December 18, 2013

Tastemade: The proverbial 1-inch hole

“People don’t come to us because they want 1-inch drills,” the CEO of Black & Decker is said to have remarked, “They come to us because they want 1-inch holes.”

The beautifully executed app Tastemade (App Store) represents an interesting evolution in creative software. Instead of offering an open-ended toolset for doing any number of projects, it aims to do just one thing well—namely, produce short, highly watchable person-on-the-street reviews of restaurants. The entire interface is built to walk you through making & sharing exactly one kind of content. Through constraint + automation, it tends to quickly produce a very nice “hole” (example).

The app is full of nice design touches. For example:

  • Based on its knowledge of your location & Foursquare data, the app can guess which restaurant you’re visiting, auto-populate the title field, then choose an appropriate font/music combo (which you can then change).
  • You’re prompted to capture a number of shots, and a colored progress indicator helps ensure you shoot enough but not too much.
  • When you go to choose a color look, your existing clips are played back at 2x speed, making it easier to see the impact of the filter on more footage.
  • One of the clips you shoot of the venue is placed behind the title & blurred.

Tastemade

Now, is this particular problem worth solving (i.e. do a lot of people want to record, share, and watch restaurant reviews)? I have no idea. (I’m not allowed out of the house; thanks, kids.) I think, however, that the radically reduced barriers to building & distributing software will keep reshaping the creative-tool landscape, producing more highly focused apps that nicely address one specific need.

Posted by John Nack at 1:15 PM on December 18, 2013
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