The Kickstarter Blog

New Feature: Creator Navigation

  1. New Feature: Feedback on Project Preview

    Not sure if your project is ready to launch? Hard to tell if your rewards are intriguing? In times like these, it's always good to turn to your trusted friends. Sharing your project with friends before you launch is one of the best ways to get feedback. We've heard it time and time again from creators, and we know it from our own experience. We recently rolled out a new feature that lets creators do just that on the project preview. 

    Let's say you're working on a project and you're almost ready to submit, but you're not quite sure you're there yet. No worries, as you can share the project with your friends! All you need to do is generate the preview link for your project, which is as easy as clicking the blue "Get Preview Link." Once you do that, you'll notice that a new section for feedback appears. 

    When you share the preview link with friends, they are able to see exactly what the project will look like when it goes live. They can watch your video, check out your rewards, read your description and then leave feedback directly on the page. This can be anything from helping you brainstorm new rewards, to advising you to add photos of rewards to the project description, or even, dare we say, catching a typo in your project title! It's important to remember that you'll only want to share the preview link with people you want to get feedback from!

    After your friends leave notes, you'll get an email or push notification on your phone (if you have the Kickstarter App for iPhone). 

    Once feedback has been left, it can be seen by other people you shared the preview link with. However, when you launch your project, the feedback on the page will go away.

    As you're working on your next project, try it out! Send your friends the preview link, ask them what they think, see if they have any feedback, and take their advice! They likely want to see your project come to life as much as you do! 

  2. Hack Day 2013

    Like a lot of companies, Kickstarter hosts an annual Hack Day. It's a chance for us to experiment — to drop what we're doing and try our hand at projects we've been wanting to undertake but never had the time. As one of our engineers said, "It's like Halloween for nerds." 

    One of the coolest things about Hack Day is it doesn't have to involve coding.  We keep it open, meaning everything from office hacks, to art hacks, to food hacks, to life hacks are encouraged. 

    For example, while Aaron Suggs worked on creating a location visualization of ~5000 backings to single project (in 71 seconds), Cindy Au made challah bread from scratch. (Someone on Twitter referred to it as "wheathacking.")

    Hack Day is all about experimenting. The things we make are built to demo, not necessarily for deploy. While these demos may look good, the actual features are a long way from working well enough to release. In software terms, they're pre-alpha.

    Fred Benenson's hack (above) is a good example. Fred spent the day looking at data, and trying to map the connections between backers based on what projects they've backed. Fred's query still needs some tinkering but what he completed in less than 24 hours is pretty cool. It's a good example of something that, with some time and TLC, could one day become part of the profile page. 

    Mobile developer Brandon Williams used Hack Day to remix an old Hack Day project by Andrew Cornett. Andrew's idea was to celebrate a projects success, by filling the project page with balloons after the project ended. Brandon took Andrew’s idea and ported it over to the Kickstarter App for iPhone. Brandon was so focused on generating "real balloon physics" that he failed to take into account how to remove the balloons from your screen. A few more Hack Days, and who knows, maybe your screen will be covered in balloons. 

    Not everyone chooses to hack, as life hacks have become a big part of Hack Day. Michal Rosenn used Hack Day as a chance to fix a major issue in the office — how do you open the door while holding coffee and a laptop? Michal solved this problem by installing a shelf for you to place your coffee on as you open and close the door.

    When your office has a creepy decommissioned elevator shaft, what do you do with it? Shannon Ferguson and Amanda Niu used their interior design skills to swag out the elevator room and transform it into a tropical work environment complete with a lounge chair and astro turf.  Office hacks, FTW! 

    Hacking the office is useful, but so is hacking the applications we use all day. Dan Drabik made a bot that monitors Campfire, a chat client, for some new commands he made. This is very convenient for inserting random .gifs into the conversation. The proof is in the numbers: productivity has slowed by 150% since the bot's introduction.

    Zack Sears developed a similar app hack, by building a rails application that took data from Kickstarter and created a leader board that ranked employees by how many projects they backed. There was a clear winner — his name is Tieg Zaharia, and he's backed 1106 projects!

    It wouldn't be Hack Day without robots though. Luckily Tieg, Erik Kastner, and Bethany Sumner know a thing or two about building robots, and, well, they built a pair of robots that can draw and paint. If this is the future, we're pretty cool with that!

    It wouldn't be hack day if no one made a movie. Thankfully, auteurs-in-residence Cooper Troxell, Niina Pollari and Katherine Pan used Hack Day as a chance to finally create their magnum opus, a film they wrote, shot, edited, and scored in a matter of hours. It's a wild ride, but if you got ten minutes to spare, we invite you to jump into 155 Years, or Klout Atlas

    These are just a few of the projects conceived during the 4th Kickstarter Hack Day. It's amazing to see what people can create in a short period of time. With no rules, the only sure bet is that the results will be interesting. That's what makes Hack Day so great!

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