How do people store family history, stories, & photos?
That's the question that I started this degree project with. The follow up question was “How can we make it better?” That's why I created Kindred, I created this website and website creator as a way to answer that question. It provides users with a way to create their own family website with a family tree, timeline, and photo album.
I've always loved looking through photo albums. Even as a kid, I loved the history of it and I loved seeing my family when they were younger! When I was especially small, I also loved taking all of the photos out and rearranging them. (No idea why!) I'd also ask everyone in the house for stories every night. History, stories, and family have been inspirations for me for a long time.
I decided to turn this into my degree project during winter break. I'd been visiting my grandparents and looking through photo albums with them, and it brought back all of that enthusiasm!
This was a research heavy project. I looked at the competition, created surveys, gathered info with my relatives, and held several workshops with my peers. As a degree project, it was as much about the research and the backing and the process as the final result.
Research on Similar Websites
I looked into the design and functions of websites about family, to get a sense of what was out there. Some helpful examples were family tree building websites like Ancestry.com and Geni.com, genealogy sites like 23andme, and historical records of surnames.
Here, I gathered feedback from peers and family about their interest in and knowledge about their family history. Results are shown below. ~30 participants.
For this workshop, I wanted people to personify designs by describing them the same way they'd describe people.
I also asked participants to describe their families in 3 words, to compare the two results.This was to see if there were any common threads between how they'd describe people/their families, and if I could use this to inform the design of the website. Results are below.
For this workshop, I had classmates draw their own family tree, freehand. This was at a point when I was designing the family tree for Kindred, and I was struggling with how to make it feel natural and not too rigid and grided. These results helped greatly, and I was able to pick out some patterns from them (Youngest at the bottom, same generation on same "level" of tree, etc) that came in handy later on.
These are my observations from Workshop 2. I synthesized all of thoughts on the trees into my own sketch of my family tree.
Early wireframes for the site show its basic layout, which is changed for clarity later on.
Posters and Promotional Posts
These are the posters and promotional social media posts I created to advertise my talk on my degree project. They're virtual-oriented because the presentation was virtual, during the time of COVID.
Final Site Pages
Using the Tool
My family for their photos, my professor and my classmates for their time and encouragement. Created using Illustrator, Photoshop and Figma. Illustrations are my own.
This is an site concept created as a student, and is not a real world product.