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Chris Cardell

Interview with James Hartsell (ClickDummy)

Built by the developers at Skookum Digital Works, ClickDummy turns your website, mobile and software mockups into clickable prototypes with room for annotation and feedback from your clients, friends, and co-workers.

I interviewed James Hartsell, ClickDummy co-founder & CEO to find out more. This interview is the fourty sixth in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to James for the interview!

How would you describe ClickDummy in under 50 words?

Non-technical entrepreneurs use ClickDummy to easily create clickable prototypes of their products, apps, and software. No programming knowledge is needed. From napkin drawings through well-thought-out designs, users link together artwork sketches with ClickDummy’s drag and drop interface.

What made Skookum Digital Works decide to develop ClickDummy?

We first made ClickDummy for ourselves. We use clickdummies extensively with client work. In fact, clickdummies are an important part of the strategy and design process and are a primary stop before we start development.

Our clients thought it was cool, so some of them started using it internally. Our friends also thought it was cool, so we invited a lot of developers to start banging on it so we could make ClickDummy even better.

As an interactive partner, we’re always looking for more ways to bring our non-technical counterparts into the process. We like to educate our clients; we want them to feel empowered about how decisions get made.

ClickDummy is great communication vehicle. It’s the best way we’ve come up with to define software and application requirements before a project moves into programming.

What technologies have you used to build ClickDummy?

Node.js is our server platform. We also used MongoDB for a highly scaleable, flexible database, redis as our storage system, and websockets for ClickDummy’s real-time communication needs. KnockoutJS, HTML5, and CSS3 handle the front-end interactions

Skookum Digital Works is described as the Disneyland of programming – making all of your wildest dreams come true! What other services have you developed?

That’s nice to hear. We certainly do like to say if it lives on a screen, we can build it. We’re always encouraging our clients to think big—our developers like challenging projects.

A publishing company wanted a marketing tool to promote their books. SDW gave them a digital revenue stream.

Some D.C. folks knew independent voters were eager to take collective action. SDW built them a data mining and people matching system.

A group of investors-and-avid-golfers hated the 100+ scoring apps already available. We made players’ phones talk to each other. (!)

A neighborhood of New York businesses disliked Groupon keeping their margins. We created a localized model they collectively controlled.

What are you most excited about at the moment?

We think node.js and its related technologies like HTML5/websockets have the potential to change the way applications are built and the potential to push web interaction to new levels. Microsoft, Walmart, Google, Mozilla, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and eBay seem to agree.

Can you convince the reader to start using ClickDummy in under 50 words?

If you’ve ever mocked up an interactive experience and tried to explain to a client or team member how the flat images are related, ClickDummy will make your life better.

If you’ve ever had a client show you sketches of what they wanted, and your job was to interpret how the interactive elements came together, ClickDummy will make your life much better.

Finished reading? Check out ClickDummy!

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 5th, 2012 at 12:36 pm GMT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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