[Verse 1 - Design and Front End Dev]
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years learning how to design products
(which you can take a look at here
), and I want to apply my learning from those experiences to Rap Genius.
As Rap Genius grows to more users, more diverse content — philosophical texts, science journals, classics — and more use cases
, the site will need to support consistent user experience and visual identity for new and existing users alike
. I have a few concepts to bring to the table to increase traffic, retention, and diverse community development through
- homepage design,
- search experience, and
- content delivery, and
- of course, SEO.
For now, here’s a redesign
I did of the lyrics interface. Here, I wrote about the design process
and why I made the decisions I did in the design.
[Verse 2 - Growth and Branding]
As RG grows more fully into its eventual arms,
with poetry, law, historical documents, literature, etc. the products will appeal to different markets and be used in completely different ways.
The user experience and design of the site need to be maintained throughout it all, especially when lines are drawn between content of one family into another (“99 Problems” into Law Genius, for example).
The management of that growth is also paired with building a strong community of thought leaders – politicians
, theologians, scientists, philosophers, etc. – and followers, similar to how the hip hop community grew through Verified Rappers, Blog Souljas, and RG Editors. I would love to help bring those communities together
, and in the future, create dynamic interaction across communities.
[Freestyle - I love Rap Genius and its future.]
I can break down and recite lyrics to any Kanye
, Gambino, Macklemore or Logic track, but I don’t know anything about next-level rap — A$AP, Kendrick, or Mac. I don’t consider myself a rap genius.
But I love RG for what lies beyond rap. To get our generation to learn and understand Shakespeare, Dickens, or what Obama’s always talking about, the content needs to be approachable but not watered down.
Rap Genius sugarcoats vegetables and saves the nutrients
. It’s bringing sexy back
with Poe, Lincoln, Hemingway, and the Supreme Court – to nerds and degenerates alike
. All the while, we’re going to gain perspective, understanding, and giant brains. That’s why I love it.
[Verse 3 - Why me?]
My experiences are diverse.
There are not more than five primary colours
, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
— The Art of War, Sun Tzu
In the last few years, I've --
- crafted a full fledged online marketing campaign and branding initiative, #BLOCKFRIDAY, for Holstee during a semester off,
- lived in an Indian village for three months, built a school and health program that’s been running for the last two years,
- expanded a social impact program at Penn to help smart kids realize they could change the world,
- built a few web products, taught myself how to design and code front end,
- researched stem cells and built vascular grafts,
- taught myself how to play classical guitar,
- ran a few half marathons,
I learn fast.
Difficult takes a day. Impossible takes a week.
"Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)," Jay-Z
A lot of work is slowed because of too much thinking or hesitation. I’d try and fail before overthinking and doing nothing. Working hard and not fearing experimentation has worked for me.
Too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your wins’ low.
"Dark Fantasy," Kanye West
Steve Jobs once said, "Creativity is connecting the dots." I don't know if I'm good at connecting dots, but if anything, I collect lots of dots. For me, that means I draw regularly
, play some guitar, watch lots of superhero movies, and dance weekly
. The extensions of my life beyond design and work give me more to work with when I'm back at the drawing board.
All that said...
I just met you,
And this is crazy!
But here's my number...
"Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen
And my email address
And my facebook page
And my twitter page
And some hugs