"A relatively simple concept, perfectly executed—what a great vehicle for viral marketing." —juror Jonathan Hills
"We all aspire to making something with as much impact. It’s a really strong, simple concept executed extremely well. The tools are intuitive and abundant and the playback mechanism is delightfully entertaining." —juror Jacquie Moss
Overview: Designed as a "virtual napkin," this minimally-branded site invites users to make drawings and jot down ideas and then send them to friends via e-mail. Visitors can also invite up to two friends to draw together with them in real time.
• Multiple user drawing
• Flash Remoting Server and Flash Communication Server
• 4-month production time
• Nearly 2,000,000 drawings created since launch
Comments by Myles Kellam, Ron Lent, Melissa Haworth, Ken Kraemer and Arturo Aranda:
"To an artist, there's nothing quite as exciting as standing in front of a big blank canvas holding a bucket of paint. It's similar to how we feel when we take on these types of projects and we wanted to share our passion and sense of excitement with the audience.
"Our overriding objective was to provide users with the ability to utilize their own definitions of Imagination at Work and experience the power of collaboration at will. We had no idea that such a minimalist design would yield such an intellectual product.
"Throughout the project, we walked a fine line between creating an interface that was usable but at the same time simple, beautiful and minimal. We had the visual goal of making it not feel like a complex application, but we had a lot of features (such as 'save') for which usability would be greatly improved if they were handled in standard ways. We solved this by using a combination of very standard interfaces (such as 'file' and a horizontal menu) and more graceful interface treatments (such as animated pull-down menus and palettes) to get the best of both worlds.
"By far the most surprising aspect was when we got to user testing and discovered that people didn't seem to know the definition of the word 'collaborate.' It was an interesting dilemma to overcome, because in the span of a few seconds we had to not only deliver the overarching concept, but also make it clear that a user could actually invite friends. We're really proud of the balance we struck between these two messages and the clarity with which we accomplished it.
"GE doesn't have one scientist working in a vacuum, there are tons of amazing teams working together to create these incredible innovations. And it's that notion of teamwork that we used as our inspiration. So, ultimately, it would be safe to say that this project is a direct reflection of GE's history of innovation and collaboration."