We both love working the space between design and development and using those skills to illuminate our other interests and passions outside of technology. Both iterative and design-thinking-minded by trade, we began this project by finding an overlap between our technical learning objectives and our intention behind our content. We identify interest in working in a 3-dimension space and using data science and typography to create a dynamic duo of words. Inspired by National Poetry Month, we created a spatial environment that allows users to explore traditionally linear media in new ways.
After brainstorming potential content ideas, we explored whether we wanted to explore the subject of poetry as an analysis of a large body of work or a timeline of change over time. We settled on the former due to its ability to create a sharper and more focused mission. Scraping data from poets.org, the only non-profit focused both on preserving pieces of the past and promoting the contemporary. We ran a selection of poems through Microsoft Cognitive Service's text analysis API to extract key phrases from each body of work. These key phrases became the themes we sorted poems under. The sentiment analysis allowed us to quickly tease out themes in poems and allow us to categorize them under multiple moods. Our final four themes, based on their frequency in our API calls, were birth, anxiety, hope, and death.
Multiple years in design studio settings have shown us that pen and paper + whiteboarding are our sweet spots. Through the course of copious sketches of potential layout and UI options, we settled on a spherical space to give all content equal weight and remain true to our intention of providing an alternative to linear storytelling.
Throughout, we made sure our designs were directly tied to context and complemented the content rather than speak for it. Our illustration style and typeface selection are contemporary but understated to allow the words to shine.
We hope to create an experience that allows for multiple entry points to poetry and literature.