When I was younger, creating websites was more of a hobby – something that I did after school, usually late into the evening, armed with my cracked version of Photoshop 6 writing basic html and notepad skills to create ever-so-crappy Geocities sites. I think many members of the creative and development departments here at Dashboard started out in much the same way: creating (writing code, or designing visuals or animations) was something we all did for fun. That’s probably why we are all sitting here at our jobs right now. After some conversations over pints in the last couple of weeks, Dashboard’s creative and development teams have been shooting around ideas about technology, apps, games and really any kind of off the wall things that we could come up with. We’ve had sketch pads out with doodles, graphs, half-assed scribbled IA’s, circles, arrows and gibberish – most of which make no sense the next morning. Combined with this ritual, and the upcoming re-vamp of Dashboard’s website and brand (currently in the works), we think it’s time to take all of this past the table at the bar – we want to play, create, experiment and have a place to share it. We are starting to build up content which will hopefully find a home on our new site in our laboratory of madness – the play section.
Our first order of business is to take it back to basics: Experiment #1.
A computer, a pool of stock photography, a pile of fonts, a case (or two) of beer, and the creative and dev teams. The idea: to have all of us take a shot at working on the same file one after another for a given amount of time and see what sort of twisted piece of digital art we can come up with. There are no rules, nothing has to make sense or follow any sort of guidelines, who knows what will come out of this. We don’t know whether it’ll end up a static, an animated, or interactive piece, and in the end it doesn’t really matter. We’ll record the desktop of the machine we use to create a time-lapse of the evolution of the piece, which will be posted here once the experiment ends.
I think this will take us all back a few years to the time we used to just create for the fun of it. No clients, no deadlines, no internal reviews or feedback – just a collaboration amongst people who love what we do, and in the end, something created from the pure enjoyment that we got out of doing it.