I kept polishing my idea of designing this social app with a multi-model interaction. Above is the user persona. It gives an overview the target group. There are some key features of those target users:
1). Most of them are collage students who study and live in campus, and most of their social activities are based on the campus which is relatively a limited space;
2).Then put their social relationship in an important space, them are outgoing but sentimental and want to avoid any social awkward.
Based on those characteristic, I proposed the following functions of this App and depicted them on the storyboard above:
1). It can send vibrations to the user’s friends to make his friends notice him.
2). On this App, the user will be able to check out other people near him.
3). It can show user which of his friends is most available.
4). It enables user to user different ways to interact with his friends.
5). It can show user which people share most of the interest with him.
6). User can use this App to make new friends.
7). User can make himself invisible to play with his friends.
8). User will be able to switch his status in order to prevent being disturbed.
Here shows my first draft of user flow:
Then I made a survey using Tencent Survey to collect some feedbacks from potential users.This survey was written in both Chinese and English and had 14 questions in total. Those 14 questions were divided into three sections. The first section contained some general questions like the age and job. The second section contains questions regarding to the existing social Apps, including:
1). Which types of social interaction do you prefer?
2). How often do you use social apps in your daily life?
3). Have you ever felt unconfortable when using social apps (inefficient communication, peer pressur, etc.)?
4). Do you think the existing social apps make your social life more efficient?
5). Have you ever met any awkward situations on text-based social apps (things weren’t made clear, etc.)?
6). Do you prefer social apps which is text-based (QQ, Wechat) or others (Instagram, Pinterest)?
The second section gives a general description and using scenario of the prospective app TapTo and asked to complete the survey considering the description text, the questions includes:
1). Do you think this indirect way of interaction makes you feel more comfortable?
2). Do you think this way of interaction (sending sound, vibration to friends based on location) is interesting?
3). Which age do you think this app fit in?
4). Will you use this app as the primary way to interact with your friends?
5). How often will you use this app?
6). Do you think this app will benefit you social relationship?
I sent this survey mostly to my classmates. Since I posted it on my wechat moment, I also received some feedbacks from my parents and relatives.
The feedbacks suggested some very useful points:
Most of people are having social interaction with their social apps. But compared to having face-to-face conversation, the social apps don’t have much advantage. And people all experienced some degree of socially-awkward situation when using their social apps while social apps did make their social life more efficient. Still, most of the users prefer text-based social apps though sometimes it’s difficult to make a clear state on those apps.
As for the new app I proposed, the result shows that almost half of people think this new way of interaction makes them feel more comfortable and it’s an interesting way of interaction. 60.6% of people though this app fit with people who aged 15-20, 48.5% of people thought this app fit with people who aged 20-30. However, most of people didn’t they will use this app as their primary way of interacting with their friends and their attitude towards this app was quite neutral.
Generally the result shows that:
1). The existing social apps do have some drawbacks
2). People are interested in this new form of interaction
3). People want to stick to their old habits.
This suggests that the best way to improve this app is to add more function of the traditional social apps or just integrate its function into traditional social apps.
So I redesigned the user flow chart:
By redesigning this user flow, I want to build a constant using experience. Every step the user choose will eventually lead him back to the main page.
The interface is designed to be simple. Most of the screen will be occupied by large graphic elements which will be designed later in Adobe Illustrator or Sketch.
Generally there are only 4 levels of this interaction. User can scroll all the way down from the first level to the last one.
There is almost no menu in this app, most of the interaction will be achieved simply with user’s hand movement.
Each function is triggered by different modes of interaction. The difference between modes is simple. Basically the long click and the short click will trigger different function and scrolling up and down will lead the user to different levels.
Then I held a focus group between me and five of my best friends. Here shows the questions I prepared for them to discuss.
And here is the note I took during the discussion:
It shows that the awkward caused by social apps is a big problem. But because the texting function can also fit into different using scenarios, people still use this types of social apps a lot. That’s to say, though the multi-model interaction might be a good idea, it can not replace the current social apps. And this type of interaction might be more effective in a very intimate relationship such as families and lovers. They suggested me to consider the tradeoff between the cost of information and content to better evaluate an app, which I think it’s really useful.
My future works will focus on adding more function to this app based on those feedbacks and keep polishing the user flow.