UXDI9 — Week 6,7

Our assignment was to think of a problem that we are passionate about and come up with a plausible solution by designing a responsive site or by designing a mobile or both. We went from three people working together as a group and splitting up the work … to working solo for this project.

I began by jotting down several ideas I have held on the back-burner for awhile now and haven’t taken the time to really cater to. After reviewing my options, I wavered between creating a responsive site for my creative business or create a non-profit to help the elderly and or temporary/permanently disabled individuals who can’t afford to hire the help they need. Logistically, the creative business promoting was a lot more feasible option for the amount of time we were allotted (two weeks) so, I began there.

I created my own creative business several years ago and struggled with a concept and main theme to work off of until more recently. I have a knack for sewing/crocheting/knitting and a keen eye for problem-solving. So, recently, I was a little low in the money department and decided I was going to make all the Christmas gifts that year. One of the people from my list was a friend that would like to be able to wear more jewelry, but with the weight they typically bear on your neck, she was unable to wear a lot of them due to scoliosis. I found she was often chilly as well. So, I designed and hand-made a puff flower stitch necklace scarf. I bejeweled it and posted my final design on Facebook. WOW! What a response! I had so many Ladies respond that they wanted one … and where could they buy them … and, could they customize the colors? One told me to patent the design …. so, I did. And, I made several versions, opening up my first Easy shop. Then, everything went quiet … super quiet. People didn’t want to pay for the amount of time/material it took me to make a single finished product. So, my shop sat very quietly until recently when I chose it for my Project 4: Passion Project.

My starting point was to research how to better promote my product and get the right viewers in front of them. Ironically, my research led me to the idea that men are the main purchasers for any type of high end jewelry; not women. Women don’t like high-end jewelry stores and they are often too bland and not fun to shop in. So enlightening!

Then, some further research led me to other popular shopping sites for those that shop for unique handmade items. So, I began to break down that information. I made my surveys and got interesting results. All was going as planned … research was on target and documentation was heavily researched to back up my initial ideas.

Then, came the part where I had to start to get my business set back up again. I had closed down my Etsy shop a couple of weeks ago, due to lack of sales, and I needed to get something up and running again. Etsy offers great options and they allow you to set up a custom website that is linked to your Etsy account for free. It seemed like a great place to get the business going and then continue down my into my research.

That’s when the bump in the road fell beneath my wheels. Yep! Unexpected complications with setting up my business again. I took the afternoon to try to break it down into a feasible option, to no avail. It was just too much paperwork and there wasn’t enough time to finish everything with the design concept as well as the business.

I took a step back and decided it was time to switch gears. I elected to go with my second choice; the nonprofit. Starting at square one set me back about a week. So, I really only had one week to finish the whole project to completion. Delving into research, I found that there isn’t any option currently provided from the government for helping our elderly as well as our temporary/permanently disabled individuals. I began to get excited and picked up a little speed. I am very close to my grandmother and it was a nice touch that I could have the opportunity to involve her into my class project. I got to meet some of her friends as well; everyone wanted to help the granddaughter of Audia Robinson out. I was famous! Kinda :-)

I chose simple colors that seemed “happy” and a legible font for my responsive design. I took into account that a lot of users for this concept would be older, and not computer savvy. That makes it a bit more difficult to solve this type of need. My idea was to add a wearable device; One that had limited options that are easy to understand. And, of course a responsive site was the only other way to go for a nonprofit. I built in as little navigation as I could, again taking into account my users would have a harder time registering for the services. My user flow was a basic register/signup, an about page, a help page, and a scheduling page for services needed. I laid everything out with as little copy as I could get away with and still be explanatory enough to cover anticipated questions of navigation. I used a sticky tab-style bar for navigating though the site on the left hand side, leaving the logo to take you home, and implementing a search icon at the top.

I got to the wire framing and the clickable prototype …

And … my time was up. I left my shoe on the steps while running to make it home in time for midnight. I did not get the opportunity to complete the case study, as was the expectation, due to the lost week I wasted on the prior idea. It did help me realize what my strengths and weaknesses are, and I am very grateful for those life-lessons now … instead of learning them on the job. I DEFINITELY intend to finish my case study after the completion of our last class project and you can bet there will be simple wearables in the proposal. I am so excited about my concept, and I am going to look into creating a startup business plan with the information I learned. Look for my crazy, amazing idea soon: Project Love Deserved!!

A couple of versions of my necklace scarves.

A peek at my first iteration for the clickable version of Project Love Deserved :-)

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