With a limited amount of time, I went straight to research, interviewing 7 diverse users, unique in age, profession, sexuality, and nationality. After gaining key insights, I moved onto the ideation phase, creating several different ideas with user flows, wireframes, personas, and empathy maps. After some experimentation, I zeroed in on my final solution.
When designing interactions for products or service, I design with the mantra "form follows function." The interaction should serve as a tool that increases the users' understanding of the service, and or adds simple delight.
The purpose of the app is to connect family and friends who have been out of touch or are falling out of touch. The app aggregates data from various social media APIs in order to determine your tops friends and family.
The larger the bubble, the greater the social interaction and vice versa. When bubbles are inactive for a period of time, they will eventually disappear from the home screen. In order to prevent this, the user must contact smaller bubbles. After every interaction, bubbles will increase in size.
Schedule a Chat
Users are encouraged to strike up conversations and stick to them with "Schedule a chat" which provides a fun and simple interface with suggested ice breakers from your social media connections (shared memories, interesting social insights, common interests, special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries).
Fun Social Insights
The app provides social insights in a human tone of voice which serve as reminders to connect with family and friends. The "Reminders" and "History" will constantly change depending on your relationships.
The "Wild Card" encourages the user to reach out to friends or family they otherwise wouldn't have and also creates an opportunity to build new friendships. How is the "Wild Card" chosen? The app finds people in your social network who you've connected with in the past and have similar interests to.