A paperless city guide

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Vancouver Culture Guide

Designers: Ricky Castro, Brooke Mackay



At every AIGA biennial conference, attendees receive a printed Culture Guide that showcases local attractions, shops, and restaurants of the host city. That year, the theme of the conference was sustainability, so the printed guides, with their limited life span, seemed shortsighted and wasteful. We were asked to create a virtual culture guide, and as interactive designers, we saw the project as an opportunity to both save resources and improve upon past printed guides.

     We started our research, eating and traveling throughout Vancouver with guidebooks in tow. We quickly realized that no matter how well the books were organized, the information was never the way we needed it. We knew there was a better way.

     With maps on our worktable, and business cards, scraps of paper, and 3 x 5 inch cards strewn about, the solution became clear. We would create an interface to sort through virtual cards and interact with a digital map. Visually, we tried to keep the design true to this idea and added technology only where it made the most sense.

     One feature that worked particularly well was the cell phone/e-mail functionality. On the Web and at the computer stations where the guide would be used, we knew attendees would want to take their selected recommendations with them. If people were to print out pages or jot down notes, it would have defeated the purpose of having it online. By allowing them to send the recommendations as e-mail or text messages to their cell phones, we were able to avoid the need for paper entirely. 


Launch project

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