Nathalie Strindlund - What Lies Ahead
Blog post #1
Describe the idea!
What Lies Ahead combines qualities of geocaching and interactive storytelling. It is a location-based narrated experience that uses the city of Malmö as a playground where it entangles users in a cryptic and thrilling crime story.
Who are you?
We are a group of four interaction designers that share a common ground in digital media design but have different expertise in visual design, music production, narrative writing and game design. We have previous experience in running companies in music production and design and are all creative individuals that enjoy problem solving.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
We are in the process of recruiting a back-end programmer to our team, that helps us to further develop the app. Testing with external users will be done throughout the summer, to generate valuable feedback and improve the overall experience. In order for What Lies Ahead to generate revenue, we will also need to create relations with stakeholders such as municipalities and local business that could lead to valuable partnerships for us.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
After this summer, we expect to have a functioning prototype of What Lies Ahead that has been tested with users. The data from the tests will be valuable when pitching for business partners and investors. We also expect to have created connections with external stakeholders that enables us to continue working with What Lies Ahead beyond this summer.
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
The script has been revised and a voice actor has been contacted to enhance the overall impression of the experience within What Lies Ahead. One major goal of this summer was to rebuild the code to make it more efficient and to test the core elements of the experience to have a solid foundation to proceed from. The initial tests are now done and we found both promising results and areas to further improve. The code is now built to make it easier to manage content, which will save time.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
Some problems were encountered with the code which has postponed the testing phase. It was found that the app needs to be handled differently in code depending on whether it is used for an Android or Apple device. In addition to this, one location in Malmö that was previously used in the story is now under construction, which led to the script having to be adapted to a new location. This points to the importance of dealing with unforeseen implications in the city when working with a location-based concept.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
Internal testing of the prototype is currently ongoing in parallel with further development. When a sufficiently working prototype has been achieved the team hopes to move on with external tests. Record new voiceover clips for the narrative using professional equipment in a studio setting. These will replace the current placeholder audio. Physical props, such as qr-codes, will be placed at the relevant locations according to the revised script. New material to communicate and market the idea will be created.
Blog post #3
How did you experience the three months?
These three months were a great learning opportunity in entrepreneurship and project management. It highlighted the different skills that are needed, apart from a solid concept, to manage and push a business idea.
What has been most difficult and what has been most enjoyable?
Our biggest challenge has been to communicate and work efficiently with the programmer that we recruited. Our collaboration started a bit slow, but we made great progress in the last month.
The most enjoyable part has been seeing the product we envisioned slowly take shape. It has showed that with work, dedication and the right conditions a simple idea may well be brought into reality.
Will you continue working on your project in the future? If so, what is your next step?
We've seen the potential and challenges of the project and the next step would be to find a stakeholder that has the power to manage certain aspects of the business venture.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
To keep a solid, constant level of communication and address any issues that arises as quickly as possible. This is especially important when parts of the team are working remotely.
Do you have any tips to other new entrepreneurs?
Think outside the box, never stop questioning how things could be done. It's the act of questioning that leads to progression within projects. Prioritise the most essential part of your business idea first, and take care of the details afterwards.