CraftDB: Online portfolio sites for artisans, via Whatsapp
CraftDB is a simple way for artisans to develop online records of their work to share with future generations and current buyers.
The project began with several months of user research and needfinding. Traveling to remote villages, I learned that artisans found it important to document their work for archival purposes, but also for sales. Smartphones were common even in the most far-flung places, and artisans often communicated with their buyers via Whatsapp. Though most artisans had a desire to put their work online, they also had concerns about protecting their IP.
Working with Payam Azadi, a US-based software engineer, I designed and prototyped CraftDB, a tool allowing artisans to upload photos and descriptions of their work to their own online portfolio directly via Whatsapp. Each artisan's portfolio page is password protected. Before leaving India, I conducted training sessions in the community to user test the tool. After a warm reception, it is currently in development.
User research with local artisans:
User testing with artisans: