UX Design Project 4: Talk to Me

Overview

We believe by inspiring relevant dialogue among people across time zones we will achieve more substantial conversations thus increasing frequency of communication.

In this 4th project in the UXDI course we were introduced to topics of Lean Ux and Shipping Designs. We were given a choice of four different topics to choose from. From these topics our issue which we designed a solution for was as follows:

Families and friends are increasingly spreading all over a single country or even all over the world.
Through user interviews, you will identify a problem people face with staying connected across time zones and geographical boundaries.

My role:

User Survey, Competitive Analysis, User Interview, Persona, Storyboard, Prototyping

Research

Survey and User Interview

In this project we were able to get survey responses from 14 people. This gave us a base demographic for what people were using in order to stay in touch over distances. From the survey we gathered 7 people for in-depth user interviews. Our goal for the survey and interviews was to determine what tools people were using to keep in touch, who they were talking with, how often they did this, and why they needed to stay in contact.

Interview quotes:

“The longer it goes between the time we see each other. The longer it is between the times we actually talk.”
“I would be lost if i didn’t have them everyday”
“…they keep me connected to the life I had before.”

Competitive Analysis

We looked at all of the things people were using in the survey and in the interviews and we compared them. Overwhelmingly people were using text based apps so we focused on that. Of the apps we looked at Whatsapp was the most widely used worldwide. We decided to focus on that app as base for our designs. These are some of the other key points as to why Whatsapp:

  • Free and cheaper than texts
  • The most utilized messaging app worldwide
  • End to end encryptions
  • No ads, no games, no gimmicks

Persona

Storyboard

Steve goes to visit his cousin once a year in Korea. After he visits they maintain a fairly regular conversation through a Whatsapp. As time goes by Steve gets distracted by things going on around him in his day to day life. Eventually their conversation dwindles to a halt. Steve can never remember what time it is there or if his cousin is even available to talk. He wants to remedy this so he can maintain a consistent, meaningful connection with his cousin all year.

Insights

  1. Keeping in touch with family and friends is a means to sustain one’s cultural and self-identity which cycles our past to the present.

2. Positive memories and strong bonds with someone brings us comfort. Connecting to that person over and over again strengthens and maintains those positive feelings.

Design Solutions

One thing we did for the redesign was to make sure that the local time of the person you wanted to message was clearly visible to the user. That way there would be less confusion with timezones.

Another design solution was to add a feature so that you could add you availability to the app. This way people would be aware of when would be a good time to talk to you and you wouldn’t need to worry about interrupting.

To add to the availability we implemented a favorites function. This would allow for push notifications to your phone when that person has added they are available to chat.

Lastly one of the main features we added was the Stories feature. It creates a visual story from chat conversations which can be referred to when you talk or see him/her in person. Making chats more seamless to in person meetups.

Future Iterations

In future iterations I would like to implement:

  • A more visual representation that can indicate amount of time between chats
  • More user testing with current design solutions
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