It took me way too long to get this finished and ready for people to download and use, but today I shipped Upvote, a WordPress theme that transforms your site into a Hacker News style community. I started this project back in February, got sidetracked, and finally rallied over the past few days to put it out there.
The Gutenberg Diagram is a concept popularized by newspaper designer Edmund C. Arnold in which a display divided into four equal areas can help designers ensure that they are taking full advantage of a user’s reading gravity, the natural path that most peoples’ eyes will follow when being presented with information. In Western cultures we are conditioned from a young age to read content starting at the top left corner, scanning right and then left again, until getting to the bottom right corner.
Rule #1: There is no such thing as a bad idea. We never know how one idea (however far-fetched) might lead into another one that is exactly right.
Rule #2: We don’t talk yet about why not. There will be plenty of time for realities later, so we don’t want them to get in the way of the good ideas now.
A Pre-Launch Page is a way for you to build some interest with your target audience while you slave away in the shadows building your awesome new project. It also allows you to build an email list of interested potential users, which could absolutely be your most precious asset in the beginning. There are several paid services that help you do this and more (LaunchRock, Prefinery, KickOffLabs), but in the spirit of staying truly lean I’m going to show you how to roll your own Launching Soon page for free.