The Making of VigeTurf

Hilary Barnes, Former Viget

Article Category: #News & Culture

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The making of VigeTurf brought together folks from all our labs.  In this series, we're pulling back the curtain to give a detailed explanation of how it was created.  Here's a bit of insight on the physical production and project management that brought this seed to fruition.



Being that this was the second consecutive year I've been in charge of getting the annual Christmas gift out the door, I prompted Brian in October to name a team for the job.  We'd already decided to do a mini-garden of sorts based on Clinton's idea from last year. I spent time in the late summer sending test pots in the mail -- and finding out that even slightly moist soil would make the seeds start growing if packaged together -- to come up with the prototype.

The web presence was another beast all together.  We needed to come up with a virtual turf -- oh, and "turf" came after the initial name, VigeGrow -- so we held meetings and came up with the Flash "game" and the Twitter-like application.  And we figured out what print materials we were going to need for the packaging. The actual creation of each package of VigeTurf was, like all aspects of the project, a multi-step process invloving a great deal of time. With the help of staff, I folded boxes into their necessary shape, labelled tins and boxes with our custom-made stickers, tied twine inside box for easier opening, then printed addresses and postage before hauling the nearly 300 pieces to the post-office during the Rainiest Evening Ever Recorded.


From the initial meeting with Brian, Hilary, Owen and I through the last box going out the door, my role in the VigeTurf project was to reserve resources around all the client work going on.  That's always our biggest challenge -- thankfully -- when tackling internal projects.  (Well, that and Brian being our client -- he has been known to cause massive scope creep!) 

I had a great time doing some simple whiteboard wireframes in brainstorming sessions, being a part of the design process with Owen and Keith, talking about the Flash with Erik, helping to push for features like the curse-word-swap-out on the Twitter-like element of the application Matt was building, and (my favorite) taking the lead on writing copy for the site and the physical product itself.  (Though the "Peek-a-boo.  I seed you." sticker was all Owen!)

With help from the entire Viget staff, we added another annual holiday gift to our tradition -- and one that can keep growing!

Take an in-depth look at how the other pieces came together.

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