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Show HN: Introducing Spaceship (spaceship.io)
16 points by mntmn 1269 days ago | 15 comments



I knew nothing about your product just by reading your title, so these are my complete first impressions:

1) In the second sentence, I'm expecting to hear the first pitch for the product.

Generally speaking: with Spaceship, we ultimately aim to lift your creative process to a new level of productivity and fun.

Why "generally" speaking? You don't want to speak generally, you want to speak specifically about what you're offering. Secondly, you introduce your product with its benefits. That's great for most sales situations (think of all of the TV commercials that start with "Imagine if..."), but can be confusing for technical products like software. I want to know what your product does.

2) This is a really strong insight:

We found and tried a lot of products that try to simulate analog tools like note-taking apps or virtual whiteboards. Web afficionados work together in Google Docs. A forward-thinking filmmaker might manually copy character mugshots into a Dropbox folder. We heard of people who like the experience of Evernote.

3) The video is great. You're using the application to demo the application. Fantastic. But where's the audio? Why aren't you speaking with me directly? If you aren't comfortable with speaking, hire a friend for cheap.

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Thanks!

1) True. I'll do a better job next time. 3) Yes. We'll add audio in the next iteration.

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My suggestion is to try to distill what you do as much as possible. Nowhere in the post or on the landing page do you really state what Spaceship is.

Even saying something like, "Spaceship is a collaborative mind mapping application that supports rich media," would have helped me understand quicker.

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I second this. I just skimmed the whole page and I have no idea what spaceship is besides a "tool for designers". After looking at the wall of text on your landing page I had no desire to even start the video. The image for the video is not super compelling either. Good luck!

Oh... and... what is it that spaceship does?

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Ditto.

The first paragraph needs to be specific. I read all the way to the tl;dr mark and still don't know what's brewing.

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Thanks, that was exactly the kind of constructive feedback I was hoping for when posting here.

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So ... could you post here, what it is in summary?

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Sure. Please see my separate comment in the main thread.

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I would take your example, and show me something concrete that I might use your product for. Reading the description, and then watching the video, it's very hard to get an idea of why I would use this product. It kind of looks like a way of randomly jumbling a bunch of stuff together, which I assure you, I can achieve on my own :).

Overall, I have to admit that I'm skeptical about the whole enterprise of contextual mapping, but one of the things that could possibly convince me to try your software would be if the implementation looked exceedingly simple and well-executed. One of the reasons a lot of contextual map software fails is that clicking and dragging things around is extremely tedious, and with most software, the interactions are not implemented very well. I'm talking about things like: distinguishing click-moves and click-edits, or boxes in a flow chart staying connected to each other when I drag them around.

Think about the whiteboard you're trying to replace (I think). The reason a whiteboard works so well is that it's incredibly easy to put any kind of data into it, because drawing things on a whiteboard is trivial. You don't have the ability to draw that way with a computer program, so whatever facilities replace drawing need to be comparably easy to use.

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Thanks for your input!

It's kind of hard to do a concrete example for an audience that has very different problem domains (i.e. engineers, designers, students, communications people etc.). But as soon as we're going into public beta, we'll probably have to produce high quality examples for different audiences, that's right.

We're not trying to replace analog media. I think that's kind of impossible. But we're working on ways to augment them (for example making it very easy to capture a white board or scribbled notes).

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Hey, I just wanted to let you guys know that I really like where you are taking the design of this site. It is really a breath of fresh air considering the typical interface often seen around the start up crowd. Its feels very light, and intentional with bold accents calling for attention. In a word, I might call it crisp. However, I do think you could rework some of the user generated elements such as the clusters and the inserted images. They feel oddly out of place considering the rest of the UI.

With that all said however, the page offering explanation leaves much to be desired. I think there should be more doing and less talking so to speak. Even the text though feels unstructured and out of place, its placement seems rather haphazard, and the rag is especially rough. While I do realize this blog post isn't the product, the typography is seriously lacking there.

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Thanks for the comments so far. At the time of writing the initial blog post, we didn't want to give the complete picture but instead focus on testing the first component of our app, which is the Space.

As dwynings figured out quite well, our Space is a mix of a virtual whiteboard with media sharing, annotation and clustering features. You can use it to work on ideas, concepts, to review or decide on things.

The next thing we'll be releasing is Processes. These will allow you to work through projects in well-defined steps, where each step has its own Space.

Currently, we're not in selling/marketing mode (hence the sloppy effort on that side). Instead, we're trying to accumulate feedback and critique from potential users and hackers, so we have a bigger chance of building the right thing.

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When I need to draft a document that shows visual objects and relationships (e.g. architecture diagrams), I jump into OmniGraffle. The reason that this is my tool of choice is because the input mechanism is mainly through an outline tool. I can very quickly jot everything that I need to say down into an outline format and OmniGraffle will automagically try to align everything for me. Only then do I start to drag things around.

So, my feedback for this tool is to make input much easier. Instead of "click, type, move" over and over again.. smooth that process out by having a type-only input mechanism.

Great work so far!

Edit: Grammar and last line.

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Thanks for this insight! I remember now that back in the day, I used OmniGraffle the same way. We'll definitely give this some thought.

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The description is incredibly ethereal. Figure out how to describe your concept in a sentence that you can yell into the valley. The "tl;dr" folks don't have the patience. Unfortunately, they're your audience.

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