Camp Futur

Digital Product Design

2020

Concept, design and pitch of an online campground for people to explore new ways of using digital technology in everyday life.


Project
Background

Human beings have always used technology (like wheels)(or telephones)(or AI)(you can name many more) to travel faster, communicate better, work more efficiently, and live more happily. But why do some people want to stay away from digital technology, or monitor their screen time (and often failing)?


Problem

Many of us have trouble with our digital habits.

Observation

Most existing products are for monitoring screen time. We do not have useful tools to help improve the quality of time spent online.

Question

How can we move beyond screen time, and begin to imagine more desirable ways of using digital technology in everyday life?



Audience
Research

As much as I would like to believe that everyone wants a poetic and livable digital space, people have different priorities. After doing preliminary research, audience surveys, and in-person interviews, I narrowed my audience to 18 to 40 year-olds who are frustrated with their current digital habits.

Audience
Characteristics

  1. Digital natives

  2. Embraces digital technology

  3. Self-conscious about their digital habits

  4. Wants to spend quality time online

Pain Points

  1. Too much content online

  2. Addictive app/web mechanisms

  3. Health concerns

  4. Losing contact with the real world


Opportunity

Despite their current frustrations, people still go online multiple times a day wanting to feel relaxed, inspired, and connected. They are looking for new ways to stay in touch with the digital world.



Concept &
Design Inspiration


My initial thought was to create an online campground. In real life, camping is a good way of reconnecting with nature and paying attention to one’s actions. What would be the digital equivalent of camping?

The very first paper prototype I made for Camp Futur (which was named Pleasant Delivery back then). I was very excited about building a website with clouds and tents and sheep walking by, and very lost about what people would do on such a site. Photo captured by Echo︎︎︎ from maybe 10 feet away (sorry about the low res).
What would be the digital equivalent of camping? Image by Jesse Gardner on Unsplash.
Digital interventions such as Yehwan Song’s Anti-User Friendly Series︎︎︎ have been a major inspiration.
I looked at Animal Crossing for user experience and environment design insights. Image from Nintendo.
I also looked at Experiments with Google, like this one︎︎︎ by Marco Land.

Concept

Camp Futur, an online campground for people to explore new ways of using digital technology.

Rationale

Digital technology does not have to be demanding or distractive. In fact, digital designs that prioritize human sensations over content consumption can help strenghthen our connection with the real world. 


Core
Experience

Camp Futur user homepage.

Identity
Design


Current
Web Prototype

I started with a web prototype because it was easier to develop, and also because I was inspired by the many creative web coders in the design community. 

Item I

The Book is a tool for curating digital libraries.

The user can use My Stacks to build a digital archive of all the books they have read in the past. Sort will then auto-generate tags according to the book’s genre, author, theme, and so on, giving the user an overview of their reading habits.

The Book is for those who want get back in touch with books, libraries, and the act of reading.

Item II

The Door is a tool for exploring places around the world through virtual tours and live cameras.

The Door curates virtual tours and live cameras across different platforms on the Internet, and presents a limited number of places for users to explore each day. The user can also save the places they like.

The Door is for those who want to take quick tours to explore more parts of the world.

Item III

The Flower is a tool for visualizing words.

The Flower is at first a visual diary. As the user type in their thoughts and feelings, shapes and colors that are associated with certain words will begin to merge in the space beside the text box. For more personalized results, the user can go to Train Flower (currently under developement), and specify how they perceive certain words. 

The Flower is for those who want to document their everyday life through multiple senses.

︎

Next Steps

Camp Futur is an ongoing experiment. I am currently refining the website prototype, building a mobile prototype, and connecting with creatives to include more experiences at the campground. If you would like to learn more about this project, or have ideas you would like to share, please do send me an email! I’d love to get in touch.