FirstCut

Building mutual connections

ABOUT

Monster is a two week design challenge that I put together for a gaming company. The goal was to create an app that would help users build mutual connections with others. 

MY ROLE

For this personal project, I did user research through dating apps and online chat platforms to understand and synthesize users needs for building mutual connections that led to ideation and design decisions.

DELIVERABLES

I created doodles, paper prototypes and tested them early on. I built wireframes through sketch and sent a PDF presentation and an Invision prototype to test and iterate before sending to the client.

THE CHALLENGE

USERS WANT TO BUILD CONNECTIONS

Designing a social media app that will let people create relationships and connections online with others. They must be able to meet anyone around the world, start a conversation and continue it if need be.

 

"I am always looking for others with shared goals"

Kristine, 24

 

THE PROCESS

FINDING MUTUAL NEEDS

I wanted to understand why users would want to meet others online at all. Assumptions include:

  1. Friendship / Dating

  2. Gaming companion

  3. Talk about similar Interests

  4. Job search or career discussions

  5. Politics

I thought of a flow where a user might be traveling and would like to meet others in the area. There's opportunities for strangers to meet due to mutual understandings or needs.

 
Omegle.png

TALKING TO STRANGERS

I used Omegle, a website that allows you to talk to anyone in the world, to talk to strangers and an understanding of how connections are formed between strangers. Here are some key discoveries from my research:

  1. Users know that there are a lot of trolls

  2. Users are not discouraged by trolls

  3. Users feel more comfortable meeting others online because they can be more of "themselves"

  4. One must be vulnerable to others in order to expect the same in return

 
Banner Texty.png

"I continue using this platform in possibility of connecting with another person."

Kevin, 19

 

SKILL SWAPPING 

My next assumption was that people would want to meet in order to "skill swap". This brings people to a vulnerable stage and ask for help and also give back in return. 

I created paper prototypes on this idea and tested it. 

 

FLOW

I wanted the app to have an introduction for first time users. This gives the user a taste of how the users can adjust their characters to fit their own personality. This also introduces questions and gives the user to answer them later after they have tested the app. 

 

PAPER PROTOTYPES

Sketches.png

After testing the paper prototypes, users made it clear that skill swapping may not be the best way to build a mutual connection. I learned that:

  1. Users won't necessarily ask strangers for help

  2. It may be rare to match up with someone that is looking for your help also

  3. Users are suspicious of others expertise in the skill

 

LET'S TALK ABOUT TOPICS WE LIKE

From the skill swap test, I learned that users would rather get to know one another by talking about a similar topic that are interesting to them. Users get to share their own personal interests and be open to talking about it with others and vise versa. 

With this idea, vulnerability became one sided and the user sharing their interests don't necessarily know who would see it.

 
Orange Rectangle.png

"You have to be genuinely interested in the other person and contribute to the conversation."

Q: How do you become good at conversations?

 

Dating apps had a big influence on this app.

For example, Tinder connects people through looks, while Coffee Meets Bagel connects user through an algorithm of interests. Based on these apps, users have created their own depiction of what to expect by using these apps.

I wanted Monster to be an app that allows users to be open, vulnerable and safe. That is done by letting users create their own avatar that depicts their style or who they aspire to be. Being vulnerable comes with answering questions in the app knowing that they will be matched with others that have also answered the same questions. It is also safe because once users are matched with one another, they have the option to leave or continue the conversation.

 

THE VISION

ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT INTEREST YOU


 

CHECK OUT MY NEXT PROJECT!

 

Literator