Building a Platform: Discovery Phase

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The journey begins! We are on our way to building out our own premiere pop culture platform, and it all begins with a solid foundation. We are in the Discovery phase, folks. In design, we use Discovery to examine the landscape in which our project will exist. This includes understanding the competition, the marketplace, and how our brand values will uniquely benefit the end user(s).

The Discovery Phase and what we discovered.

The benefit of being so engrossed in video games, comics, movies, streaming shows, TV, and other popular fandoms is we already know the competition pretty well. I use the term “competition” lightly. We can’t really “compete” with giants like IGN, Gamespot, Fandom, Gamesradar, or any major outlet out there. That’s the reality.

Another reality is we absolutely don’t want to. Pop culture news is already covered, and we don’t have anything new to offer. If you need comic book news and coverage, platforms like CBR, Popverse, and Comicbook.com will serve you much better than our small team. The same goes for any fandom. Honestly, we tried in the past, and it failed.

But every failure is a chance to learn, and we learned what our strengths are. We love telling stories and building worlds. We also have a divine passion for really (really) good design that offers ease of use for the end user. There is nothing worse than a platform you can’t navigate. We plan to merge those strengths into a singular platform that will allow users to collaborate with us and each other. For the sake of transparency, here is the competition Discovery list we collected:

Each platform above offers vastly different experiences for their fans but great experiences for their chosen focus. Marvel has taken their catalog of characters and built an amazingly detailed reference guide that users can search and learn more about. Giant Bomb has the internet’s largest video game wiki, with abstract concepts and specific items cataloged and updated by their loyal community. Kinda Funny Games has grown into its media giant, with numerous web shows, podcasts, streams, and features for video game fans.

Taking Inspiration

Every platform above informs how we’d like to tackle the different aspects of our project. Nothing is created in a vacuum, and inspiration is the key to new creations. During our discovery, we identified several gaps we can fill with our venture. One big one is that these platforms produce a high quantity of content but don’t facilitate any creation.

Here’s an example. Years ago, Fandom ran a Contributor Program that allowed fans of the site to create content for Fandom and get experience writing features, getting valuable feedback, having deadlines, following style guides, and publishing pieces for a major publication. It was a free online internship with real-world experience! It was an amazing program that sadly went away. We want to incorporate that program into our new platform. We will give writers, designers, photographers, videographers, cosplayers, etc., a place to get experience and build a portfolio of work they can reference to further their careers.

Our goal is to give back and have a good time doing it.

The platform’s Brand Values

The discovery phase will take you places

This discovery phase helped narrow our focus to a few key items that will help inform the rest of the product’s development. These foundational tasks will be a reference for us as we develop this new application. Brand values tend to shift and conform as a product takes shape, but we feel these are strong, evergreen values that can stand the test of time.

  • A user-first, well-designed platform that makes ease of use a priority
  • A curated community of creators hellbent on uplifting each other and creating new and exciting projects
  • A reference database for the internet to search and learn from
  • In-house media creation, including podcasts, web series, and features that utilize our extensive creation database
  • A platform that facilitates the growth of its community, both professionally and monetarily

Next Steps: Brand Strategy & Design

The Discovery phase is complete, time to design!

Discovery is complete! Time to tackle the brand. Next up is taking our in-house company, Big Large Huge, and giving it a brand facelift from a brand perspective. Join us next time as we start all the fun stuff, branding, brand strategy, and design!

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