The Uber for t-shirts
This week was great for us, we worked hard and came to great insights that changed our project's path.
Pivot into gig economy
At the first supervision we got some good feedback. We talked about how we should show and not tell what our message is and how we could make that obvious to people without just explicitly stating it in text.
The supervision led us into discussing how we could make our statement more obvious by not having the consumer do the work, which could be seen as a nice thing, and instead make the consumer a more active part in the exploitation of workers. The shop will be some kind of gig-worker sweat shop where you as the consumer both order the t-shirt and decide who should sew it. We decided to reduce each worker into a profile picture, name, price and rating. This feels like a gig-app approach where you try to balance the humanity and productification of the gig-worker. The customer would have to add a t-shirt to the cart and then add a worker that should get the work.
I like how it is a bit double edged, like the "t-shirt economy" concept where developing countries are exploited by the west but still might be better off than without the work. It's a complex question in my opinion.
We made a new iteration of the web store and tested it on ourselves and some class mates. You feel dirty as you are shopping for workers, just as intended.
We decided to reuse the IKEA-like instructions that we made and turn them into an app. As we wouldn't send the instructions to the customer we modified them a bit and made a mockup for a gig worker app where they can accept jobs and get the instructions for sewing and how to thank the customer. It felt good to be able to reuse this as Veronika had spent a lot of time doing the instructions and it would be a shame to waste that nice work.
To collect it all together I was put on the task to make a website for the fictional company where they would try to sell their services to customers and gig workers. We tried to keep the tone very peppy and positive as a company would at least try to believe their own message.
Turning it up a notch
On our second supervision with Peter we got the feedback to make it more extreme. It feels like Peter and Clint see things quite differently at times. Peter suggested to make sales on the workers and we took that idea and developed it further to incorporate global warming and other problems that developing countries might face.
We decided to add some advertising banners to the "choose your worker" screen in the web shop. This was done to skew it a bit further for the crowd that would just look at it and say "good for them to get a job".
Presentation is next week but I am confident in our project and that I will have time to make the website.