Name Generators project

The guy behind the project

Niels portrait

My name is Niels Gamborg. I'm a danish web developer, interface designer and web programmer. I live with my wife and 2 sons in a suburb to the city of Aarhus.

I work as a web developer and webmaster at the Danish State and University Library in Denmark.

The philosophy behind the project

I love user friendly web design and I think all web applications should be:

  • easy to use
  • easy to understand
  • simple and functional

Design and usability

My key philosophy in application design is that all the users should be able to use the application right away with no instructions.

For a simple application like a name generator the user should be able to generate a name within the first second after page load.

To achieve that it is crucial that the generator button and the generated name are the first things you notice on the page.

I have done that with a huge button to start the generator and huge typography on the generated names.

The programming

All name generators are programmed in JavaScript. It makes them bleeding fast because the JavaScript is run locally in your browser. It makes it pretty easy to steal my code, but random name generation on a server is simply too slow to modern web 2.0 applications.

Random name generators are easy to make. The first versions were simple though. Now I use a little more complex random calculations to create the random names I want. E.g. 40% female names, 60% male names, 10% names with a title, 10% of names with an extra prefix. You can make a lot of variation in the names with complex algorithms.

The Name Generators Blog

At my Name Generators Blog you can find a lot of tips, scripts tutorials and "how to" articles. Most of the content is aimed at helping users making name generators and randomizers. It makes the Name Generators Blog a great resource, if you wanna make you own generators, web apps, name widgets etc.

At the blog you can find articles like: How to make a name generator or you can download a fully functional Name Generator script.

Other topics at the blog is:

  • reviews of name generators and other generators
  • webmaster tips and tricks
  • running and developing name generators

All the name generator resources are free of charge and open source in the most friendly definition. It means they are free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") in any way. Use it after you own likings and in you own projects.

Name Generators FAQ

User input?

"Why can't I use my own ideas or names?"

I want to make it as simple as possible. Lot's of other name generators requires user input. Eg. input of names. I think they are a hassle to use. Much faster just to generate a new name, if you don't like the first one.

True random name generator?

"Do the name generator use true randomness in the name generation"

No! To make a true random name generator, you need radioactivity, atmospheric noise etc. The name generator is based on the semi random functions in JavaScript. But as we're not gambling for millions, it really is enough to make random names.

Choose a category

"Why can't I choose different categories and decide myself, if the name generator make names from, colors, fruits, weapons?"

Again. I want to make it as simple as possible. Much faster just to generate a new name or 10 and find the right combination of names, than making a lot of choices. The name generator makes new names in a split second because I use JavaScript for name creation.

Long names?

"Your names are far too long. People want short names!"

If you think the name is too long, just shorten it your self. I do make many short names, but I also make long names. The goal is to create huge variation in the names I generate.

Bad names?

"The name generator make too many bad names. The names are stupid and make no sense at all!"

That's right! My name generator does make bad names. But in order to make unexpected names, surprising names, creative and interesting names I have to take chances.

So if you come over some stupid names just create another one. After all the name generators are blazing fast. ;)

More name generators

"When do you make a Indian/Italian/Runescape name generator?"

As soon as I get the time. In the mean time use one of the other name generators and get inspiration from them. ;)

Cool ideas for names

Why use a name generator in the first place? People can make much better names than a stupid machine.

You're right again. But I bet the machine can come up with some strange combinations you didn't even consider. Just think of it as some additional inspiration and then do the fine tuning your self. ;-)

Cool project

"Cool project! Can I do anything to help"

Thanks. :) I'll be very grateful, if you link to my site. Or tell your friend about the name generators.

Feedback to the generator project

Visualising project names?

Photographer Michael Van der Tol wrote on his blog:

"Now I'm not saying all the generated project names will work for you (i.e. "Forsaken Donut"), but one just might inspire you to go out and shoot. So give it a try and just maybe your "Cloudy Eyelid" will turn into a portfolio of a lifetime....hmmm...."Forsaken Donut"...I think I can make it work."

The very first "press" the name generator project got. :)

Business and project names for silicon valley

John Murrell from the tech blog Good Morning Silicon Valley wrote about the name generators.

"When coming up for a name for that new business, secret project or fantasy game character gets to be too much of a chore, try the Online Name Generator."

Thanks for the support "Good Morning Silicon Valley". :)

Code names

The code names made it to the front page of reddit.com's programming section. foxostro wrote about the code names:

"Out of Ideas? Generate your next project code name with this tool"

Gave a lot of sudden visitors and a good kick. :)

Jan Kjellin - Sociala Experiment

Jan Kjellin wrote on his blog: Sociala Experiment - experiencing social media.

"All aspiring authors or roleplayers know that one of the trickiest parts of the trade is to come up with original names for their characters. The ONG takes care of that with it's many types of name generators."

Thanks Jan. :)

Tool of the week

In April 2012 Aron Marriott-Smith from the former atomace.com, picked the generator to be the "Tool of the week".

"With his web app it's so easy and fast to Generate Names - just hit the big red button and you away. I personally have been using it to brainstorm codenames for Apps. There are thousands of random combinations and the name generator also comes in twenty-one, (yes 21!) different flavours"

Thanks for the kind words Aron. :)

Contact

Use the contact form, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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