A diary study and interview-based investigation were designed to gather insights about people’s perceptions of social interactions. Because people do not consciously think about their social interactions, it is extremely difficult to gather this type of information through interviews alone. We wanted to know how people think about their social interactions in the natural environment of their everyday lives. Hence, we asked a total of ten participants to keep track of their social interactions in an artifact form (which was later collected) as they occurred throughout the course of 24 hours. Post this activity the artifacts made by the participants were collected and carefully analysed. Interviews were then conducted with these participants to understand their thought processes during the activity.
We took diligent notes during the interviews and these served as notes for our virtual affinity wall: an affinity wall within the confinements of a computer. Collaborative word processing tools were of great help and we could leverage these to create a rapid affinity wall with much ease. The affinity wall helped us identify patterns in the data, form various design implications and understand what users of such a system would want to know about their social selves.
Low fidelity wireframes and sketches were created based on the defined personas, scenarios, and numerous brainstorming sessions. We explored different types of data visualizations to determine the best methods of information representations to present to users. Throughout this process, we dealt with design constraints such as limited screen space and translating complex information into simple, easy to digest forms.
We created a storyboard detailing a user’s journey as she interacted with the application to understand how a user might incorporate SocialMe into her day to day life. This storyboard served as a roadmap and guide for our design.
We sketched out various flows for major interactions and tasks users would perform using the system. Each task was mapped out, step by step, in numerous ways to determine the best user flow for each task. This was a critical phase in the design process, as it laid the foundation for later prototyping and user testing.
Future work with respect to SocialMe could include, designing for further enhancements in the app and adding in more features. A more in-depth research to strengthen the goal setting section would help us have users use the system fruitfully over a period of time. Also we did play around with the idea of having a bracelet, to allow users to tag their conversations and get immediate feedback on the same (the picture below illustrates the same), but due to the time constraints it was not possible to test the bracelet thoroughly.
Based on the feedback we received from the usability tests, we are sure that SocialMe would be a great tool to help people manage their social selves and live a healthier life as Sociability is directly related to ones health. Implementation of this product, would immensely bring about a positibve change in individuals and the society alike, bridging gaps that were once completely ignored.