Our Scars: Stories of Pain (Final Proposal)

Synopsis:

Our Scars: Stories of Pain is an interactive online documentary created with PGC (paricipant-generated content). This documentary lets the audience explore and share stories and images of scars on their bodies, providing the audience with an opportunity to reflect on a fact of the human condition: we will all feel pain at some point in our lives.

The purpose of this project will be to provide a space for reflection on the human condition as mentioned earlier. It reminds us that we’re all the same, we all bleed. It is intended as a space where the audience can gain a higher understanding and appreciation for our fellow humans.

Audience:

Our Scars: Stories of Pain will be open for everyone with an internet connection, but the target audience is people from 25 and up. The reason for this is that there needs to be some time to accumulate experiences before you can tell and appreciate stories and scars. The audience is also english speaking as the site will be in english.

My idea for targeting this demographic would be a social media but also TV campaign. The campaign would consist of famous people (politicians, athletes, musicians) telling their story and showing their scars. This would create buzz around it, for people to go to the site and check it out for themselves. The reason for promoting on TV as well as social media is to compliment our target audience, who might not all be on social media.


What’s different about this project?

One thing about this project that is worth considering is that it can easily be attached to a cause, to create a more specific project/campaign. Imagine that all the scars were from mastectomies, and the documentary encouraged women who had had the surgery to upload their stories and picture to create awareness around breast cancer. As well as removing the stigma around it.

I think that the project works perfectly as it is, but I would be open for making changes like the one just discussed.

Who will upload their scars?

This being a site consisting of PGC the audience and the interview subjects/contributors would be the same people. And if the site was to be created, I would get friends and family to upload their stories to start the site off. I am confident that I could have 20+ submissions within one week.

Feasibility:

I think that this project is feasible, with the right people working on it. With my knowledge of web design I see nothing that would stop us from creating this site. Seeing as the subject matter is scars, something most of us have, it would not be difficult finding subjects for the site. As stated above, I believe that friends and family is a good way to start. One of the issues that I see now with the project is the design, but I am confident that with the right people in a group we would be able to create a beautiful design working off what I have already. Another issue could be having the rights to peoples pictures, but this is easily fixed by having a “terms of agreement” before uploading, just so we don’t run into any problems with copyright. 

Supporting materials:

Wireframe

The main content areas are the same in this wireframe as they are in the mock design layout that is attached under, only with added space for social media logos in the top right corner. The site is meant to function as one page, with pop-up boxes with the pictures or the text. For example, if you click the ‘about’ button, a window with the information about the project appears on top of the background of the homepage, while the homepage becomes darker in the background. I got inspiration to do it like this from sites such as instagram.com. One example of such a site is my Instagram account: 

The background is still visible, it has just been made darker when the picture was enlarged.
The background is still visible, it has just been made darker when the picture was enlarged.

Mock Design Layout

Colour palette:

This is the colour palette that I have chosen for the project. The reason for these “happy” but flat colours is to create a modern look that is not too serious. This is done so that the site is not all sad stories, the stories can be funny as well.

Content needed:

The only content needed to create this project is a handful of scars and stories to start it off, the logo/title for the website and the text to be written in the ‘About’ part of the site.

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Our Scars: Stories of Pain (Final Proposal)

Final Title

Our Scars: Stories of Pain


The final title I landed on is: Our Scars: Stories of Pain. I think that using ‘our’ rather than ‘my’ as I did in the sketches fits better. It is more inclusive, and it hands the project over to the audience. I chose to include ‘Stories of Pain’ because I feel that it walks the line between being descriptive and poetic.

I have added a scan of the paper I was sketching on when trying to figure out what to call the project. Here you can se some of the other titles that I had in mind.

Final Title

New Sketches

After finishing my first sketch, I took some time to sit down and create that sketch in photoshop, with actual pictures. What I quickly realised was that I didnt’ care for the design very much. I moved the title of the project to the left, to compliment how we read pages, but it did little to better my design. I felt that the design was a bit too flat and static.

As you can see, the line up becomes flat and boring.
As you can see, the line up becomes flat and boring.

I decided to play around with the images a bit. I want to have a design that seems fluid and soft. I want it to feel more like a landscape than a list. I personally like the one with the tilted squares the most. I feel like the circles ends up leaving the page a bit too empty. If the project were to be selected, I would work with someone on the group with design experience to continue developing these ideas, as my design skills are limited. One thing to note with all of these designs is that there are only four scar pictures which are recycled through the site, which makes it look a very repetitive and a bit confusing. When the site is finished the pictures will be like snowflakes, no two identical.

Ends up being a bit too empty, and just not the look I want to go for.
Ends up being a bit too empty, and just not the look I want to go for.
I think this one looks the best out of the three.
I think this one looks the best out of the three.

I will now go through some of the specific elements of the homepage. Note that this project is all centred around one page. The homepage will always be in the background of whatever is going on on the site.

The pictures would slightly enlarge as the curser moved over them, and when clicked they would enlarge to their full size as the rest of the site is dimmed (made darker in the background). When this is done one of two things would happen, either an audio recording would start or the story would appear under the picture in text. This would be the story of how they got the scar. Under the picture I would place buttons for sharing the story on social media, as well as having a button saying something like: “Upload Your Own Story/Scar”.

‘Explore’ is the main homepage, where you can explore the pictures.

‘About’ would feature a short written description of the project. Why and how was it created, as well as explaining how it can be used. This text would appear in front of the homepage in the same way the enlarged pictures do with the homepage being made darker in the background. The text would appear inside a box. This box would also have buttons for sharing the site with your friends on social media.

‘Upload’ is where the audience can go to upload their own scars and stories. The upload box would appear on top of the homepage. It would have a description of how to upload your picture. After the image is successfully uploaded you will be asked to adjust the thumbnail. And once that is done, it would let you record audio with your computers microphone right there on the site or write in your story.

New Sketches

My First Sketch

Sketching is perhaps not my forte, but my first sketch is just to show an idea of how to line up the pictures. I want to experiment with different ways to put the squared pictures up on the site, perhaps doing them in circles instead. This sketch is very simple, as you can see, but it just gives some idea of the simplistic look that I want to make for this documentary. I intend to make the second sketch more detailed, maybe adding some alternatives to this design.

My First Sketch

Inspirations for my Site

These are some of the sites that I have looked at to find inspiration for my project. I have been looking for some inspiration when it comes to the layout, colour palette, functionality, and the general site design.

The pictures are screenshots from various websites. The source of each screenshot can be found under the picture.

http://www.bigstories.com.au/
http://www.bigstories.com.au/
http://www.bigstories.com.au/
http://www.bigstories.com.au/
http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/1930/cheer_up_emo_kid
http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/1930/cheer_up_emo_kid
http://slaveryfootprint.org/
http://slaveryfootprint.org/
Inspirations for my Site

Final Idea: My Scars

I have chosen the “My Scars” idea as my idea for this project. The reasons for this being that I think it is a more universal subject seeings as most of us have scars and stories about them. Another reason is that seeing as my proposal can not be picked as one of the projects that gets made, I do not have to worry about feasibility. I recognise that creating a documentary consisting of PGC with audio recordings as an alternative would perhaps be technically difficult to make.

The aim of the project is to give people a place to share their stories of their scars. This would help to remove some of the awkwardness that we have concerning scars. The site would let people share their own or other people stories on social media as well.

Visually I would like the site to have pictures of the scars appear on the home page and when the cursor is moves over, the title of the story appears. I would also like to have a place on the site where you can view the most shared scars. As well as an info page about the project.

Final Idea: My Scars

Initial Ideas

Over the duration of this subject I have considered several ideas for online documentaries that I would like to make. After eliminating the ideas that seemed too big, or difficult, to make for this subject I have two main ideas that I hold on to.

The first idea: Casual Encounters

An interactive online documentary about the ‘Casual Encounters’ part of Craigslist. The site would feature a large illustration of a line/crowd of people, that could be scrolled through horizontally. Some of the people in the crowd would be ‘clickable’, and that clicking them would launch an audio recording of a specific post from the ‘casual encounters’ site, being read by a voice over.

The audience is left to explore the crowd to find the different audio recordings. Because casual encounters often are judged, the overall message for this project would be that these people exist and that it is perfectly natural and okay for these people to seek what they want.

The second idea: My Scars

An interactive online documentary constructed with PGC (paricipant-generated content). The audience is encouraged to take a picture of a scar they have and upload it to the site along with either a short written or audio recording telling the story of how they got the scar and/or what it has meant to them.

The visuals would perhaps be something like the “Big Stories, Small Towns” documentary (http://www.bigstories.com.au/). And as new pictures are uploaded the site the older pictures are pushed down.

Initial Ideas