Blackmarket was one of my all time favorite projects, but also one of my biggest failures. And here’s why…it never made it to market. That’s not to say that we didn’t build a pixel perfect product. Oh, we built it. This luxury editorial platform was fully functional on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Despite our best efforts and having the greatest team of talented people, this project got canned moments before our launch. RIP Blackmarket, RIP.
And to this day, I’m not entirely sure why the project never launched. I can only speculate, but I imagine that with a large team of executives, editorial writers, producers, developer, designers, illustrators, photographers, models, and distributors, there were many factors to consider throughout the process. I can only speak for my own short comings. At the time, the company I was working for didn’t have a full in-house product team. I came on as a freelance Design Director to help Red Paper Heart flush out all the designs for this site. An initiative that potentially could have taken 6mo. to build went on for a year and a half. Knowing all of the resources being poured into this project, I ask myself what I could have done differently to help push this site live.
Although, I wasn’t really in a position to make any executive decisions. I could have been more vocal about how we should launch our product without all the bells and whistles. I mean, we had a really good site. We had an MVP product and then some. We could have launched, but I helped my team indulge in creating intricate animations, extremely delicate illustrations, state of the art editorial content, and a really complex user experience. I could have pushed for “let’s just launch and add more as we go.” We had beautiful merchandise, a checkout system, and distributors. Boom. We could have gone live.
I get into this debate with myself about how I wasn’t hired on to push for an early launch and it’s up to the executives to decide how much they want to extend themselves. However, in the end, the decision to launch or not hurt me to. Working a year and a half with nothing to show for it was not good for business. I was hired to do a job and I did it, but I should have pushed harder. Maybe if I voiced my opinion early enough, I would be still working on Blackmarket.
Sigh. Well, here’s what remains of one of the most beautiful products I’ve had the pleasure of designing.