Project 2 – Story.It

Project reflection

In this project, we have worked on combining storytelling and crowdsourcing in a platform or application. A project like this has a number of challenges, as both storytelling and crowdsourcing are very broad. We spent a lot of time trying to define the exact goal of our project and understanding the topics.

Goals

The goal I set for this project was to get better in gathering, processing and using data. This is something I had little experience with. For this reason, I made it a goal for the entire semester.
When making a platform or application there should be plenty of opportunity to work with data.

At the beginning of the project, we spent a lot of time defining what our platform would look like and how we could implement storytelling into crowdsourcing. Because of this we spent a lot of time brainstorming and thinking about how to guide storytellers into writing a story.
During this process, I made three different versions of our application in Adobe XD. While working in XD I thought a lot about the workflow of the applications so using the prototypes makes sense.
If you complete a task in the app, this task should disappear. Since all pages in XD are static it was necessary to make multiple versions of each screen in order to get the interaction right.

The next step would be to make an actual app or platform. We made an Adobe Muse version, but this does not have the functionality the working application would need.
In the working version of the platform, all the data that the storytellers put in should be combined in the proper way. Same goes for the feedback from the designer for the storyteller.
Unfortunately, we did not have time to make this version, and thus the biggest opportunity to work with data disappeared.

Learning activities

All previous projects I have worked on were rather well defined and had a clear topic. During this project, I have learned a lot when it comes to working on broad topics that are not yet fully defined. When it is not sure what direction you want to go it is very useful to make quick prototypes and iterations to get a better understanding of the topic you are working on. While making a prototype you get a lot of insights that you would not have gotten if you did not make the prototype. Reasoning can only get you so far. With every different version of the prototype, you get a better understanding of what it is you are working on and how you can proceed.

Group work

In general, I think we worked quite well as a team. Communication, however, could have been better. We often had short meetings where we only discussed what individual work we would do, for the next meeting. Sometimes a lot of work was done that we not discussed. Although this is actually very good it did create a division within the group where the people who did the extra work had the opinion the others were doing to little work.

Conclusion

For me, it has been a bit of a struggle working on a project that does not really fit my vision and the direction I want to go in as a designer. I like to make smart tangible products that feature rich interaction. Thinking about how your design can guide the user’s interaction with the product is something I find fascinating.
I would like to get better at making physical prototypes and making the step of getting them into production.
Although this project did not fit that vision I have learned a lot about doing project work in general and I have gained a better understanding of how to tackle my next project.