Brutal Chat (Zack Michener)

Q: Why do you have a Brutalist Website?
A: My initial idea was to create a pseudonymous, real-time text chat site to see if people would learn to recognize their friends by their typing style — how fast, how many mistakes, etc. I decided to take the real-time aspect a little further, and disable scrolling to see the chat history, making it even more in-the-moment. These usability limitations-as-features were partly inspired by the retro feel of using IRC in a terminal, and I felt that a clean, unforgiving brutalist aesthetic would highlight that feeling.
Q: Who designed the website?
A: I did all of the design and coding. I was heavily inspired by a part of the game Super Hot, where there's an in-game "chat" area that looks pretty similar — the thick border boxes around each message were taken directly from that. From there, it seemed pretty natural to extend the design to things like event messages and user counts.
Q: Who coded the website?
A: I did all of the design and coding. Most of it was coded in Fall 2016, but then it got left in the side-project graveyard for a while. I picked it up again at the end of 2017, to polish it up enough that I could call it "finished" — things like adding a welcome screen, user counts, and a few other enhancements.

Q: With what kind of editor?
A: Usually for my personal projects I'll just code them up in Sublime Text, and use the terminal to build assets and things. Brutal Chat uses Node.js and React, since those are the tools I was most familiar with at the time and I wanted to get something done quickly — momentum is easily lost for me in my side projects.