Putting Olio to the Test
Have you heard about Olioboard? No? Well don't worry I will fill you in. Olioboard is an online mood board maker, similar to Polyvore, but for interiors. And like Polyvore, it is a maddening yet satisfying time eater. Here is the game; you get a blank board and fill it with all the goodies you can fit on to it; furniture, wallpaper, fabric, flooring, accessories and even your own images. Then, using their sizing, layering and cropping tools you end up with a wondrous concept board that helpfully links to all the products. I had so so much fun testing it out, here was my first attempt;
Sounds pretty great right? Yeah, well it is when you have that kid in a candy shop attitude, feeling carefree in your inspiration or art making. The problem comes when you say, have a budget, specific items in mind, or wish to see items from more than a select 10 stores (no Ikea?!). And being adept at photoshop I struggle with the limited and non-specific tools Olio offers. Although there are many active users creating a bounty for creative and elaborate boards, I am not alone in being disinclined to use it as a consistent tool; seeing as Compete.com reports Olio only has 8.5k unique visitors a month.
Don't get me wrong, I actually do love it. I am excited there is a site like Olioboard and I am confident it will only get better and I certainly will be watching. For now Olio is best for eye candy, playtime, quick and easy idea jotting or testing, communicating a style or idea, and general fun if you are nerdy like me. I used it for my Pinpointing Ourselves Post earlier this month, making a rough board and searching for items on Olio then taking them to photoshop to clean it up. And it was a glorious thing because I was simply exploring style elements and unrestricted by price or practicality. It allowed me to try new things because it was such a low risk of my time and I really appreciated that aspect.
Here are some lovely examples from more experienced users:
So, in conclusion I encourage you play and explore with Olioboard. Try new things, create jumping off points for fabulous, have fun and just leave your practical hat out of it.