That's it. One color per day.
COLOURlovers: What is Hexday, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Jon Sykes: Hexday is "a social experiment in color picks" I guess that's what I'd say. It's hard to say really. It's evolving. Originally it was probably more of a test web app. I was just starting to use CakePHP (which is awesome by the way) for my personal project web apps, and I came up with an idea that if you allowed people to pick 1 color and only 1 color every day, what would they pick. So I built a web app around the idea. We had a spurt of traffic when we first launched, then it slowed down (for a few months it was me and 1 or 2 real regulars that were the only posters), it seems to be having a resurgence now which is great and has encouraged me to spend more time in my evenings working on features. I'm constantly struggling with the natural instinct that I need to make the volume higher - sites that do well allow users to keep adding content. Hexday, apart from the sampler, you get to interact with the site once a day. That's it. It's really tough to keep people interested when they might only hit a sites once or twice a day. But deep down, I know I shouldn't change that.
If I allowed people to pick as many colors as they wanted, the whole reason for the site would be gone, it's that forced single choice that hopefully makes people think before they post. If you want to pick endless colors or create palettes there are sites for that, you guys being top of my list, but there are a few others as well. That's not my market. Eventually I want to make it that people can use the color they pick. I have a few users who use the color they pick each day in their own web sites (as a heading color or a background color), I exposed picks as CSS so they could do this. It's small enough that I'm very open to requests at the moment.
CL: Hi, how are you today?
Jon: I'm doing very well indeed David, I hope you're doing well too. It's 5,52pm and I'll be leaving work any second for a long weekend of sitting on the beach.
CL: Other than picking a color everyday, how do you spend your time?
Jon: I'm a husband and father of 1, my business card says I'm a "Senior UI Architect" which means I spend most of my days helping people build the front ends for their web apps, helping to direct, influence and eventually provide the means that users can interact with their online apps. I work at a great company called Media Hive. We're a small agency in vibrant Red Bank, NJ.
CL: What do you try and communicate through the use of color?
Jon: In my day job, you try not to communicate anything purely through color, there are too many accessibility issues around it. Me personally, I guess I communicate my personality and non conformist attitude to life. I have a huge collection of what some would describe as the most garishly colored sneakers known to man. Picking those every morning is almost as hard as picking my hexday color.
CL: What are you doing right now, other than answering these questions?
Jon: I'm sat at my desk, waiting for my wife to come pick me up so we can run to Wholefoods and buy some dinner. I just finished a Grande 1 Pump, Triple No Cream Mocha from the starbucks across the street. My headphones are sat on my desk currently playing Goldie's Timeless to themselves. I just said goodbye to Jim, he just left for the evening and was trying to make me re match him in foosball (since I beat him at lunchtime).
CL: Know any good jokes?
Jon: You know I've never been good with "Jokes", but I have been told I'm a funny guy. I'm more of a situational conversational comedian - although I wonder if people just think I'm funny because of the English accent.
CL: What's the most colorful place you've ever been figuratively and/or literally?
Jon: Trunk Bay, St John. We went 2 years ago and although we had a 2 year old with us and Trunk Bay is pretty rough so we didn't stay long, I have to say I've never seen anywhere that looks as good if not better than any photo I've seen of it. The water was so clear it was beyond blue into a crazy green, the sky was so blue it was almost dark blue and the jungle that skirts the beach is solid green. An amazing place to have visited.
CL: Now, ask yourself a question and answer it, please.
Jon: I wonder what impact this conversation will have on Hexday? I'm always worried about if everything will fall apart tomorrow. It was easy early on, we had a handful of people who used it, most of them were friends or friends of friends. Then I started getting regular contributors who I had no idea who they were, and suddenly I would stress about every update I pushed to the site. What if it broke something and people were disappointed. Even though it's a small and simple site.
CL: Oh, and many of our members on COLOURlovers are web designers and coders so feel free to talk technically about building Hexday.