What is Gramore?
In the olden days, we used to spend hours using a blank double cassette player to carefully craft mixtape in order to share and express our longing in an artsy way. We used to record our own voice and make beautiful album cover and sometimes leave a handwritten intimidating verse. This expression as a gift to someone led to strengthening the bond between you and him/her. But today in the digital age, that experience of gifting is diminished.
Gramore explores in creating a unique and personalised gifting experience. Gramore is a hand crafted paper card with a memorable photograph and a beautiful verse. It lets you express your emotion through a song in a physical medium which is as much as about listening as it is about looking and holding in the hands.
In other words Gramore is a paper card with a photograph in front and hand written message at the back while containing a memorable song with your voice letting you express yourself.
Who is Gramore for?
In every cultural people exchange gifts. For some it’s an expression of gratitude while for some it’s an expression of love & friendship. People express themselves through different medium. They write letter instead of having face to face conversation. They dedicate the song to someone special to tell what they feel. The aim of Gramore is to evoke powerful emotions. Through my research, I realised that there are plenty of ways to share music. However the physicality in gifting music in order to evoke those powerful emotions, was missing. I felt the need of creating an alternative way for sharing music.
The way people express themselves differs with context. For example the way we express to our boss will be different from the way we express to our partner. With such a wide range of contexts, Gramore is not for a specific group of people, rather it’s an experience for anyone who wants to express and connect emotionally through music and photograph in a much personalised way.
What is the Impact of Gramore?
Every year billions of gifts are exchanged and millions of songs are gifted. The beauty of the project is to have digital music in physical form. Gramore’s physicality gives a feeling of attached and belonging while successfully creating sentimental attachment.
Prototypes were made and tested with people from various age groups and different profession (Students & professors from different institutes of architecture, management, design and engineering; IT professionals & managers working in corporate offices). Gramore received an overwhelming response. Based on interviews and observations, it was found that Givers (one who is gifting the card) were excited to make gift for their loved ones. They were looking for old photographs and trying to remember the songs they sang together or had fond memories associated. Few made an illustration and painted portraits. Givers used the card for different context like birthday, to say Thank-you/Sorry and even to ask someone for a date.
Receivers (who receive the card) were overwhelmed which left a big smile on their faces while tears of joy onto others. They appreciated that someone (giver) made an effort to make them a card. The emotional attachment was heightened by the fact that the card brings together the aural experience with the haptic and the visual one. People carried the card in their pocket while listening to its content and showing around to other people and some pinned it up on the soft-board.
Design Process and Prototypes
Gramore started as self initiated exploration of sharing music through physical medium which developed as a “Digi-Analogue” gifting experience that combines aural, haptic and visual senses creating a sentimentally attachment.
Doing initial research and brainstorming, Gramore was developed over iterative process of prototyping and testing. Focusing on the experience of Gramore, different aspect such as form, materials, electronics were explored. The prototype invited Giver to play with the visual and sound for the card. On the other hand, it gave Receiver to experience Gramore. Through a series of prototypes, different experiences were observed and I was able to honed key decisions.
Final prototype was a paper card on 2 millimetre thickness with clear photograph in the front and written message at the back. A hacked mp3 player was nicely packaged between two sheets of paper. The small opening at the top was neatly hand crafted for the headphone jack which not only allow a person to hear the audio content but also acts as on/off switch.