We found the Tavern through the Forrst
When we decided to turn Forrst upside-down, we knew that we could no longer keep calling it Forrst. This new iteration would be a place where designers could discuss and debate product design questions to improve their product design skills. We needed a new name, something that reflected this purpose and still fit within the theme of Forrst.
With that in mind, we decided on Tavern — a place where designers could come, stay and deliberate a particular question of the day. After a month of successfully testing the site with a small group, we're letting in 50 people into Tavern today.
Focusing on a Daily Single Question
With Forrst, we realized that getting critical feedback required strong presentation and not merely posting a Dribbble-like screenshot. And that was one of the reasons the community didn't thrive after Kyle was no longer part of it.
Tavern focuses on a single question each day, such as "Are designers too isolated from the consequences of their work?" There's a time limit to answer: 24 hours. The timer introduces a constraint, and designers tend to do their best work under a constraint. It also helps focus the discussion around the question of the day.
Eventually, the previous questions will be kept as a knowledge base for product designers, so they can refer to them as they do their design work. Questions will come from members of the design community, like Joe Gebbia.
This allows us to curate the question and ensure the presentation properly explains its goals. By focusing on a single question, we'll be able to create focus around the current question rather than wading through an overwhelming amount of content.
Opening up the Tavern
We've let 100 people into Tavern, and we'll add more each week. Also, we wanted the work of the community to live on — which it will now at zurb.com/forrst — and it'll be an official part of our University Library.