This project was very difficult for me. Right now as a designer, I’m struggling to do things that are “off-the-screen,” and I realize that I could’ve done something “off-the-screen,” but my thought process is to automatically think of screen-based designs. I thought and thought for so long how I can connect people without using the internet, so I thought about phones, snail mail, things we used to do before the internet was all up in your face.
Also, I need to set limitations for myself. I thought I wanted to create a way for locals to hook up with travelers. Based on personal experience, I would love to meet locals to show me all the cool spots, and just give me advice about the places I’m traveling to. My initial thought was that it’d be cool to place pseudo mailboxes all over the world where people could pick up and drop off real postcards to places they want to go. But what if the postcards never get picked up? Or they get picked up and the traveler has already come and gone? I couldn’t figure out the logic even though I tried and tried, so I ended up going screen-based again – much to my disappointment. But I shouldn’t create something non screen-based just for the sake of it. Sometimes it just makes more sense to design something on-screen, and use that tool because it is the best available tool for what you are trying to do.
So, I came up with a website, a very simple website, called “journeyers.com.” The website would be invite-only for the safety aspects of this site.
People would sign on, and then they could do one of two things – send a postcard or pick up a postcard.
How I imagine this site to function, is people would then select a postcard to send.
Then the person would write on the postcard. They can write whatever they want, just like real postcards. They can also write the activities in which they want to participate in when they visit these countries.
And then you would send your virtual postcard.
To pick up a postcard, the process would be very similar. The user would log-in, select “Get a postcard,” then choose a postcard of a person they’re interested in meeting. Perhaps the user would choose the person based on shared interests – they see that a traveler wants to go a place where they love to go. Or it could be based on appearances. Or the user can see that the traveler is from New York, and perhaps that local has lived in New York before, so they want to select that person. As a designer, I don’t know all the reasons why someone would choose one postcard over another. Because of that, the “Choose postcard” page would have all sorts of information available to the person who is selecting a postcard, or essentially, a person to hang out with.
After selecting a postcard, the user can then read the postcard and decide whether or not they want to contact that individual.
Also, the website’s simplicity in design is intended. I’ve seen many social networking sites where I’m not sure what to do. So by having only two functions, I feel as if it would be easier to navigate the site.