Valentine’s day is nearly upon us and, like many, you may be short on ideas for gifts for that special someone; or maybe that special someone lives far away and shipping a physical item won’t arrive in time. You could send an e-card, or maybe send some money through Paypal, but those options just won’t do the job.
BoonSpace has you covered by combining one of the best e-card creators and sending money as a digital gift. You can show you still care with a unique and very personal e-card as well as a digital gift, in place of a physical one, that can be used to purchase whatever your special someone really wants. We’ll take a look at BoonSpace and how they can help out this Valentines.
Basically, BoonSpace lets you create a unique and creative e-card in combination with a digital gift, which is just a creative way of sending money via Paypal.
Right off the bat, you can see the home page has a pretty good starting design — especially the creative globe graphic — but needs improvements in typography and a couple other minor areas. If the internal web app has about the same quality of design, it should be a pleasure to use.
Once you’ve completed the sign up form, you’re immediately sent to the main app for creating gifts. This means there are no extra steps necessary to get started, something I really like. Although you can use the internal web app right away, you are sent a registration verification email that is required before your account removes the “unverified” status.
The web app interface uses a pretty creative design that’s flash driven for those neat interface effects and interactivity.
Using the app is straight forward and quite simple. Start by selecting the icon of the media you would like to add to your gift. I’ve selected E-card, as shown below.
With a nice, smooth and creative transition, you’ll be brought to another part of the app to customize the media type you first selected. If you’re not sure what to do, click the Video Tutorial button in the top right of the app area for help. Video tutorials are a nice addition for help as many people learn much easier with visual guidance.
Once you’ve made your selections or edits, click the Select button in the lower right of the app area (or whatever the button in that area might say). In my case, I’m now customizing the inside of my E-card gift.
The editing options are pretty limited right now; text options have very few font faces, sizes and other editing options while theme selection is limited in each category. I can only assume this will improve as the app has more time to develop.
The last thing you’ll do is preview the media you’ve customized for your gift before moving on to the next step.
As you finish customizing the media you initially selected, you’ll move on to the next media to optionally add more to your gift. Having started with the E-card, I’ll be able to add a Photo, Video or Audio. They all have creative icon and graphic designs with a good selection of capabilities such as recording a video (or taking a photo) using a webcam along with uploading your own. For audio, you’ll be able to use their “recording studio” to add audio to your gift — a nice touch.
Once you reach the gift stage of the app, you’ll have three options. The free version allows you to send the multimedia portion of the “gift”, essentially making it a great way to make an E-card only. Paying $1 allows you to send a virtual gift animation, while the third option allows you to send money via Paypal and attach a virtual gift. I’ve selected the third option.
When choosing a gift, you’ll have a decent selection of categories and items to choose from. It won’t obviously have what you might be looking for, but it might be close. The point here is that you’re selecting a virtual gift you would’ve normally sent, but will be sending money instead.
Once you select your gift and customize your gift packaging, you give your gift a value to add money via Paypal to send.
When you’re done, you can preview your gift; which is a flash animated gift box. Once opened, out comes the items you’ve added to your gift for viewing or collecting. This is a much more interactive and creative way to send money or e-cards, which I think people will appreciate the time spent customizing something unique.
Once you’re ready to send the gift, you’ll fill out the recipient’s details (no physical address necessary), enter payment and confirm your gift purchase.
BoonSpace added additional features to the web app to keep you coming back. You’re able to see a history of saved, sent or received gifts as well as manage alerts, reminders, events and friends. It makes BoonSpace a nice app for managing special occasions and gift giving.
BoonSpace is a great way to send a very personal and unique gift, in digital form. Even if you just want to send a neat e-card for free, the app is very easy to use and creatively designed. Overall though, customization options in some areas, such as the e-card and photo, are quite limited. I’d like to see more options added and maybe some more creative integration with today’s social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
The overall design of the site is nice but, in my opinion, needs a few improvements to really bump up the quality feeling of the site and even app itself. The functionality of the app seemed flawless, as I had absolutely no issues and noticed no quirks but your experience may be different. The advantage of a flash based web app, will be easier cross-platform development; so functionality shouldn’t be an issue.
I’m giving BoonSpace an 8/10 because among a large crowd of e-card sites and apps, they’ve done it right. It’s simple, easy, creative and unique. It does need improvements and further development but it’s on the right track.