Project Proposal


Team:
Amy Rainey, Helen Pitlick, Suna Gurol

Background

The origin of our project came from an idea Amy had to use multimedia to document her grandmother’s history. This reminded Suna of an oral history project for high schoolers she knew about. After productive brainstorming, our group expanded the idea to create a web site that would help people create and find oral histories to use in student projects. This is an idea we’re all passionate about and interested in. Plus, this project encompasses several topics we cover in MCDM, including online storytelling, video, interaction design and media literacy.


Our Idea

Create a nonprofit educational website that helps people create and share multimedia history projects. Our mission is to help people document family history and stories. The site will offer resources for documenting stories and serve as an online community for these projects.  Students will use the site to gain knowledge about how to create multimedia history projects and to share their projects online, as well as watch and learn from other projects.

We are still discussing names for the site, but possibilities include “Hidden Histories” and “The Multimedia Storytelling Project.”

Here is a preliminary wireframe of the home page:
homepage

Here is a preliminary wireframe of a video project page:
videopage

Why?

As older generations pass on, it becomes increasingly important to preserve their stories so we can learn from and remember those eras of history. Our site will help people document and share important stories that might otherwise go untold. It’s easier than ever to create and edit videos, audio recordings and slideshows. We want to help students use inexpensive technology to tell their families’ stories.

Based on our research, this project will fill an importance niche by providing a multimedia platform for documenting and sharing historical stories. There are other sites that feature oral history projects, but we haven’t found a site that offers an online community for creating and sharing these projects. The focus will be on video oral histories, but projects on our site will include video, audio, photo slideshows and documents, allowing students to share any information they compile.

Scope

Our final deliverable for this class will be the concept for a website, with all the pieces in place for an engineering team to create a functional product. This will include the following components:

  • detailed description of proposed project
  • sitemap
  • wireframes
  • comparison/analysis of sites that offer oral history projects to show why ours is different or better
  • usability plans for the web site
  • list of features to include, such as tutorials, tags, links, suggestions and resources
  • proposed partnerships with other organizations

Because we are starting from scratch and do not have the time to build such a complex site, we will not produce a live product at this stage.

Design Principles / Creative Direction

  • Audience paths clearly defined
  • Easy to use
  • Not too school-ish
  • Encouraging, positive
  • History is fascinating, not boring
  • Using multimedia tools like a Flip camera is fun and easy; anyone can do it
  • Lots of clean, white space
  • Ensure users aren’t overwhelmed by too much detail

Who is it for?

The project’s intended audience is secondary school, college and graduate students, as well as their instructors. Teachers often assign oral history projects to teach students how to conduct first-person research; many students connect with their own backgrounds in the process. Because of the highly personal aspect of this content, we will also allow anyone, enrolled in an academic program or not, the freedom to create a profile and upload material in order to preserve and share their stories.

We want to ensure that our target audience is comfortable using the site, as creating video content can be intimidating for people who have never done so. With this in mind, we will include relevant tutorials on video recording and editing technology.

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