Hobbyist

As children, we explore, we create, we aspire, we try new things. 
As we get older, we try less and less things, and have less and less hobbies. This website, with a short survey, will help you renew your passion by suggesting a new hobby for you, complete with resources to help you get started.

Collaborator: Galaxia Wu

Overview

Our world is vast and full of exciting things for us to discover. Hobbies are powerful, whether it is to reduce stress, socialize, or personal improvement, it is a remedy for all. The problem is, how do we come across a new hobby right for us, if not by chance? Hobbyist is a website that serves to help people find a new passion or hobby, based on their personality traits and general interests determined by a test. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychological studies show that young adults taking on a healthy, new hobby is a good form of both short-term confidence boost and long-term emotional well-being. Although the hobby itself is not necessarily long-lasting, the act of trying new things is important for personal development. We also want to exclude the addictive, unhealthy and destructive hobbies such as excessive video gaming, partying, and illegal activities. With our curated list of hobbies and resources, this website serves to be a breath of fresh air for young adults to engage in new things. 

 

Problem

Young adults of the digital age are increasingly more and more disinterested in new things, especially in pursuing hobbies that can be long-lasting and harder to get into. I want this website to be a call-for-action in the minds of teens and young adults to try something new and unconventional. For example, although young adults in the U.S. spend around 5 hours a day on leisure and hobby activities, the most common activities are things they are already familiar and comfortable with. Picking up a new hobby is rare, especially unconventional ones that have little resources for them.

With research, I could not find any website that had a compilation of interesting hobbies that were catered to each individual user. Quora was the closest to something individualized. HobbyHelp provides great, in-depth beginner guides to various hobbies, but they are not personalized nor sorted in any way. The websites with certain hobbies for certain personality traits did not give an in-depth explanation on the suggested hobbies, leaving the user to do most of their own research. Even with many articles about a certain hobby, there is no central place for a lot of them with a lot of depth.

Users

We aim to cater this site to teens and young adults, as it is often the moment in life that they finally become free to pursue their own interests rather than those prescribed of society and parents. As one would figure, they can also easily become lost, falling into an unhealthy, unproductive hobby or not pursuing new hobbies at all. We conducted studies on three different user scenarios, which were all considered in the final product and user experience, specifically in the questions of the survey. 

  • Lots of downtime on his job so he bakes bread and plays games in his free time. 

  • Jumps between different hobbies a lot, already tried most of the common ones like musical instruments, hiking, cooking, etc. 

  • Wants to try something more interesting and expand his scope, as he's been hoping to find a suitable hobby he can enjoy, even if tempo.

Will, age 26 

Full-time mechanical engineer 

Aliyah, age 20

Sophomore university student

  • Incredibly good test-taker and part of many leadership clubs. However, breaking routine is difficult and she finds most of her free time on the phone or watching movies. 

  • She wants something that can make her more unique socially, but also make her more confident in herself without the negative stress that comes with her school activities in the leadership club.

Catherine, age 17

High school student during the transition to university 

  • After finishing her exams and applications to university, she finds herself wanting to try new activities out of boredom. 

  • She wishes that she knew where to start looking for new hobbies to try, and the resources she needs. 

  • Time commitment and money is something she is very particular about when looking for a hobby.

Ideation

We went through a pre-design planning phase to brainstorm the best ways to go about each feature of the website. My sketches below show my thinking for this project, which went through many iterations. 

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Solution

The main reasons why people don’t pursue new hobbies are that it is simply too hard to find something new and interesting enough for them to try out. And even when something does seem interesting, it is hard to continue it because they find out that it is difficult to get into. Therefore, we want to identify them so that the hobby result is catered to their personality and concerns. For example, those who are inpatient would be recommended a hobby with little to no learning curve. Expendable income, free time, and general interests are also considered.

The aim of Hobbyist is to expedite the process of looking for an interesting hobby, personally catered with a survey and high quality information design for the user to know about the hobby at a glance. After taking the survey, the users are first given 3 options to consider

For our visual design, we decided on something overall playful, with a fun mix of lines and shapes that give the user a sense of adventure and curiosity. The visual style was consistent throughout the pages, defined by these traits:

Rounded corners: Casual, organic, approachable

Primary pastel colors: Curious, interesting, fun

Clean and readable: easy-to-read fonts, consistent and constant hierarchies

In the middle of the project, we had a massive visual overhaul and went through iterations with the visuals, specifically the thematic choices. Originally we developed a visual style that emulated the solar system, showing the user the vastness of the world. However, it didn't convey the sense of curiosity and potential fun that one can have with a new hobby or activity.

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Reflection

Hobbyist made me realize how rewarding it feels to create a potential solution to a problem I genuinely care about. However, brainstorming solutions for the problem was difficult when we did not have much guidance on the psychology of teens and those who are looking for hobbies not within the human references we have. At first, our website was more like a personality test as the results were mostly about how one should go about choosing a new hobby rather than suggesting new hobbies that are potential matches for the user. In this case, we tested that users are more likely to pursue hobbies when actual examples were given. This made me realize how important user input is to understanding the problem to its full extent. 

 

©2020 by Elizabeth Yuan.