808STARTUP: Design School Cheats from Pas de Chocolat

Design School Cheats Hawaii App Startup

Hawaii has its fair share of app startups, but only a select few seem to be cranking out a portfolio of in-house apps. Add Pas de Chocolat to that list of Hawaii app conglomerates with the release of their latest for iOS, Design School Cheats.

Design School Cheats Hawaii Startup iOS AppAccording to one of their Honolulu-based developers, Kyle Oba, this new app is designed to “help people look, show, know, and make like a designer, but without the time, price, and emotional discomfort of actually going to design school.”

“It’s guaranteed to make some designers angry, self-conscious, or otherwise make them feel exposed,” Oba elaborated in his usual tongue-in-cheek deadpan. “So, I guess there’s some risk there.”

“It’s a humorous take on the design profession and its people.  It speaks to the ‘design curious’ and contains tons of snarky humor, unsolicited advice, and interesting sources.”

For revenue, the app itself is free, as is the first chunk of content, then uses the in-app-purchase concept. According to Oba, Design School Cheats includes 50 snarky cheats with interactive handcrafted visuals, useful vocabulary and concepts, social etiquette, formal analysis and aesthetics, client management and work ethic, design process and methods, and a quiz on iconic designers and designs.

The initial content selection, “Look,” is downloadable from the Apple app store for free. The remaining sections can be purchased for $1 each or $2 for the complete set.

If you’re interested in learning more about the process of building the app, Oba has written a great post on the overall process, while Alicia Dornadic, the mainland member of the team, has written about the design philosophy behind the app.

Here’s the 411 on this 808 Startup:

808STARTUP Design School Cheats by Pas de Chocolat
Design School Cheats is a new iPhone app aimed at helping people look, show, know, and make like a designer. Its makers sarcastically add, without the time, price, and emotional discomfort of actually going to design school. The app has a snarky tone, yet offers honest tips and educational links. Its persona was conceptualized as a cross between Tina Fey and Emily Pilloton. The app was written for the “design curious” as well as those watching the design profession from afar, longingly. Professional designers will need to appreciate a bit of self-deprecating humor to enjoy the app. The making of this app was a collaboration between a coder, designer, and anthropologist, all of whom work in the design arena and have had prolonged exposure to design and design school.
FOUNDERS/TEAM Alicia Dornadic, Cara Oba, Kyle Oba
LOCATION Honolulu, Hawaii, and San Francisco, California
BUSINESS MODEL Free app with in-app purchase for additional chapters of content.
YOUR ANGLE “A humorous take on the design profession and its people”
COMPETITION “Design schools the world over”
BACKING Bootstrapped
MULTIMEDIA Web: designschoolcheats.com