Mira Kirvesmaki

Design with heart

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Inspirations: notfound.org

For inspiration in the domain of doing good I present: notfound.org

Notfound.org is a project that aims to make better use of the 404 pages on websites. The idea is that people can sign up their websites to become part of the cause. If they do then all the 404 pages on their website will display an image of a missing child. Posting photos of missing children is the most effective way to find them and now anyone with a website can contribute in a small way.

I love this idea as it allows people to do good but in a way that is doable by companies and individuals alike. It does not actually effect the website as such as it will only appear on a 404 “page not found” but if enough websites sign up for it, it could actually make a difference in getting the images to a bigger audience. I like the simplicity of the idea as well as the connection they have made between their cause and an already existing platform. They are repurposing something that is currently underused and essentially only asking people to give something that they aren’t (in most cases) currently using anyway. 

Here is a video that allows the people behind notfound.org explain their concept:

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Looking for examples

Yesterdays task for the tutorial time was to find 1 sentence, 1 article and 1 project that are somehow related or exemplify everyones own starting points.

For me this task was quite a hard one as I have several things I want to incorporate to the brief but I’m not sure yet which one will have the biggest weight in the final version. So I decided that all of the examples will highlight a different aspect that I’m currently looking at.

So without further ado here are my chosen examples:

The sentence:

“Simplicity is getting at the core of something and understanding what the thing truly is and then making every part consistent with the core.”

-Steven Bradley (The sentence is from a very nice article on how to achieve simplicity in design. Recommended reading.)

This managed to really get at the core of what I wish to work towards. Something that is simple, effective yet pleasurable to use. I’m not a minimalist though but the idea of getting at the core of something and truly understanding it and the way it is used appeals to me. I would wish to extend this not only to the “thing” but also to the behavior with it, how and why people use it.

The article:

Give your website soul with emotionally intelligent interactions

-Smashing magazine 

This article outlays some thoughts that I have had about incorporating a human touch to a digital product. For some reason most digital products don’t really allow for people to get attached to them on emotional level. There are several physical products that people actually love but at least I could not really name a digital service/product that I could say the same about. To me this could have something to do with the lack of soul and character that seems to be plaguing the digital domain. I really want to have a try at this and have been greatly inspired by a book that gives examples on how this might be achieved. The book, Seductive Interaction Design by Stephen P. Anderson, is really a great read. It’s quite light reading with very approachable style and great examples that illustrate his  points. It goes through several principles derived from psychology and I’m itching to give them a go.

The project:

A key ring that won’t kill your fingertips

This one was the hardest to choose. I had so many projects that I find inspirational and that have a quality that I’m looking for. In the end I chose this one as it really captures the idea of basing the project on a real problem. I mean adding keys to a key ring is a small task and definitely not anything that would have a major impact on your life, but it is an inconvenience. And one that most people struggle with at that. It is somehow to me inspirational that this problem now has a solution (wish they were more available) and just maybe if we could solve all these little inconveniences the bigger problems might not seem as daunting anymore. It is inspiring, simple but genius.

The redesigned key ring

This exercise was very useful as it allowed me to start organizing my thoughts on the different aspects of the brief. I have certain moments when things seem quite clear in my head but it will need some work before I will be able to structure it so that it will make sense firstly all the time and secondly to others as well. Prioritizing all these aspects that appeal to me will need to be something that I start working on early in the project.