This week, we built our “Looks Like Feels Like” prototype and presented it to the class, along with one of our former professors, Gary Chou.

Gary suggested scaling my product for other social platforms, which might make the case for it more compelling. Eric suggested this previously, so it’s been in the back of my mind. I’ve stayed with FB up to this point as a way to develop it and stay focused, but I do like the idea of going beyond FB. Gary also wanted to know who was determining the content of the annotations, and that perhaps they…



User testing was conducted to test the perception of value of the Phase 1 design of the browser extension product, Keeper.

Keeper is a browser extension for Facebook that facilitates more civility and empathy in Facebook conversations. Through Facebook Community Standards annotations, personal value entry and display, and an alternate conversation view, Keeper provides opportunities on Facebook to surface the things that connect us as humans, beyond our social network.

The goal of this research was to answer the following questions:

  • How likely are users to use this product?
  • Do users understand the overall benefit of the product?
  • What…

On February 25, we presented our proofs of concept. I think a lot of us felt confused about what a proof of concept is, especially those who have been moving consistently down the same path with their projects, i.e. they’ve already built several prototypes of more or less the same product. I know I certainly felt confused, and to be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot that I did differently logistically between this and the various other prototype milestones we’ve presented on. I will say that this phase of my product feels much more concrete and developed than the others…

The week of February 18 was a challenging one, as I wrote previously. After narrowing my framework focus a bit to designing with restorative circle principles on Facebook, and getting ready to present it as my proof of concept, another interesting but diverging concept came out of my thesis advisor meeting. My advisor, Dalit, suggested that I could design a plugin that annotates and surfaces Facebook’s community guidelines. This would be an iteration of using the restorative circle principle of Agreements to address how on Facebook the community guidelines are not accessible from the user home page. It’s unclear where…

Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash

Over the last several weeks I’ve felt a lot of tension between completing assignments just to complete them and moving my project forward in a meaningful way. For instance, the competitive analysis and use case assignments, while obviously necessary and helpful, required us to have a concrete, definitive idea of what our product is and what it does. Some of us are at that place and have been for a while, but I am not one of them. So this has meant for me that I’ve defined a direction for the sake of the assignment, when I haven’t felt ready…

In light of my most recent pivot, I’ve revised the value proposition drafts I posted last week.

Here are my two latest iterations (these have not yet been shared with anyone for feedback):

Roundup is a framework for creating more humane social media experiences. For both users and makers of social media platforms, Roundup considers how humans interact and communicate on social media through the lens of restorative practices and identifies new approaches for use and design that prioritize our wellbeing and relationships over business interests and profit.

VERSION 2 Roundup is a framework for creating more humane…

Last week’s assignments, a prototype roadmap and project plan, made it clear that I had to choose a direction for my project. I couldn’t keep wavering between ideas or waiting for a lightning bolt idea to hit. As Graham reminded us several times, choosing a direction and actually starting something is more worthwhile than spending all of your time thinking or doing nothing at all. You can always change course if it becomes clear that the direction you chose isn’t working out. This has been a tough pill for me to swallow. This year in particular I’ve learned a lot…

Photo by Luca Laurence on Unsplash

As I wrote yesterday, last week we were tasked with writing the first drafts of a value proposition, a concise summary of our thesis idea that includes what it is, who it’s for, and how it’s different. We were given a template and an example that served as a place to start. It looked like this:

FOR (target audience)


[PRODUCT NAME] IS A (specific market category)

THAT (key benefit).

UNLIKE (competition),

[PRODUCT NAME] IS (unique differentiator)

Example: FOR type enthusiasts WHO need to learn and use fonts, “TYPEY” IS A typeface encyclopedia THAT is enthusiast-generated. …

To help us evaluate our ideas, we were tasked with making a list of user needs (what we as designers think the user needs), and our personal needs (our interests and ambitions as a designer and thesis student). This list was created a few weeks ago (January 28), but I’m posting it now for comparison with Ideas + Criteria Matrix iterations to follow, which asked us to apply these criteria to our most promising thesis ideas.

Here’s my Decision Making Criteria list:

The goal of the next assignment, the Idea + Criteria Matrix, was to help evaluate our ideas, make…

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Value proposition:
Social media makes it easy to forget there are human beings on the other side of your feed. Inspired by restorative justice, Roundup is a messaging platform designed to elevate the qualities that make us human, not suppress them.

What does it look like for the first 10 users? Consider which features provide the core product value.

  • Restorative circle interface and system design
  • Group messaging web plugin application
  • User accounts
  • Instructions for use
  • Emoji reactions
  • Bad actor/content flagging
  • Feelings check-ins
  • Website
  • Mobile application

What needs to change to scale to 1,000 users? Consider features that will require some…

Kate Styer

MFA Interaction Design at SVA in NYC

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