Competitor research including Toyhouse and Scrivener

I then started researching different software and applications that have been built to organise writing projects, character development and photos.

Toyhouse has been designed with visual character development in mind and the user interface has been really well designed. It is very simple and easy to navigate which makes it quick to get started creating new characters and organising existing content. It gives users the option to create worlds and tags that they can save their characters under; making it very easy to find what you need and to start to create more developed story lines.

I wanted to give users of my web app the option to customise the interface to suit their needs.

Toyhouse has provided this functionality by having a HTML editor (alongside a ‘what you see is what you get’ editor) so people can create profiles for their characters. Being able to showcase their work has led to the site having a great community vibe where people help and coach one another. Having a feature for users to help one another would really help with progression of skills (not unlike how real life face to face writing groups do).

As well as Toyhouse I looked at Scrivener which has been designed to help people manage creative writing projects. It has a lot of carefully considered functionality (like linking content, colour coding, cork board and search) however the user interface is tricky to use. A writer friend of mine said that they had really struggled to navigate the program which had resulted in her refusing to use it. When researching online I came across lots of long text based, and video tutorials, on how to use it which is something I want to avoid for my web application.

My previous step

Research threads & questions

Read more