When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was a really sudden change of workflow and lifestyle for a lot of us. For me, as well as moving the MadeByShape team to work remotely, it took a bit of time getting used to working from home - Full time!
Normally when I'm working at home, it's usually on side projects and other ventures or learning and improving some skills. But going to working on both side projects and client work in the same location was very daunting. Because at times, I was stuck in the same place for long periods of time.
Like most people, early on, I discovered that I had lots of time now we were in lockdown to do anything I wanted. Which literally meant more time on side projects.
After a bit of time and a bit of burnout, it hit me that I don't have to be productive or to learn all of the time, and it's okay to sit back and kill some time. Whether this is playing Untitled Goose Game or Bad North on the Nintendo Switch, playing a virtual pub quiz or generally spending time on Zoom with family.
So once I got the balance right, I managed to work better and launched - Tap Tourist.
I'd had the idea for Tap Tourist for a few years now and even started it up on social media first to trial and tested the idea. But it wasn't until the Pandemic that I'd fully committed to getting it live.
Tap Tourist is a handpicked, curated list of breweries, taprooms, bottle shops and pubs in and around Manchester. Its sole aim is to create a "go-to" visual place where you can easily plan the best places to get that hoppy fix if you're visiting Manchester.
During the pandemic, I decided to promote these places based on if they did delivery, take out or offer gift vouchers. Along with this is the functionality to see how far somewhere is from your current location to either a) pick up beer b) see if you're in a delivery zone.
Overall the side project took about 4 weeks to ship - from ideas, design, development and testing.
This is only phase 1, and I have a lot more planned over the next few months.