During my bachelor Industrial Design Engineering there were many different projects running at the same time and it was difficult to keep up with all this work. Scrapd was born as a tool to store all creative resources (notes, images and links) per project in order to keep a visually structured overview of what’s going on. I designed and developed the app with Andreas van der Griendt for Windows Phone during an elective, where it was selected as the best project.
After the version for Windows Phone we quickly set out to develop an iOS version. In the design of the app we started from scratch, while hanging onto the horizontal navigation structure of Windows Phone. After a summer-and-a-bit of development we published the app in the App Store and kept on iterating and developing since.
With the help of MovingPixel we created a product video to show off Scrapd’s features and how the product is used by a typeface designer.
All your creative projects
No matter what you’re working on, you can easily store it in Scrapd. Create categories to store images, text or links relevant to your project. Browse through your projects to easily know where you left off and switch working between projects.
Invite your coworkers or study mates to join your project and collectively gather inspiration. Shoot a photo, save a link or type a note and it’s instantly synced to all other teammates.
Scrapd is designed to work on iPhone and iPad and comes with a handy browser extension that lets you gather inspiration from your desktop directly into Scrapd. In the near future Scrapd will be available as a webapp, allowing you to view and manage your projects from your browser.
Every week of development brought a couple of new challenges that we didn’t think about before. When an app gets more complex and starts to do synchronisation across devices and even across different users, there are many unforeseen exceptions that have to be dealt with. Who is the owner of a project? Can other members invite new people? What if everyone leaves a project? When we started out developing Scrapd, we never realised that what we call exceptions in the product can be experienced on a daily basis by our users.
To create a system that works and scales for a growing userbase and allows for future growth over multiple platforms we built Scrapd on Microsoft Azure. We integrated Mandrill into our API to send all kinds of account related emails. These email templates were coded up in Jade which has allowed us to quickly adapt our templates for multiple purposes. To make sure that people could act upon such messages, these emails were paired with webpages built on NodeJS that could confirm actions as verifying an account or resetting a password.
Designing the browser extension for Scrapd was a great experience as it was our first attempt to design Scrapd on a larger screen. With the browser extension, you can easily drag and drop pieces of text, links or images into a Scrapd project. The extension appears from the side whenever you start dragging something towards it. To improve the user experience we designed a nifty animation that visualises the progress of your content being saved into Scrapd.
For us, the extension also served as a visual and technical stepping stone towards a full webapp which will be available soon. You can download the extension for Chrome and Safari here.
Spreading the word
Designing and developing Scrapd has been difficult, but doable. One of the biggest challenges for the app was getting word out that this app is pretty special and could help people to work more efficiently. We also faced a couple of well-known competitors—such as Evernote—for the users we are targeting. This has made it difficult to sell the reason that Scrapd exists.
To get the word out, we got featured on websites like ProductHunt which kickstarted our success. Within a couple of weeks we got more than 500 downloads, but despite our efforts the news didn’t carry on past these early adopter websites. Since the release of the iPhone app, the development of the iPad app has been another occasion which we could promote to our newsletter subscribers, as can be seen in the email above.