Winter 2017 // Human Computer Interaction
Delivered: Primary and secondary research, concept development, user journeys, low-fi wireframes, prototype, vision video
The power and impact of a spontaneous, delightful conversation and the joy it can bring to people can be undervalued in today's world. For many lonely or socially-anxious people, searching for new friends and connections can be a difficult process. This can exacerbate feelings of low self-esteem and confidence over time.
How might we foster more genuine and spontaneous conversations between strangers throughout brief pockets of free time in our day?
Meuni (“com-meuni-cation”) is an app concept that fosters new connections between strangers based on interests, desired conversation style, location, and mood.
The goal of Meuni is to provide a conversational outlet to forge new connections and combat loneliness throughout moments of one’s day, whether that be during a morning commute or a lonely late night. A companion wearable can be paired with the app to sense the user's heart rate in order to give guidance and tracking to help with social anxiety or depression.
We asked a variety of people ranging from the ages of 14 to 50 about their feelings on loneliness and meeting new people. The questions we asked pertained to comfortability, comfort zones, perspectives, shared interests, and their idea of a genuine conversation.
“It's fun and challenging to experience something new, because otherwise you don’t go through new perspectives since you’re so used to everything being the same. Going outside your comfort zone is good.”
Alejandro Siegert // 23 years old
“I love new conversations and I love getting to know people… I always ask questions to learn more about them, and [the] connection between people is more important than anything else.”
Nicholas Oji // 45 years old
Based on some cultural probes we created and distributed to various college students, we found that people are most comfortable having conversations with new people more so when they knew about the topic and found themselves in a comfortable environment.