Week 3: Technical research
This post is part of a series of posts in One experiment a week project.
Last week, I validated that there might be interest in the workflow like the one I created in StitchEase. However, one of the most apparent values that are missing for the users of StitchEase is the ability to add and use patterns not included with the app.
There are quite a few challenges when it comes to adding new patterns. This week I was able to find some potential solutions to the technical side of things:
- Ravelry has an open API that we can use to access their database and pull details of the pattern from it. With a slightly higher level of access, users can even get access to their account information (including purchased patterns).
- With some spreadsheet magic and the help of parabola.io, I was able to turn “a wall of text” into something that can be fed directly to the app as rows of data 🎉
Even though this is progress, this is far from a refined flow and still seems way too complicated technically. Before any more investment into ingesting patterns, I got curious: would anyone even want to add patterns they’ve already purchased to this app? So I created “Private patterns.” The idea is any user can request to add a pattern they’ve already purchased to the app, but it will only be visible to that user. I posted about it on Ravelry, too, so we’ll see how it goes!
Still, the most impactful for this project will be engaging with designers. I’ve found a few experimenting with non-traditional approaches to selling patterns. For example, selling “All-access pass:” pay once and get access to all patterns by this designer, old or new.
Another exciting find is “Crochet Along” groups. A group of crocheters commits to working on the same pattern over a timeboxed period: anything from a month to a year. Engaging with groups like that would be a massive benefit for StitchEase:
- I would only have to worry about one pattern at a time.
- Multiple people would be working from this pattern simultaneously – a perfect opportunity for user testing!
- These crocheters are already interested in engaging with their peers, so we could offer them additional ways to engage: maybe a leaderboard to track everyone’s progress on the pattern? Or a group chat to discuss challenges?
I’ll be engaging with Crochet Along groups and Designers this week.
Have an idea for an experiment or would like to be a part of the project? Or maybe you’re a crocheter yourself? Let me know your thoughts and ideas! I love collaboration!