A tech exec’s portfolio site masquerades as a non-stop Google Meet

Designed with studio Vicine, the personal website reached over a million impressions on Instagram within a few hours, thanks to visitors sharing screengrabs of the fake call.

8 April 2024


Mauhan Zonoozy, an executive who recently worked at Spotify as Global Head of Innovation, contacted the design studio Vicine looking for a different kind of portfolio website, one that “challenged” users. The most you can normally ask of these sites, which are essentially online CVs, is an interface that is pleasant to use. (Occasionally, you have a designer like Xingshan He or Dark Igloo, who incorporates gamified interactive elements, but the odds of breaking the internet are slim.) Mauhan’s website though, went viral when it was published late last year.

The idea was to simulate a Google Meet – the site is essentially one long ‘call’ with Mauhan; users are asked to share permission to their own webcam, and are given a pre-recording of Mauhan in his living room in return. “We wanted to make people feel like Mauhan was constantly, directly, and somehow intimately available to them, even if he actually wasn’t,” says Francesca Oddenino, co-founder of Vicine.

The UI design revolved around believability. Users can fire off custom emojis, open up a chat bar, or hang-up the call and – except for the fact we’re essentially just watching a video of Mauhan in his living room – the site does elicit the same feelings you get on a video call. When that red button is blinking you feel watched all the same. Francesca thinks that’s part of the reason the website received the reaction it did.


Vicine: mauhan.com (Copyright © Vicine, 2024)

Once Mauhan shared the site, Vicine says “engagement soared”. The project reached a million impressions on Instagram within a few hours, helped by artists like Lil Yachty and 100 Gecs, who shared screengrabs of themselves on the fake call. It also functioned as a powerful method of self-promotion; Mauhan reported a sharp rise in inbound business and panel requests.

Francesca has a few predictions for why the humble profile site was such a success. “While we are used to binge watching people’s lives, when it comes to direct conversations there is still an ‘opt-in’ moment, a conscious decision that needs to happen to start the communication. The site forces people to participate. Once you are in a 1-on-1 conversation (even if you later discover that you are not really) you just cannot be passive.”

GalleryVicine: mauhan.com (Copyright © Vicine, 2024)

Hero Header

Vicine: mauhan.com (Copyright © Vicine, 2024)

Share Article

About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.