The Analog Website acts as a metaphor for digital website, inviting people to interact with the installation through inter creativity. Main goal is to challenge current User Experience practices, as well as, reclaim Internet as a vehicle for communities. This was the design outcome of my submission for the Final Major Project assignment part of my Master's in User Experience Design and was accompanied by an essay answering the research question:
“Popular UX practices in web design reinforce capitalism, automation and user exploitation. How and to what extend can a designer resist and push the boundaries?”
The Analog Website, comprises many different components each acting as a metaphor for an element connected to browsing the Internet. From the device (i.e. computer) to the User Interface to the internet connection (see pic 1.2.). In this instance the Analog Website exist in the form of an interactive installation inviting the audience to experience it from beginning to end. Starting with a "User Manual" brochure that explains the process, the audience is encouraged to answer the prompt "rename the internet" in a 3 word limit. To do that they can use the blank slides provided and record their answer using the material available, like letter stickers and permanent marker, which can be found in the "design station". Finally, the can move to the "viewing station" which includes the computer (slide viewer) and the website servers (slide storage box)
As mentioned before, everything in this project is analog or produced in an analog way except the brochure. The labels you see with the very distinctive typeface are product of a DYMO label printer. Labels are used in the prompt, the station labelling and stages labelling and the labelling of the slide viewer with labels like "ON/OFF", "EJECT" etc.
What the slide viewer does, is that it enlarges the slides and sheds light onto them from behind which really makes the photographs come to life. Furthermore, this helps with making the designs more visible but also resembles more modern screens and almost gives the illusion of three dimensionality.
Below you can see some examples from what the audience created during the opening night of the exhibition. Some worked alone, some with friends, some just took a peak of what others made (basically browsed through the website). Either way all together they created an analog website based on the prompt "Rename the Internet".
For this idea to form and be finalised it took months of hard work and research. The soul of this project is community, counterculture, openness and inter creativity. All parts of my process and research are made public and the design outcome itself is a manifestation of all those values. The installation that you see above is only one path that I explored but the analog website can be used in many different ways, from design toolkit to a game, and for that reason I invite people to ask questions or adopt the idea and develop it in different ways. Furthermore, there are many different websites one can create for the analog website and many different materials that one can use.