Challenge

Design a product that helps someone feel less lonely

Advisor

Focus areas

  • Branding
  • Visual design
  • Motion design

Deliverables

  • Competitive analysis
  • Personas and journey maps
  • Motion studies
  • Style guide

My process in theory

My process in reality

Understanding who I am designing for

After doing a few hours of primary and secondary research, I defined the following two personas.

Liz

  • 28 years old
  • Works as a product manager
  • Lives in San Francisco
  • Moved here 1 month ago
  • Originally from New York, NY
  • Calls herself an introvert

“I get along really well with my coworkers but I’d love to make friends outside of work so I can fully catch a break from it.”

“I’ve heard about Meet Up, but I’d hate to go to events alone.”

Nate

  • 32 years old
  • Works as an interaction designer
  • Lives in San Francisco
  • Moved here 10 months ago
  • Originally from Seattle, WA
  • Calls himself an extrovert

“I love going to the gym but I’m looking for a gym buddy to spot me. Ideally, we’d also have great banter.”

“I’ve tried Meet Me, but there are some shady people on there.”

Defining how might we’s

Based on the pain points of Liz and Nate, I defined the following opportunities as starting points for ideation later on.

1

How might we help introverts like Liz make new friends?

2

How might we help extroverts like Nate meet new people?

3

How might we protect users against “shady people”?

Defining the product’s mission

Connecting both introverts and extroverts with like minds and ultimately help them feel less lonely.

Understanding the market

As Liz and Nate mentioned earlier, several existing products are already trying to connect like minds, but all of them are either too fun, too practical, too guiding, or too enabling.

Defining brand attributes

Based on this opportunity, I defined the following brand attributes for the product.

Versatility

Enable anybody to connect to a like mind

Simplicity

Without any requirements or constraints

Empathy

Empathize with everyone to create relevant connections

Defining a tone of voice

I also defined the product’s tone of voice through a quick card sorting exercise.

Neutral

But not boring

Clear

But not short

Friendly

But not pleasing

Defining the look and feel

While constantly referring to the product’s mission statement, brand attributes, and tone of voice, I put together a mood board to help me with the visual design of the product later on.

Ideating a logo

When ideating a logo, I often looked at the product’s mood board (simple lines and rounded corners) while also referring to the brand attributes (versatility, simplicity, and empathy).

Mocking up the logo

When making a final decision in regards to the logo, I chose the logo that consisted of a single line (simplicity) with rounded corners (empathy). To make sure that the logo also conveyed empathy, I changed the line from black to a blue gradient.

Ideating user flows

When ideating user flows, I referred back to the product’s mission statement and focused on how I might leverage existing products to collect relevant data. I also reread the how might we’s I had defined earlier, which reminded me to meet the needs of both introverts and extroverts, and to protect against “shady people.”

Mocking up the user flows

By asking users to log in with their Google account and taking them through a few “this or that” questions, they will “automagically” get connected with like minds. To meet the needs of both introverts and extroverts, users will have the option to hang out or just chat. By regularly asking users how it’s going, “shady” people will quickly get reported.

Nate’s user flow

When opening Meet on his smartphone, Nate is taken through a bit of on-boarding and continues with Google to set up his account. Because of this, Meet already knows a fair bit about him (including his availabilities) but still asks him to round out his profile by answering a few this or that questions (to make sure they also have good banter).

He gets connected with Marc, based on their overlapping Google calendar availabilities, and like minds.

Liz’ user flow

Liz has already been using Meet for a few weeks, and is enjoying just chatting with people, who are the opposite of shady.

Imagining how the product will scale

Since users should be able to access the product from a variety of devices, I created a preliminary style guide with scalable elements, components, and templates.

Typography

Color palette

Iconography

Imagery

Buttons

Bars

Headers

Chat previews

Desktop

Apple Watch

Proposing next steps

Before creating more user flows or further refining the style guide, it would be wise to invite feedback from potential users like Liz and Nate. The focus would be on the effectiveness of the brand, the features, and the likelihood of the product reducing loneliness.