I started my analysis by attempting to identify a range of cards that was not already catered for. My analysis is below:
In summary, my ideas for cards were:
Cards that women can give to their women friends to celebrate something, that for women is significant, but that their male partners would not necessarily appreciate. And vice versa for men too.
This idea came from my husband completely failing to notice I had changed my hairstyle, when my girlfriends all noticed immediately. This was my first idea.
Cards for niche groups such as Morris Dancers or Folk Musicians.
I am related to a folk musician and morris dancer. I know very little about either pastime but I feel that there is a real sense of community within these groups and that there might be an opportunity to develop cards with some ‘in jokes’ or to celebrate events that were specific to these groups.
Cards for Cat Lovers
Another niche group but I felt this had already been done before.
Empathy cards for unpleasant or unfortunate situations
This was inspired by the cards available for people diagnosed with cancer, available on the Not Another Bunch of Flowers website. I felt this idea could be expanded to other conditions such as the menopause or alopcia. I did find a very limited number of cards on-line already catering for the menopause.
Cards that empathise for specific medical conditions or illnesses.
Get well soon cards are widespread but I considered the possibility of creating cards for specific, common conditions, such as heart problems, e.g. ‘Sorry to hear about your dicky ticker’.
Empathy cards for when someone has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
What on earth do you say to someone who has been told they have a terminal disease? – You can hardly give them a ‘get well soon’ card. It is very difficult to know what to say to people in these situations. I thought there was an opportunity to create cards that would help people to articulate their empathy and support for people in this situation. Interestingly, I did not find many cards online that already catered for this.
‘Anti’ Cards – Cards in support of people who choose not to follow societies conventions.
Perusing cards in my local Post Office, I noticed a number of cards that I would never receive, even though society probably thinks I should, for example, I didn’t get engaged before I got married, I decided not to have children, I don’t celebrate my wedding anniversary. I considered creating ‘anti-cards’ which could be sent in support of these alternative life choices.
Cards for feminists
I considered developing a series of cards that feminists could send to their feminist friends to poke gentle fun at society’s sexism. However, I felt there was already quite a lot of cards like this available.
Cards for Nothing in Particular
I considered developing a range of cards for trivial, almost ‘non-events’ that would just allow people to connect with each other, for example a card inviting a friend ‘Let’s go Shopping’.
Developing the Ideas Further
For each of the ideas, I explored a bit further to establish which ideas had the most potential, thinking about what kind of cards I could create and to what extent the group or sentiment had already been catered for.
I quite quickly rejected the ‘cards for nothing in particular’, ‘cards for feminists’ and ‘cards for cat lovers’ as research of on-line card websites suggested that these areas were already catered for.
I also rejected the ‘anti-cards’ as they felt a little mean-spirited. I wasn’t convinced that there would be a meaningful audience for these cards. Plenty of people choose not to follow society’s conventions but I’m not sure how many need to have their choices recognised or affirmed by people sending cards. If someone sent me a card saying ‘congratulations for defying convention and choosing not having children’, I couldn’t be sure that they weren’t being sarcastic. I decided this area would be too problematic and it would be best to steer clear.
For the cards that women can give to their women friends to celebrate something that for women is significant but that their male partners would not necessarily appreciate, I started to do some more detailed analysis but quickly ground to a halt. I was struggling to expand this idea beyond my initial concept so rejected it in favour of an idea which I thought had greater potential.
For the ideas around empathy cards for unfortunate conditions, specific illnesses and terminal diagnoses, I thought the cards for people with a terminal illness had the most potential as I could find very little on line that already catered for this. I have also had recent personal experience of a friend having been diagnosed with terminal cancer – I felt I wanted to make the gesture of sending a card but it is incredibly difficult to know what to write in it, so there would be scope to develop cards that could help with this.
I researched on-line, reading advice websites or blogs written by people with terminal illnesses who provided insight to their own experiences, in order to understand what you should (and shouldn’t) say to people with a terminal illness.
The most useful websites I found are below:
I felt that there was definitely scope to develop a range of cards here.
Regarding cards for niche groups such as Morris Dancers or Folk Musicians, I started researching the area of morris dancers. The ‘mind map’ I developed is below. I decided that the option of developing a range of cards for morris dancers had a lot of potential and would be the range that I would focus on for this assignment. My detailed analysis for this is covered in the next post.