I never thought about how the search feature could take away from the "Choose Your Own Adventure/Journey" feel. Maybe they can only use the search feature after they do the initial journey, create an account, or complete a guided virtual tour of the entire website. That way it is ensured that they are exposed to all of the features of the website.
The journey they first complete can serve as the foundation of their profile. It links them to the initial resources they see on their profile, the suggested stories/interviews of students they should view, the social community they might want to connect with. When I think of your idea I visualize something like the Linked-In connection bubbles, or the way a Prezi presentation moves (if that makes sense).
And I would love to be in on the designs! I'm not sure what role you would like me to play, but I am more than willing to at least spout ideas.
I love the idea! I work with a lot of different students that have varying stories. While I can connect to them all in different ways it would be great for them to have a resource from which they can find a college student or graduate that has a similar story to them.
I just have two comments:
1. If this is going to be a website or app, will there be a sort of search function or categorization of stories? I think it would be nice that if students can filter the stories posted by different specifications by location, school attended (college and high school), extracurricular activities, religion, ethnicity/race, income, learning disabilities, high school g.p.a./ACT score etc. These specifications seem really personal, but I believe that these are really categorizations that impacts a student's life experience. Students want to see how someone like them succeeded.
2. Will students have a way to reach out to the individuals who post a story? Or at least a forum to share their own personal story with other individuals viewing the website? I think it would be amazing if your College Success Digital Story evolved into something that is more than a one-way communication community. If students can also talk to each other based on the success story of one individual they connected with that serves as another resource/support-system they can depend on.
I love your idea and can't wait to see it develop fully and help so many students on their journey to higher education.