Monday, September 26, 2011

Branding Pot Pie: Visual Directions and explorations

Above is my corrected objective with my corrected brand attributes that I would like to high light throughout the process.

The First three initial attempts...during this time I knew I wasn't doing what I wanted to do, and I was getting too caught up with color and everything coming together too seamlessly. So I decided to take a step back and explore further in black and white. This way was much more simpler and definitely worked more in my favor. They still aren't where I'd like them to be, but it is a much better start than what I had before (above.)

Starting some style sheets...


Typeface chocies?

After meeting with Kidwell several times I realize that I need to move on and start applying these elements to objects so I know how well it will work or not work.

Branding: Pot Pie Initial idea and concept

PotPie Rebrand Presentation

Ivanhoe: Problem and Proposed solution

Initial Ivanhoe Proposal

Thursday, September 15, 2011

MX: Conceptual Thinking

Where do I find Sources? (Websites, News Sources, Television shows, newspapers/magazines?) 
User inputs interests by tagging, and marking what they would like to filter out. Through this, they would then be able to see a list of sources that address the issues they first tagged. To get into user to user interaction, seeing your friends sources that they use would also be helpful. So being able to relate and add your friend's sources would also be available.

Where can I find the top ten current events?
When finding a hard list of main current political events going on can get frustrating. So through having   a section to be able to always go to and check what the top ten current events of the day are would be available.  When checking this list, the user then can click on one current event then see all the stories and information attached to see why it a main current event. As to how the interface sorts through this information, it can be a rating system to see how many people have read/appreciated that article/source/event.

How and where can I register to vote?
User selects voting icon, then inputs where their location is. After inputing their location it then loads all possible places to register to vote. As well as showing them how to register on line, through a specific step by step key to a already filled out form, so they feel less intimidated to start a blank form.

What are some popular political campaigns of the past?
Through a search engine, the system would have a very nice photo gallery space where the user can swipe through with ease, and by clicking on one campaign, it flips the piece over and gives the back ground and history of that campaign specifically.

What are the current currency rates?
When being in a store, such as a grocery or retail store, the user can scan the object and then see what that object would cost in other countries. This then would give them an idea of how much the dollar is really worth. After this action is finished the user can save it's search, so it's easy for them to go back and see what it may have been worth in a jif.

What are the main political parties views?
This part could possibly have an interactive game involved, such as a quiz or word puzzle to see certain differentiating words that describe each political party, therefore the user isn't just reading the information, they are interacting with it on a fun level, so hopefully it would be more fun to remember. This would also have a more list format of events that could relate to a high school student and see why each party is separated.

How can I communicate/get in touch with someone with similar views like me?
One way could be almost “dating website” worthy. Decided by how you filled out your profile and everything else you do, users could be suggested to you who both share the same opinions, as well as users whose views are opposite theirs. The opposite users should be recommended as well to help fuel discussion and growth among the community. The community can’t grow if liberals stick with liberals, conservatives with conservatives, etc. But along with pretty much everything else listed below. Through going to the same events, posting on the discussion boards, video debates, etc.

How do I become apart of/join a political event? / What political events are out there to join?
An ever updating feed from the different parties’ websites listing all of the events they each have coming up. A list that they can sort through by party, location, free/paid, type(fundraiser, rally, etc) and other ways. They could also see what events their friends are going to and if they decide to go to that one as well, the friend(s) who are already going will be notified that a friend has joined them. It could also show how many other people from the entire community are going. This could be one touch point to get the user in contact with others with the same views.

When they’re on the list of upcoming events it could tell the user if they have to sign up on the website to attend or not. If they have to sign up the website it could send them to the page to fill out that they’re going. If these websites are working in cooperation with the community there could be a way(button, etc) on their website to automatically sign them up for event and unlock special things for the user. Discounted rates if it’s a paid event, free shwag, unlock badges (like foursquare or others). When you sign up on the website and it’s working in cooperation with the community, it could automatically add you name to the list of attendees on the community’s website. If there isn’t a way/need to sign up you could simply click on “Attending” on the list which would add it to your profile. You could recommend the event to friends and others who you think would be interested in going.

At the event they could check in with their iphone application. You could post a quick update with the check in through twitter with a special hashtag, or on your profile in the community. It could show you how many others have checked in and who they are so you can find them and connect with them.
After the event you could post a review of the event on the page about how it went, post photos of the event on your page and tag the event in them. Possibly, the more events you go to, the more you could unlock in the community. You would have to check in at the actual event for it to count, however. The more events you go to, the more points you get. The more people you invite to events and that actually end up going gets you points. If you get enough to go to events, maybe get a special status “Influencer” or something.

How do I join a parties campaign? (e.g Obama's Campaign)
The different campaign parties could have public profiles in the community, or public pages for people to access. On the pages, the users could get information about what public figure’s stances are on different topics, videos of them, where they’ll be speaking at soon, events they themselves will be going to, and other information on them. The figure’s campaign could use the page to try and persuade the users to join them through posting about topics that high schoolers are interested in, or topics that directly affect them. There could also be a section to tell the user how they could help with the campaign if they join(or even if they don’t join), wether it be calling houses, volunteering at the local campaign headquarters, or volunteering at an event for them.

If the campaign is working in cooperation with the community, the user could possibly join the campaign right on the profile page in the community, or take them to the campaign’s website with a way to automatically sign up with their account from the community. They could give the user discounted membership rates, or maybe even free memberships and/or other things to encourage the user to join their campaign. Possibly even give them other things for joining, unlock special badges, etc.
By joining the campaign, their profile in the community could change somehow to recognize their support for that specific candidate. Give them a badge to put on their profile. They could recommend the campaign to friends who they think would be interested in the campaign. The more they volunteer with the campaign, or interact with it, or spread the word about it, the user could become a representative of the campaign in the community. They could have special access to things to thank them for their support. The more they interact with them, the more points they could get to unlock badges and other things.

How can I contribute to the communities discussion/event? / How can I bring awareness to something that I want to advocate?
There could be numerous ways to contribute to the communities’ discussions. There could be some sort of a message board / chat system that anyone could join. The message boards could be split up by topic(debt crisis, gay rights, specific public figures, etc) and have sub discussions going on about them. It should be a space where everyone who wants, could join in the discussion about any topic.
There would have to be a way to monitor activity on the message boards. It could possibly be a mixture of things. It could be self-monitored by the users. They could flag posts and/or people who are abusing the boards by attacking others or posting too many entries on topics. There could also possibly be some automatic things that happen. A user can only post one or a certain amount of entires on any one given topic per day, or after every x number of people. Someway to let everyone be heard equally. The more someone posts on a specific thread, the smaller their posts become so the ones who only post once or twice are seen among the other, more talkative people.

The more users post on the message boards, the more they would be seen. Their posts on the boards could lead to their profile. The user’s profile could house a multitude of things about the user. It should have a picture of them, their political stance. How they feel about specific topics, or show the topics that they’re interested in. This could be determined by what topics they contribute to on the message boards the most, what events they go to, and what political party(ies) they join. Their profile could also show, with much attention, anything they are advocating that they posted themselves.

On the message boards, there could be a place for users to start their own threads on topics that they feel need to be addressed. It could be anything they wanted, as long as it was relevant to (first and foremost) the community, to politics, and more than just themselves and/or a few of their friends. There would need to be someway to make sure this happens. Maybe they have to submit it and wait for it to be peer reviewed by 5 or 10 other users who aren’t their friend before it gets put up, or something like that.

There could also be video discussion/debate chats that happen live with video cams between multiple people. There could be specific topics that will be given the chance to video chat about. They would be prearranged for a specific time and topic, and people could RVSP to the events. The debates/discussions could be limited to a certain number of people who could participate in the actual event, but anyone could view the discussion as it happens. Like with Google+ hangouts, there could be a way to automatically highlight the person who is talking. There could also possibly be a time limit for everyone. Once they’re highlighted, they have 5 minutes to speak their side before it moves to the next person, and everyone has to go once before the user could go again. Though, again, there needs to be some way to monitor and flag people who are abusing it. The debates could possibly even be recorded and automatically posted to the community. Possibly, the more video debates you do, the more points you gets, which could unlock badges. When you do debates, people debating and watching can vote for you if they believe you have thoughtful insights and bring something extra to the discussion. But, at the same time, the more video debates you do, the less of a chance you get to do them. Users could have a timeframe to apply to be a part of a video debate and then the people who get to participate are chosen semi-randomly. The more video debates you’ve done, the less of a chance you have of being chosen, but the more votes you have, the chance you’ll be chosen will rise again.

How can I show I value someone's opinion?
When people post on the message boards, there could be a way for people to “+1” them(or something of the like). The more a post gets +1’d, the more attention is brought to it and the user. either through it being bigger than others, or highlighted somehow in the thread. If a user and their posts get enough recognition they could be highlighted somehow for being a vital part of the community. There could be one(or more) person on the front page being highlighted for that day for the involvement they have in the community.

There could be many ways they could got up there though. They could be up there for the reason above, or they could be recommended by other users. The users could recommend other users and give a brief explanation why they believe their should be highlighted. They could even possibly be highlighted because they’ve posted something to the boards that users feel need even more attention. It could be another way for people to advocate ideas or goings-on. They could also be recommended for the work they’ve done around the community, ie, a user is an active and thoughtful video debater constantly bringing ideas to the discussion that others deem highly important and thought out.

The idea that users who arent necessarily the most active users, but bring a high level of discussion and thought to the community should be highlighted. Not saying that highly-active members shouldn’t be highlighted, but content over count should also be taken in account.

How will the debt crisis effect me in the future?
There could be the idea of the message board(stated above in the “How can I contribute to the communities discussion/event? / How can I bring awareness to something that I want to advocate?” section) and having threads dedicated to the discussion of one topic, say the debt crisis. There could be a thread under every topic for the discussion of the users of how they believe this affects them now and how it will affect them in the future.  But there could be much more than that.

I wonder if there could be individual pages/sections that are multifacted and house all of the most up-to-date articles found on the web on specific topics(the biggest topics, or all topics). The bigger topics would obviously have more information on their page(s) but they could have more features than the smaller topics. They could be the topics with the video debates. The live debates could be viewed on the topics page, as well as archived video debates on the same topic. Both the bigger topic pages, and the smaller topic pages could act as an ever-updating stream of links to articles being published on the topic. The pages could pull from major news sources, focusing on finding articles posted most recently. All of this to help the users form their own opinions of how they believe topics will affect them in the future, and not just tell them the “correct answer” when there never is one.

How can I keep up to date on political terminology?
There could be a processor intensive program running in the background of the entire community collecting words used throughout the community, and maybe even beyond, and compile a list of the most popular terms from what they find. It could be sorted many different ways(how new are they, what do they mean, etc) It could also be user edited as well. Users could put their own definitions into the system (a la Urban Dictionary & wikipedia) and other users can vote if they feel the definition is right or wrong. The more information the users put in there, the more complete the dictionary will be. there could also be a web-based visual part to this. Something that shows the inter-connectivity of the words to other words and ideas that help the users figure out what words mean, as well as giving them synonyms and other such things.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


So here's me and my team: Kelsey, Bethany and I. Aren't we cute?

We decided to team up, because we were all really interested in the same topic, which is creating a space for people to come together; young and old. Have something there for everyone to participate in. This brings in the idea of Pop-ups, and how that could revitalize the community, and really attract different types of people to come and see what is there for that week. The details are really broad right now, but I'm really excited to see where this goes. Due to our group being on the larger side, we all really want to make this an effective and diverse system/space/idea. More on research and contact to come.