Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tell Me Your Life Story part 2

continued from part 1
... partial implementation and further design.

I've been thinking a website from the start, just because it's the easiest way to make an interactive thing that people can use. But if I'm going website, then horizontal (the way I've drawn out life stories on paper) is not so good:
There's no way you can space everything out sort of equally and still leave room to type in each box. So I went vertical.
and you can sort of type stuff in here and save it; functional, not yet pretty. So now a couple of questions:
1. how should it look and feel?
2. what should it do when you're done?

For look and feel, it's got to be expansive and welcoming. This should be a space for people to creatively re-imagine their lives. I'm not going to tell them their re-imagination is wrong, or they'll retreat back into the boring school-school-work story. So none of this:
And none of this:
And nothing computery and cold, like I usually dig:
But I don't want it to be new-agey woo anything-goes; no pastel blues and greens and handwriting:
How about cartography? You're mapping your life. Map-making is a good analogy here: you have to take an expanse of time or space that exists, but the way you draw your map (even the projection you use) incorporates your current bias about it.
Plus, I like this aesthetic. I think the old-fashioned look makes it appear valuable. Still, it's not imposing to draw on old-fashioned paper.
shout out to ("rice paper 3") for the background.

For what it should do when you're done... well, I think if it just says "okay, thanks", that is not perhaps as provocative as it could be. There should be some way to display your story, I think, but it should also make you reflect on it.
"Is there anything you would change?"
"What did you learn from telling this story?"
"How do you feel about this story?"
"What happens in the next 5 years?"
(this is after you finish it; the 0-5, 5-8, etc would be filled in with whatever you entered)

Still to do: it would be neat to be able to compare this to some pre-existing milestones; maybe get your school/move/work dates in there too. Or maybe get common culturally-accepted milestones in there to compare your story to those.

A thing I've already learned from this: don't make websites for class projects. I spend more time debugging than I do thinking about the design or the overall experience of the thing.

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