Case Study — Net Minds

Reinvent digital publishing.

Digital publishing startup Net Minds has a mission to change the way books are created and how authors, editors, and designers are compensated and credited. They empower individuals to find book projects and talent to publish and market successful books.
  • Product + Digital Strategy.
  • User Experience Design.
  • Responsive Web Design.
  • Mobile + App Development.
  • Branding + Communications.
  • Social + Content.

UX + Product Strategy.

The Net Minds concept and app had a lot of moving parts. But instead of tackling a facet of a problem or creating one tool, the ambitious Net Minds team tackled the inequality and inefficiency—book concept, hiring, contracts, collaboration, distribution, and payments—apparent in the entire publishing industry. To design an intuitive user interface with the right user experience, we had to find a way to compress the entire publishing process and still have all the accuracy for great authors to sell books.

With an app and website as big as the Net Minds system, we started by thinking about the user experience flow in manageable, bitesize components in order to keep an eye on maintainability and feature expansion. We created a user experience concept to educate new users, and provide veterans with tools and the ability to find projects they want to work on and help negotiate the right fees for the right idea.

Brand + Marketing.

To match the disruptive nature of the Net Minds concept, the entire brand and voice needed to match its bold statement—to fix publishing, the Net Minds model used digital tools to streamline the inefficient aspects of publishing while creating a more fair revenue model for content creators, essentially commoditizing the role of the publisher not the author.

We designed a simple brand concept with a variety of colors to combine with varying genres of published works. We gave the brand some whimsy to make the job of writing and finding talent fun. Because of the complex nature of the system and publishing in general, we approached design modularly so we could reuse styles and artwork as a mnemonic device to minimize the learning curve of a new system.

To promote the product and create interest, we created unique and insightful content to promote the right kind of change needed in the publishing industry. and were active on social media to drive the brand narrative and engage authentically with users and the public.

Design + Development.

Maintaining consistency, we designed and developed the entire app and website with modular and reusable components. We developed a completely custom HTML5 framework, utilizing a percent-based grid system so we had size flexibility regardless of the screen size or content within it. This unique solution allowed us to pair modules and functions with unprecedented flexibility because of our hybrid fluid layout. The website was designed with the same modular components, giving members and site visitors a consistent and vibrant look and feel.

For the app build itself, we used an entire Javascript technology stack—Node.js, Ember, and MongoDB—for its speed, performance, and reusability of code. We approached the development process to roll out new features iteratively, creating a customized API to make access to data easier and future-friendly for developers./p>

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