BCM 114

The Femme Edition: Contextual Essay

‘The Femme Edition’ is a design focusing on the exhibition of literature aimed at young adults. TFE was “designed by women, for everyone” and is presented in the form of a website, which includes monthly and weekly blogposts, as well as an Instagram page which connects me to followers. I wanted to create the Femme Edition because through my research, I found that the bookstagram community was lacking in spaces for young people to grow and come together to chat about literature. As noted by ‘The Lit Nerd’, “Bookstagram can be a part-time job and is very competitive” (2019) so I wanted my space to be unique and my own but also incorporating #FIST. The Femme Edition can therefore act as a social unit, bringing people together whilst also contributing to my passion and hope to become a publisher. This digital artefact is essentially providing users with something they don’t already have by targeting young people and the love of all literature, not just one genre.

Based on my research involving online book communities, I decided to make a website and Instagram as this seemed the most effective way to reach out and share my thoughts whilst also engaging In the aesthetically-pleasing side of bookstagram. It is widely known that the book sharing side of Instagram is forever-growing and although it is a “part-time job” (2019) for many people, I knew if I was passionate and incorporated #BEBO (blog early, blog often) I could reach a number of people. I thought this method of sharing was useful for my audience because it would reach the most amount of people possible while not limiting myself to one platform. 

The Femme Edition was a project that required a lot of effort but was successful. Incorporating ideologies from my pitch and beta, we can see a timeline of progression e.g. my project started as a webpage involving a number of topics with no clear focus and was later specified into a book related website and Instagram.

Sheevokes, my first attempt at my artefact. I wasn’t passionate, there was no colour scheme or weekly layout as there is with my project now.

Beginning with my pitch, I originally planned to form a website for young women that involved a range of topics and issues such as body, health, travel, fashion etc… but after feedback from Instagram users I sensed that my project had no sense of direction. Whilst my project did incorporate the process of producing and curating content, it wasn’t particularly aimed at anyone. Moving on to my Beta section of my digital artefact, I had then narrowed down my original DA to suit the needs of myself and users, taking on advice through feedback loops to alter my artefact for maximum engagement. My pages were now growing and gaining attention. As shown in comments, direct messages and Instagram analytics, we can see that my page is growing and getting more likes and feedback the more I post (#BEBO). Step one was to plan out physically what I wanted to show. I mind-mapped and used other Instagram pages such as ‘The Lit Edit‘ for inspiration. I took incentive from how others spoke to their followers e.g. “How are you liking this book? Let me know in the comments” and their designs on their pages, usually bright and simple. One example of a feedback loop that I found beneficial to my project was the advice to blog about a certain genre one week, I took this and applied it to my blog and found that the response was good whilst also adding a range of ideas to my page, therefore engaging a wider audience.

The response and community reaction I got when going my instagram community of book lovers!

One of the accounts I took inspiration from!

Whilst critically analysing the growth and social utility of my project, we can see a clear aim of the audience (book-orientated people) and the progression it made to meet the standards I am at now. Below is a cycle displaying the growth of my project, week by week, based on the changes I made. Firstly I made, asked for feedback and changed, then iterated.

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