Spread
2018 Fall 8 weeks

Spread

Case Study
Full Case Study
my role
UX/UI Design, User Research
Duration
2018 Fall 8 weeks

Over 35 million Americans move each year, but adjusting to a new place can be intimidating. How can we empower them to feel more independent and combat common problems like loneliness?

Problem space

While many kinds of technology exist to stay connected with distant loved ones, when adjusting to a new city we still struggle to make new friends. It can be an intimidating and long process to join new social groups. Over 35 million Americans move each year, but adjusting to a new place can be intimidating. How can we empower them to feel more independent and combat common problems like loneliness?

Identifying the user needs

Our project began with researching things that people missed most from home. We conducted surveys to better understand what people missed. From these we gained the insights that food and people were the things missed most from home.

“I like a lot of different food and a lot of Asian foods so I usually endorse those to others.”

“Sometimes I find I don’t have people to go with. My roommates are great but they also have their own lives.”

Designing for Potential Users

After we conducted user researches to better understand what people missed. From these we gained the insights that food and people were the things missed most from home. Based on our research, we created Primary, Secondary, Supplemental, and Negative Personas. These are most valuable insights from our research:

  • People are willing to share their advice, time, social media profiles, and recommendations
  • Unfamiliarity and lack of resources poses another obstacle
  • Food has the potential to gather people
  • Few remedies for homesickness that don’t involve food or people
  • Some use distractions (generally media) to ignore homesickness and loneliness

Based on these insights, we created three personas. The personas helped us define who our Users would be. By understanding their needs, we learned how to better serve them.

Primary persona: mandy
Primary persona: Michael
Secondary persona: Jose
Ideation Phase

When I began to ideating solutions for the problems, I had to think about both parents and children to produce best solutions. Some ideation questions I had to work through during this process are:

  • how might we provide useful tips what people ask for and foster to share advice with others?
  • how might we create a platform that helps users to find a group with the same interests or troubles.
  • how might we gather people through food?

How might we... gather people through food?

User flows


Introducing spread

spread is a online social platform for anyone who is adjusting to a new city. Spread fosters college students,young professionals to join new social groups based on their favorite cuisines, occupations and their interests. Spread gives variety of event activities like carving pumpkins during Halloween or making fish tacos with authentic ingredients. If users just looking for an advice or any tips living in the new city, they can simply join active chats.

Our team made three main tabs - chats, home feed and profile.

Main tab: home feed

The Home Feed tab gives auto generated content based on the information filled in during on-boarding. Each card displays how many events are currently being planned for that place.

Main tab: chats

Here, users can find chats for events that they've joined or browse conversations happening nearby.

Making Event chats: 3 steps

Events are created in 3 easy steps. After naming the event and setting the time and date, the user can add hashtags that allow others to easily see the main purpose of a group at a glance.  

Grid System: 8-px grid

Designing for mobile meant implementing an 8-px grid. Using a set grid made it easier to keep our screens minimalistic and organized. It also provided a way for everyone on the team to see design decisions through the same eyes.

Make it more human

Social apps are clean and focused on the content. However, human connection is messy by definition! When it comes to meeting new people, too much clean can cause discomfort. To put users more at ease, we created Walter Melon. This friendly melon slice guides users through the app and adds character to the experience.

takeaways

This project was the first one that I actually applied 8-pt pixel system to unify my designs. At first it was hard to communicate with my teammates because we are all new to this system. But at the end it was a crucial step to have in order to have unified designs that doesn't confuse users

Andres Acuna UX/UI Design, Character design, Video shooting, User Testing

Dana Speiser UX/UI Design, Video editing, User Testing

Me Art direction, main UX/UI Design,User Testing