Last week we pushed a big update. The idea behind it was to separate various features we had built into Mandalagaba these past two years. We had various reasons to do this, the main one being that the interface was becoming an puzzling mess. Our theory is that 90% of our users were only using 10% of Mandalagaba’s features and tools, and we decided that was somewhat of a pickle if we wanted to increase our user base.
Sure Mg is fun and all (from now on Mg is Mandalagaba) but we have been dealing with the same number of users for the past year although we have implemented tons of new features, redesigned the controls menu, built an online presence, created marketing content, etc. Basically we’re stuck at an average of 500 unique visitors per day. By actively promoting Mg we are gonna get bumps here and there. When we get a wave coming in from Reddit, or from a Facebook post or ad, we can generate enough interest to flow in thousands of people (up to 28 000 visitors last December on our Snowflake Designer Reddit post we did last year) These waves and bumps have a tail of course, but its usually fairly short lived and doesn’t bring in much peeps on the long term.
We have our theories on why this is and most of them have to do with the overdose of icons the old Mg was undergoing leading to users not really knowing what to do with the platform once they fiddled arround with a design or two.
We also know that implementing accounts will help out in terms of having people come back to the platform, and those are on the way.
Anywho, to solve this issue we started thinking about ways to make Mg more user friendly and understandable, and one of the first solutions we found was to divide Mg into its different facets.
Here’s a little breakdown of the awesome entertaining zen mantra-guru-massage-lounge tools and features Mg offers to the world for free (‘cause that’s how we roll):
A network engine
A session fork tool
A plant designer (this is brand new)
Recursive drawing apparatus (also brand new)
So to make things easier, we separated Mg into 5 facets for now.
The mandala maker:
Is found at: https://mandala.mandalagaba.com
In effect, Mandalagaba allows people to draw mandalas. That much is fairly easy to understand. The etymology of Mandalagaba come from the ancient latin word mandaleum, which means “For where thou art, there is a mandala in thy hearth”.
That was made up.
Anyways, here is what the new Mandala facet of Mandalagaba looks like:
In this new version, we took out a lot of stuff to give it a breather. We want people to have a hands on approach to using the interface, and we want to reverse those percentages cited above: we want 90% of the users to master 90% of the tools right off the bat.
This is just the first step of our simplification process, and there’s still lots to improve in terms of design, but we believe this is a good first step in the right direction.
For good measure, here’s a beautiful mandala design by one of our users from Brisbane, Australia in 107 pen strokes.
A tessallation builder!
Can be found at: https://tessellation.mandalagaba.com
To tessallate: To form into a mosaic pattern
In other words tessallation are mandalas that are not only multi-axial, but also multi-centered.
We applied over-simplification to the tessallation facet much like we did for the mandala maker.
These are the controls you are left to play around with:
Here is superb tessallation created by one of users from Pocos de Caldas in Brasil in 62 pen strokes.
This next one is created by the infinitely creative Hava who helps us out a lot at Mandalagaba, who is super nice and who defied the laws of rationality and creativity in regards to how she masters Mandalagaba (I can assure you this is one of the most simpler ones):
A snowflake manufactuer
Can be found at: https://snowflake.mandalagaba.com
We added a neat little twist to the mandala maker allowing user to design snowflakes in a jiffy. It’s also a pretty efficient tool to create transformer masks.
A plant grower!
Can be found at: https://plant.mandalagaba.com
Say hello to our new addition: the mandala plant creator!
Ben has been working hard on adding recusrsive drawing to the Mandalagaba engine, and now he’s got something pretty awesome to show for it. Most of the recursive drawing tools and parameters are only present on the “pro” facet of Mandalagaba which we’re gonna talk about in just a sec.
This plant growing facet is a cool variation that guides you into drawing alien like plants to which you can add leaves and flowers of different colors.
Can be found at: https://pro.mandalagaba.com
If you want every single feature Mandalagaba has to offer all in one package, and that your brain is resilient to icon pandimonium, head over to the “pro” facet of Mandalagaba. We call this pro because only our hardcore power users tend to play with mosts the devices and gadgets this facet proposes.
It’s only in the Pro facet that you are going to find numerous paramters, tools and functions such as the recursions paramters, forking, access to match making, etc. Hopefully sooner than later we are goind to be dispatching all those tools more conveniently across Mandalagaba’s other facets.
The picture below is an attempt I made at using every single feature Mg has to offer in one single drawing: