House Hunting on the Mingle Team

Posted by Melissa

27 June 2014

Preparing to Bring Simple Back

We’re hard at work Bringing Simple Back to Mingle by focusing on five major themes:

  1. Making the everyday feel natural
  2. Tactility
  3. Card wall as dashboard
  4. D-I-Y
  5. Seeing the complete picture

Fantastic. But what now? While these are great overarching goals to pursue, we needed just the slightest bit more structure and specifics to understand how we were actually going to do right by them. So we brainstormed ideas and captured them (34 just to start!) on a Mingle wall we had spun up just for the occasion. But then, how to decide what to pick up? Go hunting for houses, we say!

Our Houses

Ethan, our product manager, proceeded to categorize all of our ideas under functionality areas, each of which touched upon one of our five themes in some way or another. He then used the metaphor of “houses” to more creatively identify each one, such as the house of “Conversations & Activity” and the house of “Drag & Drop,” among several others. Together, the houses captured all of the 34 ideas we came up with during our brainstorm.

To select which house, and which ideas (“rooms”) from each house we wanted to “renovate” first, we went house hunting. During our walk through of the neighborhood we joked about which ones were fixer-uppers and which ones we’d immediately bid on. After our tour, we were let loose to stand next to one house (and only one) we wanted to buy. Together, our team bought four houses, each with three buyers.

With our newly purchased houses in hand, we were off. Each group — or pods we’ve started to call them — started delving into what they wanted to renovate first. Over the next six weeks, we released or are about to release some pretty great rooms towards building our dream house:

Navigation and UI improvements
Recover changes & Murmur Love
GitHub integration
Git integration
Drag & Drop avatars
* * *

To read the whole story, check out The Pace of Innovation. It’s a longer piece, but hopefully worth the read.

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