|“Your website should be so simple, a drunk person could use it. You can’t test that. I’ll do it for you,” is the promise of a popular, new website, aptly called TheUserIsDrunk.com.
It began simply enough. User experience (UX) designer and full stack developer Richard Littauer works sober during the day, as is expected of any professional, but at night, he still messes around with projects, sometimes over a beer, or two, or 12. Completely on a whim, he decided to try getting paid for his extracurricular activities, and created The User Is Drunk.
On the website, Littauer explains what he’ll do for clients, saying “I’ll get very drunk, and then review your website. I’ll send you a document outlining where I thought the website needed help, and a screencast of me going over the website.”
Upon first impression, the idea seems fun and silly at best, or a terrible waste of money at worst, but Littauer raises a very good point in his sales pitch. UX design — how a user actually uses a website or app — should be simple enough for someone whose mental faculties have been impaired to use. For example, part of what makes dating app Tinder so successful is its UX design that utilizes cards and swiping. All users have to do is swipe left if they don’t want to potentially date a person, or right if they do, a good UX design easy enough for someone to use after a few drinks.
After launching TheUserIsDrunk.com, Littauer promoted the site in only two places: Twitter and HackerNews, but that was enough to make the site go viral. Initially, he charged clients just $50 for a drunk UX review, but soon had to keep upping his prices. Now, he’s charging $500 per review.
“I’ve had overwhelming response. … I had to raise [the price] to the point where I wouldn’t get too many more clients, due to a backlog,” Littauer tells Tech.co in an interview. “Besides people signing up, I’ve also doubled my Twitter followers, had something like 200,000 unique hits on the site, and have had my inbox completely flooded with emails.”
The project does pose one serious problem, though. If he’s constantly getting drunk to review website, won’t it damage his body?
“I intend to drink responsibly. I have close friends checking in with me regularly to make sure this doesn’t become a problem,” he explains on his website. “I’ll do this once or twice a week, and limit the number of clients.”