I was reading some posts on the IndieHackers community bulletin board today when I came across this post —
The poster went on to explain that when people uploaded images to his server his server would crash.
Now this guy is basically pretty junior at engineering — there are plenty of experienced engineers out there that would be able to fix his problem in a few minutes. A few of them (including me) posted links to documentation and brief explanations of what was wrong. The problem is that other than brief posts, none of us could ACTUALLY solve his problem.
It got me thinking — what would it be like if I could ACTUALLY solve his problem for him. This brings me to tonight’s product: WebEx of helping strangers
Some people desperately need help with problems they’re experiencing on computers. When they need help they often turn to forums for help from experts.
Today almost every forum’s communication mode is written. Written communication has it’s advantages — it’s fairly quick to produce, it sits around being useful to other people who show up later, and it’s fairly compact. It also has BIG disadvantages. It lacks collaboration, exploration, and can be a really slow and painful way to fix some problems.
What if, when you had a puzzle you were struggling with, you could reach out to a forum for help and suddenly find yourself in a life conference with an expert who could solve your problem for you.
As an expert, what if you could connect with people, solve their problems and get to know them a bit on a personal level instead of impersonally giving your knowledge away for a few karma points? Even better… what if people you helped would often give you a small tip for your trouble.
Experts — stop working for useless karma points
Expert Seekers — actually get your problem solved
Interaction Flow Diagram
The Design Process
I think the concept is pretty good. I’d use a product like this to help people and get help with things I don’t know that much about (photoshop, sketch, design marketing). As always, the design is just slapped together, but it gets the concept across.
The entire process took about 3 hours which is faster than some of the other designs I did in the past. This design is more detailed and has more design work than previous designs so I’m making progress.
Starting with existing products worked pretty well for me today. I think I’ll try to do the same thing again tomorrow and see what I come up with.
Design Challenge Day 9 — The WebEx of helping strangers was originally published in Walt’s 30 Day Product Design Challenge on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.