Compliment Giver: The Website That Gives You Random Compliments

Last year, I was tinkering with Expo (a framework and a platform for universal React applications). No idea why, guess the quarantine bored me to the point that I actually went back to programming after months.

Since I’m too cool to write a Hello World as the first code, I came up with the idea of an automated random compliment giver. The idea was very simple. You open the webpage and there is a compliment displayed in the middle of the screen in big font. Nothing else at all. You refresh/reload the page, another compliment shows up. Each compliment will be only displayed once to you , so it doesn’t get boring (unlike my life at that time).

A screenshot of the first version.

It was easy-peasy, took me like half an hour to get it working. Loved how minimalistic the design looked with just a black text on white background. I added a fading animation too, UwU.

Okay, okay, I left the background plain because I didn’t know how to add pictures and stuff. I was still learning the language, cut me some slack.

Another screenshot. I learnt how to add a background image, yay!

This is what it looked like after adding some more elements to the design. I made some changes to the code so user would get only one complement in every 24 hours instead of getting a new one as soon as they hit the reload button. Thanks to my crush for the suggestions. ?

It was going all good. I was thinking about getting a domain and making this live so anyone can use it if they were having a bad day, to cheer up a little bit.

But then, someone told me a generalized compliment might not be actually that useful/wholesome as a personalized one. Moreover, the fact that it would be an automated compliment coming from a machine might make the user perceive that as even more soulless and robotic, understandably.

I realized the problem immediately. Compliments may only cheer someone up when they are sincere, whether generalized or personalized. But when a website gives you random compliments, would that be sincere at all?

Because you clearly know the website doesn’t know you; it’s just pulling a text from the database and showing that to you.

Meh, I wondered why it hadn’t struck me before.

Brainstormed for the next few days to find a way to solve the problem, but couldn’t find any solutions. Gave up eventually and abandoned the project, YnY.

But yeah, I’m so glad that I actually put in the effort and time to turn the initial idea into reality and collected people’s feedbacks and suggestions on the way that later helped me to identify a critical problem of the idea. Building products is something I have very little experience with, so I hope I would be learning more about that by pursuing projects like this.