Meaning and transferring quality of paper

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The aim of this project is to explore the territory of paper based materials and interactions of sending postcards. The insights can help us to understand what are the reasons that trigger people to continue using postcards when they have instant messaging tools at hand and how paper materials support it. Furthermore, the results can reflect to the digital social media. This project includes three directions: I. Paper materials. II. Transfer quality from a source product to other target products. III. Reflections on the impact from digital social media. The initial idea of this project was that we were wondering why still many people like to use paper based communication when digital social media is more convenient. Papers and paper-based communication must have something unique and beautiful. Therefore, we started researching paper materials and found out some important factors that may influence how people perceive different types of paper. Then, we used those factors as a tool kit to define each paper property. We gave each paper a character and believed those can provide a reference for people and designers when they need to choose a paper material. Afterward, we focused on transferring characteristics and select postcards as a source product. Postcard is a unique communication tool today. It conveys many personal, emotional connections. Additionally, the slowness and simplicity make it stand out from other traditional communications and even digital social media cannot compete with it. In addition, the target product is calendar and the target group is Taiwanese young modern family. The reason for choosing it was that Taiwanese calendar market is decreasing rapidly because of technology, such as smart phone. Young generation rarely uses it. However, postcards are still popular among young people. Therefore, in this project we use Emotion Design Driven method to extract characteristics (personal connection, time, efforts, curiosity and expectation) from postcards. Hoping that by applying those to calendars will be able to bring calendars back to young generation’s market. As the result, the final concept is Bedtime Story Calendar for Taiwanese young family. It includes a small story with an origami for each day. Parents use the origami to perform the storytelling. The results showed that origami simulates parent-child relationship. The interaction is geared by children’s curiosity and expectation. However, due to lack of research in children storybooks domain, contents of the concept can be developed further. At the end of this project, we discussed the challenges of digital social media based on the researches of paper materials and postcards. We found that paper carries the characteristics of personal feeling, relaxing and creativity, however, digital social media is too tool-like in this sense. Moreover, because digital social media requires less efforts and time, people feel it is less personal than paper based communications. Those are the challenges for digital social media we found out from this project.