A haphazard pile of meeples - roughly human-shaped game pieces - in assorted colors

Board Game Kickstarter Roundups

Overview

Goal: Provide the /r/boardgames community with regular updates regarding board game campaigns on Kickstarter.

Dates: December 2015 – infinity and beyond

Target Audiences: Members of the /r/boardgames subreddit, specifically those interested in Kickstarter projects

My Roles: Researcher, Data Cruncher, Designer, Copywriter

Outcomes

  • Ascertained what sort of information and types of projects people did and did not want to see in the list.
  • Successfully learned how to scrape web data with R.
  • Significantly improved engagement. From 2015 to 2016, average post karma increased over 30% and average comments increased over 46%.
  • Was forced to set up a PayPal tip jar because people kept wanting to give me money for my efforts. A few have even said the posts have become their “Sunday morning ritual.”

Process

Confession time: posting this weekly roundup was not my idea. The idea originated with the prior Kickstarter Roundup guy, who had been running it for 3-4 years.

A reddit post featuring a list of Kickstater projects
An example of the weekly roundup as run by the previous content owner

After all those years posting these lists week in and week out, he thought it time to retire and pass on the job to someone else, effective the first Sunday of January 2016. I had been a semi-regular reader of these posts and I had some ideas for some changes so I volunteered. Though… I had no idea how to actually build them. I had about a month to figure out how to use the one language I know well, R, to scrape information from the source and package it in a presentable way. This was pretty new territory for me. I needed more information in order to guide my process, so I polled the user base.

A sample of some questions asked on a survey
These aren’t all the questions, but it’s the meat of the survey; I kept it short and sweet

I got almost 400 responses, which really helped me to figure out what were majority opinions and what were minority opinions.

bar graphs and pie charts showing results of the survey

As with all design, there were certainly choices to be made and they weren’t all easy. But they provided enough guidance for me to work out a format for the posts that maintained the spirit of the originals but added my own touch.

a reddit post full of kickstarter links to board game projects
Click through to see the post for yourself