 based clone, Intel P200 based Toshiba, 28.8K modem, ISDN
Software: Windows95, Photoshop, Flash, PFE ascii editor