7. The Prototype: Purpose and Philosophy

twinIsles.dev >> Photography on the Web

A prototype web site, twinIsles, was developed to demonstrate the practical application of many of the issues discussed in the preceding sections.

7.1 Purpose
The main purpose of the site is to harness the web's potential as a medium for information exchange in the field of photography. This is to be achieved by the provision of a searchable, online stock library of downloadable royalty-free images together with various resources for both photographers and image users.

7.2 Philosophy and Target Audience
In keeping with Small's assertion [90] that the Internet is about "communicating with people" twinIsles is intended to be a virtual meeting place for two complementary user groups, namely photographers and image users. Also in keeping with Small's recommended approach of evolutionary design the prototype presented here is merely the first incarnation of a resource that is intended to develop and change in response to its users' wishes.

A newcomer to the online stock photography sector must combine the positive features of existing offerings, such as easy and flexible searching and intuitive navigation, with new features that will attract contributing photographers to build the size of its collection, and image users to take advantage of that collection.

Image users currently enjoy a large choice of online sources from which to fulfil their requirements. To differentiate itself from its existing rivals a newcomer must offer something they do not. In the case of twinIsles it is hoped that the attention of potential users will be attracted by the offer of "postcard sized" preview images for unlimited free usage with the proviso that any such use gives credit to the site from which they originated. Provided the images are of sufficiently high quality they will be used and hence generate further publicity for the site.

Since a major advantage of the Internet is the ease of communication it offers, the site provides a forum in which image users and photographers may communicate freely. Additionally the site will provide frequently updated content to persuade users to visit repeatedly.

Photography is an immensely popular hobby with countless participants worldwide. Serious hobbyist photographers collectively hold an enormous and varied collection of images, but it is likely that many of them have never tried to make their work available to a wider audience. The all-pervasive medium of the Internet may be just the tool to persuade those photographers to share their efforts with the world. It has therefore been decided that the site will target this group as potential contributors.

twinIsles.dev >> Photography on the Web

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