So prototyping… A challenging process of creativity and compromise. It’s not a glamorous situation of “Eureka!” when you suddenly come up with a brilliant idea. It’s more about making it work and this is our story.
Naming the platform
The first thing that we want to share is how hard it is coming up with a name and a theme for a platform. After hours spent on other websites searching for fitting words to represent the brand we want to create, we decided to use the theme of balance as our main anchor towards a concept and visual identity. You would be surprise how many synonyms there are for that particular word. With dictionary in hand (in this case installed on Nadine’s Mac) we had 2 prominent contenders – In Poise and Even Up. Then we tried out possible designs of logos and test them with people from the office, interested in the topics, covered in WPG’s magazines. At the end, we chose Even Up to represent what our platform will do – even out soul, mind and body, the inner and outside world.
Designing the platform
In terms of design, we decided to focus on clear and simple layout and easy and convenient navigation. Then we started thinking about structure. After looking at examples both targeted at millennials and on topics close to ours, we organised the content in three main sections – mind, body and nature. We dedicated an additional section on smaller topics like mental health, sustainability, mindfulness, fitness and yoga. Every topic or section has subsections for users to choose from. Users can also search in a search bar, browse through keywords (tags) and sort content by type – text, video, gallery.
An article page is clear and simplistic with intuitive design. In addition to the social media buttons for sharing users can comment and print an article. When logged in they can save for later and favourite articles. Users can make profiles for free and enjoy some functionalities. If they want special features they can upgrade/subscribe to a premium account. There they can use functionalities like “bubble burst” where the platform show you unexpected content based on your interest but outside the filter bubble or a feature with tips for healthy lifestyle. Using Sketch and Invision we created a clickable prototype of our platform.
Some guidelines for our platform
Based on the survey and articles for writing targeted at millennials, we created guidelines.
- Engaging and entertaining title and lead
The titles should be entertaining and engaging. The leads should be at the same style but optimized for sharing, which means up to 120 characters (with the link 140) for users to share even on Twitter.
- Conversational text with clear structure
The article should be structured and focused so that it is easier for readers to follow. This could be achieved through heading, subheading, lists and infographics. The style should be conversational. Moreover, the survey showed higher interest in articles narrated from experience. In addition, it is important for article to propose a critical point of view.
- Cool, engaging and relevant visuals
The last important element is the visualization of the text. The visuals should be relevant to the text and engaging the reader but also add value.
- Incorporate millennial language
To convey the millennial feel of the platform, the language should include slang, abbreviations (totesing) and pop culture and viral references.
Conclusion or slaying the prototyping dragon
So prototyping…For the platform, we made it work with a balanced theme, name Even Up with clear and simplistic design and focused and compelling articles. Now we looking ahead to testing it with users
*If you didn’t notice it, we actually tried to use our guidelines for this blogpost