Better Social app case study

The number of social media users worldwide has been estimated to reach 2.5 billion by early 2018, meaning 1 in 3 people will be connected via one or more social media networks. Better Social is a personal project re-thinking the ways we socialise online.

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User Research: Identifying Key Pain Points

To identify the key pain points of regular social media users, I conducted a series of interviews, asking participants to describe their social media habits, satisfaction and frustrations. The complaints can roughly be grouped into three categories:

Addiction:

DOMINANT FEELINGS: guilt

I go on Facebook to message a friend and before I know it, an hour has passed and I achieved absolutely nothing — Danny, 27

Anxiety:

DOMINANT FEELINGS: loneliness and self-doubt

Some girls my age appear to have effortlessly perfect lives in perfect houses with perfect boyfriends and cute dogs, while I’m struggling to find a matching pair of socks in the morning. All my attempts to look glam fall flat, and I feel worse with every picture I post — Chloe, 23

Information overload:

DOMINANT FEELINGS: frustration and disappointment

It’s nice to see what old friends are up to every now and again, but I really don’t need Facebook trying to sell me a blender and an aftershave while I do it! — Michael, 31

Personas:

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Andy and Diana are two user personas I created based on the series of interviews conducted for this project

Storyboard:

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User journey I drew based on Danny’s story of dealing with social media addiction

Prototypes and Wireframes:

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Although the main aims of this project were research and ideation, I went one step further and illustrated some of the key features in a series of wireframes that offer a glimpse into what Better Social app might actually look and feel like if it was ever built.

Design

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Minimalistic profile page with a profile image, short bio and links to external social media accounts

Many channels, one feed

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Joined feed allows users to see and engage with all social media channels in one place

Meaningful interactions

The app encourages meaningful interactions by prompting users to comment or send a direct message after they “liked” a status update.

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Liked an update? The app will encourage you to leave a comment or say hello in a private message

Instead of constantly bombarding users with updates, Better Social shows all new likes, comments and messages in one place, so you can tune out without the fear of missing out.

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The app shows all new likes, comments and messages in one place

Set your own social media consumption goals, and Better Social will remind you when you spent too much time online, lock the feed and prompt you to go for a short walk or call an old friend instead.

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Set your social media consumption goals and the app will nudge you to take a break and go for a walk

I completed this project as a part of a UX Design course back in 2016, before Apple, Google and many others launched major updates to help users “understand and take control of the time they spend interacting with their”. I can’t take any credit for this shift in approach, but it’s great to know that some of the issues discussed here might be long gone by the time you read this. Looks like the time for Better Social really has come :)

Written by

UX designer at Make it Clear. Runner. Minimalist. Environmentalist. Rationalist.

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