Blindfold Greeting Card: Getting it wrong

Prior to creating Blindfold Greeting Card, I discussed the app with lots of visually impaired people, and they all thought it was a great idea.

greeting card

The app lets you send an audio e-card to someone else, via email, text message, Facebook, twitter, etc.  First you select one sound effect out of 500 audio clips, varying from 5 to 30 seconds long, and then you record yourself speaking a greeting.  The app combines both audio clips, and adds an 8 second promotion for Blindfold Greeting Card, and stores it at a website.

To send your e-card via text, just push the text message button, and enter your friend’s phone number, and off it goes.  When your friend gets the text message, she taps the weblink in the message, and hears your card.

It’s great for a blind person to send to a sighted person, so the sighted person can appreciate the card in the same medium that it was created it in.  It’s far better than sending an video e-card with a description that says “cute puppy under a tree”.  Likewise, sighted friends and relatives can send a card to a visually impaired person in a format that he can fully enjoy.

So here’s where I got it wrong.

  1. Most of the people who got this app used the pre-recorded sample messages instead of recording one themselves. I thought recording yourself would be great; I learned its a nice feature, but not a requirement.
  2. The app charges about 10 cents per card you send.  If you send the same card to 5 people, that’s about 50 cents.  What people did was create one card, send it to themselves for 10 cents, and then forward it to their friends at no additional cost.
  3. The audio e-card has the following message at the end of their audio clip: “Brought to you by Blindfold Games.  Visit us at blindfoldgames.org”.  People hated that promotional message.
  4. The price is $1.00 for 10 cards, $5 for 60 cards and $10 for 125 cards.  Almost all games have a price for unlimited usage, and people wanted an unlimited usage price for Blindfold Greeting Card.  I didn’t do this since there are costs associated with storing each audio card at a website.

I had a conversation with one of the fans of Blindfold Greeting Card, and he suggested I approach the app differently, and I’m working on those changes:

  1. Create an unlimited usage price.  Fortunately, the storage costs have gone done since the app was introduced last year, and that’s now economically feasible.
  2. Offer the ability to remove the promotional message as an purchasable upgrade.
  3. Have more prerecorded messages in addition to “Happy Birthday”.
  4. Let people be able to type in a message, and have the app speak it as part of the greeting.  This would be an alternative to recording your own voice.

We hope to get this new version out within a month.

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