To give a little context to the idea, in 2018 I started collecting coins from all over the world. I actually started when I was 5 years old, only I stopped doing it in the high school (so I wouldn't look so geeky).
The first thing I came across is that after about 300 coins I didn't know exactly what I had and what I didn't (PS. I'm not that old, but the memory didn't want to help me.). I took a tour of the internet and found ways to make your own digital catalog, (All Numis, Numista), but I didn't like the UI and the overall experience so much.
The second thing, at one point I said to focus a bit on the Romanian circulation coins, which I found, RomanianCoins, or very expensive paper catalogs. Very well documented, but again we come to a not so nice UI, see:
Let's do something more visually pleasing!
As I began to sketch something, the subconscious thought to scream… "Dude, what's the first thing you do before any project."
A: Discover people's needs / problems, don't limit yourself to your own assumptions.
After a google search about numismatists in Romania, I found almost nothing, only a few associations, which still have the "message of President Ion Iliescu" (president of Romania in early 2000) in the description and some websites that can also be included in a collection of antiques.
But where are the numismatists?
I found them on Facebook, I searched based on few tags and I quickly found about 30 groups with about 43,000 members (I did an excel, I didn't count on my fingers).
I made a survey and distributed it in groups. I chat in messenger with 3 people and called 2 people from whom I bought coins in the past.Very open people, about 40+ respondents on the survery after a couple of hours.
- Many complain about "scalpers" and overvalued prices.
- Replicas, copies and many fakes on the market.
- Lack of events for the community, except for a few fairs.
- Those who have recently started collecting do not have much guidance on how they should behave with their collections.
Numistenta is a tool for managing coin collections and for the community to use to organize and help other numismatists. I choosed to design it as a Mobile App because from the answers received, the main reason why people used Facebook to organize and post their collection is that they can easily access it from their phones.
The other problems that weren't addressed like fake coins or a "scalpers" on the market. Even though I have written down some possible solutions: Certificates of authenticity on blockchain or a market place with peer reviews for the sellers, I left them for the next steps in case the simple version of the app will show some traction.
Mandatory features that the app should have based of the competitive landscape:
- Users can have predefined collections.
- Users can create and manage their collections.
- Users can see the details of a coin.
- Users can search, find, and filter coins by attributes.
- Users can learn about numismatic ecosystem.
Playing with pixels
I used Adobe XD for the UI and for the clickable prototype.
Users can find predefined collections, most of which are related to the countries of origin of the coins. Users can check the details of the coins and mark them if they have them in their personal collection.
In case the user does not find a specific collection or has a special one, he can create his own custom collection. All you have to do is add your name, select your collection type (e.g. circulation coins) and set a goal of items.
Add new coin
As a collector I can add my coins to my collections, and add details such as their condition (grade) or their number.
In the surveys people complained that they do not find events. I thought that easier that the events could be found directly in the app. I didn't want it to be something complex, after all the purpose of the application is not event management.
Something that I would liked to find when I started collecting. Information on how to manage a collection, to take care of coins, what are the degrees of rarity or what tools do I need.
The articles will be added based on the research that I've done, and in the future to be added by the community.
I started the actual implementation of the application using Bubble.io (a no-code app), only the process was not as fast as I imagined. Priorities have changed and I have abandoned the project.
Later edit: The lock down during Covid (2020) gave the project another chance, only I resumed it for my own collection and wrote it directly in HTML, CSS and JS. You can check it out here → Numistenta.
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