Each Spring, professor Justin Bakse requires his students to share their sketches online as part of a daily sketching practice in his class Computational Form. Unsatisfied by off-the-shelf blogs, Justin and I built Avalanche, a collaborative site for students to post their sketches and provide each other feedback.

Check it out >> compform.net

During Fall 2016, we designed and built the website and during Spring 2017, we user tested it with Justin's class.
Sharing unfinished creative work can be tough. The design focused on encouraging students to post frequently and feel comfortable posting unfinished sketches and ideas while fostering a competitive atmosphere.

Pride is a powerful tool. In order to motivate students to post regularly we created a status bar that greeted students each time they visited the site that publicly displayed their post status that week.

Slacking and procrastination was obvious and that motivated students to post regularly. They got a sense of satisfaction when they reached 'green' each week.
The number of likes received on a social media post is often tied to students self esteem. To limit discouragement, we decided to use emojis as interactions. Their vague non-binary nature allowed students to express more that 'I like this'. We included the heart eyes emoji, the nerd glasses emoji and the laugh crying emoji.

We also allowed students to include inspiration links in their posts to help guide other students and provide useful resources. In order to encourage discussion during class, we avoided adding a comment section to posts.