An Interactive Hub for Youth
Shouyu Work As:
Our team originally received a project brief for Canadian Red Cross’ initiative on promoting Canadian indigenous youth engagement in rural and remote settings. Specifically, we were tasked to design a hybrid analog/digital product that addresses the topic of healthy relationships (i.e. community, friendship, communication) among Canadian indigenous youth. Storytelling was identified as one of the First Nations’ most important traditions, such that Elders of the community would pass down non-linear narratives of indigenous histories, legends and family remembrances to the youth. These stories exchanged and transferred down often have multiple meanings and interpretations layered throughout different families and generations. Inspired by this old tradition, initial design ideas focused on providing a hybrid online and offline platform that allows the sharing of oral and visual stories from the Elders to indigenous youth aged 12-18. As storytelling became a major foundation for our team’s core design direction, different forms and mediums of storytelling have been explored, ranging from audio to visual. In-depth research into cultural sensitivity, indigenous traditions, and the importance of storytelling within the indigenous community helped solidify our initial product idea, which consists of a platform that provides audio and visual tools that enable the Elders and youth to engage, share, and connect with their culture through podcasts and a visual art gallery that is accessible online and offline.
Our solution is a transmedia product called “Virtual Playground” it includes multi-platforms, which could cover both online and offline users. The long-term vision is to be a social hub designed for youth ages 8-18, offering various low-bandwidth social interactions.
Easy to access: all contents of our project are based on one website, so that allow every browser to access it, no matter the users are using Windows, MacOS or cell phone, it is easy for them use our website.
Local mode: Because our project is made for Canadian Teens who live in remote areas, so we have both online mode and local mode for them. Ore local mode based on local cache. So, when they are offline, they can still use website, and once they connect to the internet, our website will upload all the changes they made, do not need to worry about the internet problem at all.
Children Friendly: Because of our wonderful UI/UX design, the user will easily know how to use our website without any extra learning.
Fun to play: Our product has many functions that worth to try, like the online Painting Game, Art Gallery and Story Mode. All of them are interesting functions that teens would like to play.