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I never really looked at technology as a trade off. I guess I always blindly assumed it would always be improving our lives and making information more accessible and generally making life easier. The analogy with the automobile struck me, cars have caused pollution and they have helped to design the entire infrastructure of our country. WIthout them the world would be a very different place. I never put much thought into what was lost culturally from technology, but it is clear many things fall to the wayside as technology furthers, even from when this article was written so many things have changed.
As I was reading on to the second idea I was trying to find a flaw with my iphone, and how it applied to the first idea. I could not think of how it was detrimental to our society, it is my most important possession it houses all of my information and everything I need on a daily basis can be accessed from my phone. However it did not occur to me until reading the second idea that not everyone has an iphone. It is a relatively expensive service to have, and the phone itself is somewhat costly. So there are many people being left in the dust as far as expensive electronics go, so even though there are some good things coming from these smartphone devices many people are not able to experience them.
For me, and many of my classmates I’m sure, technology has always been a part of life. When I first entered school computers and new ways of learning were coming out, and throughout my elementary years I used computers consistently. It is hard for me to think what my life would be like without a computer everyday. I suppose I do idolize technology because of all the things it has allowed me to do and the accessibility I have on a daily basis. However old habits die hard, and it is difficult for me to think of technology as an “intruder” because it seems to have never intruded on my life, it has always just been there. Pulling thoughts from the other ideas however shows many drawbacks to computers and technology, and it is important to think about the consequences of readily accepting technology as it comes without considering what damage it might do.
After presenting my project formally I have been prompted to refine my schedule. Which at this point in time seems daunting. I am really nervous about all of the deadlines coming directly from me, because I am not sure how long things are going to take me, or what obstacles I might run into along the way. However my project is becoming more clear to me as the days go on I think that will allow me to be more clear about my schedule.
I think presenting the project more formally to my classmates let me flesh out my ideas more. Instead of making my how to projects simple I will make them how ever I want, in order to attract a certain type of user. I am thinking that at first (to perhaps get traffic) I will do videos on how to do things that intimidate most like zippers. Everyone is afraid to do zippers but they are extremely easy, I actually got a dress that had a faulty zipper for $3 at a store because they could not sell it. I then replaced the zipper in about 15 minutes and I had a brand new dress that was three bucks.
I am thinking that I will start with a basic set of videos and then build on that as I go. Threading a machine can also be a daunting task, but most machines are about the same, and they often have hidden instructions. There are many tips and tricks I have found that I can share with users, that they might not know about. I think that a lot of people have machines but are unclear as to how to use them. I would like to do a small amount of instruction on how to use and maintain a machine in order to have it working at its best.
My goal from starting with basic videos is to build a community (an idea again spurred by classmates) that is interested in sewing and furthering their skills. I have looked around and there is nothing like this. There are a few poorly designed non-intuitive sites around, but they seem targeted toward an older demographic. While I am really targeting any demographic my site will provide several things that others do not. I will provide clear stepping stones for learning, as well as organization and design. Hopefully all of these things together will be the basis for a community of people that want to learn and share.
Telling my classmates about my project spurred some really neat ideas for me. Rather than concentrating on selling the things I make, I am going to concentrate on making how to instructions for users. I still plan on selling some things that I have made, simply because that was my initial plan and I want to gain more experience developing a website. However the how to will definitely be a large part of what I want to do.
Rather than providing instructional videos on difficult things I plan to instruct users on things that are easier in nature. My thought is that not everyone will have a working sewing machine, I often hear people saying while they have a sewing machine, but it does not function properly. So to encompass as many users as possible I want to show users how to make things that require simple stitching, either simple straight stitches or a small amount of hand stitching.
I also want to focus the instructional videos on re-purposing old clothing, or left over fabrics. I often make things with something I have purchased at a thrift store, or with scraps of fabric that are too small to apply to a pattern. I also want to focus on how to repair things, if I did not have the ability to fix my clothes I would toss them all the time. I am always repairing my jeans because I never want to get rid of that perfect pair of jeans, nobody does. Doing these things is really simple and I think users would be interested in how to prolong the life of their favorite clothing. When I first realized that I had the ability to fix my clothes it made my month. Many repairs to clothing can be done easily with hand stitching, allowing any user this opportunity.
As I am getting into this project I am getting really excited to start being able to sew and call it school work. I started taking photographs for my presentation next week, and I have come away with some great pictures that I love, and it makes me feel really positive about the visuals I will be able to create with this project. I think the fact that I am basing the Capstone off of something I enjoy so much is going to make me more enthusiastic about what I am doing. I say that, but check with me in fourteen weeks and see if what I am saying has changed any.
My design is still in the works obviously, and my plan for my actual project is pretty clear to me. I would like to develop a line of simple sewing crafts and sell them on my site. Not only do I want to sell them but I also want to showcase my process in doing so. I would also like to visually represent where I get my inspiration from, I think I would like the ‘inspiration’ page to be the home page. So when a user first enters the site there will not only be a visually pleasing element but it will also allow them to see where my ideas are coming from. I am sure my ideas will change and grow over the semester, but this is what I am starting with.
During the first week of the semester to prepare for my capstone project I looked at a lot of similar websites for inspiration. I want my capstone website to have some vintage inspiration while at the same time being modern. So I looked at a number of vintage inspired sites to get ideas. I currently have a set of mockups, they however lack the vintage inspiration I want to convey. But I think that they are a good jumping off point. Next week I want to create a new set of mockups that are closer to what I want. I do really like what I have put together so far, but I want to build from that and come up with something better.
In the coming weeks I would like to really nail down what items I plan on making for the site. As I said I would like the items to be easy for me to create but at the same time I would like them to be really interesting things that are unique to me. I have a few ideas, but I would like at the very least eight unique things to put on the site, I need to start sketching and testing out how difficult it will be for me to make the concepts I have come up with.