Responses by Beth Blinebury; founder, designer and developer; Blinebury Design.
Background: This website was launched in late March 2020 as a response to the global COVID pandemic. As a creative, I felt the need to put something good out into the world. This website is my small effort to provide people with an outlet to share what they are feeling during these surreal and uncertain times.
Users have two options when visiting the site: to share what they are feeling and how they want to feel. These two options were chosen very intentionally to highlight that what we are feeling now can and will change. We can cope with this crisis.
Design core: The website’s design relies on strong typography and a strategic use of color. Each individual feeling added to the site displays in reverse chronological order with the latest feelings appearing at the top. Each feeling is color coded depending on the words or phrases present in a user’s submission. For example, the word safe triggers shades of orange while the word frustrated triggers shades of fuchsia. The list of trigger words that control the color display has been updated several times as users have added their feelings to the website. The strategy behind the color coding was to reaffirm that we are connected by our shared experience and response to this unique crisis we are all dealing with.
Divergent paths: The nice part of this project is that it continues to evolve. My original thinking was to incorporate more specific geolocation mapping, tracking feelings by location. This is certainly something I could build into the site in the future, but my main goal was to get it up as quickly as possible so that people could share their thoughts.
Response: Within the first 48 hours of the project being live, I learned that overall we are all feeling a lot of the same things. The two terms that stuck out initially were anxiety and control: users expressed that they were feeling anxious and wanted to feel in control. These types of feelings are honestly no surprise, but it was interesting to see how often people used these words.
Technology: The website is built in WordPress and features a custom front-end design. The back end utilizes a custom post type for each individual feeling and the plugin Gravity Forms is being harnessed to convert the front-end forms into the feelings posts.