Overview: Amitie is an app that allowed users to make meaningful and lasting friendships online that develop into a in person friendship in a post Covid era.
We were tasked with creating an idea from scratch and seeing it through the whole design process. After much discussion we decided to create an app for making friends easier online that will lead to meaningful and lasting IN-PERSON FRIENDSHIPS
During the creation process of our photo-persona, we decided that for an app that is about friendships it was important that we showed that the character we created was; new to a city (Boston), and that he HAS the ability to make friendships but finds it hard to make meaningful and lasting friendships
During our competitor analysis we found that what we determined as our direct competitors (Bumble bff and Tinder social) were a heavy mix of dating within the people they suggest and various marketing tactics. as well as the other indirect competitors having limitations on interface along with it being hard to determine how to use the app.
During the research phase we conducted 6 in person interviews with candidates that fit our desired demographic and we sought to understand these 2 questions.
Our interviews reveled that many were displeased with their current social life and also gave us insight on what we might be able implement in order to create a better experience
Emily embodies the struggle people are currently facing when trying to build new friendships:
She’s looking to grow her social life, but she needs to be able to foster deeper connections with others because she doesn’t feel like the people she’s currently meeting online can be close friends.
The current online and mobile options are failing to help users finding the quality of friendship they're looking for, which is causing an increased sense of loneliness, especially post-pandemic-related isolation.
Our main question was: How can we create a unique mobile experience that helps users foster long-term friendships through ongoing engagement over time?
With this problem in mind, we started brainstorming what features can help solve for the problems that existing social apps haven’t been able to resolve. The features we chose for the scope of this project are:
A way to suggest relevant activities or groups for the user
Limiting one-on-one interactions as much as possible to limit any association with dating/non-platonic relationships
In-app AI generated prompts that are based on the group’s interests/past activities to continue encouraging ongoing conversations
Amitie has 5 core sections:
A user profile that lists the user’s interests and active groups
A homepage that shows groups and activities that are relevant to the user based on their selected interests
A option to create a new group for others to join
A messages section that houses all ongoing conversations from the users’ active groups
A “near me” live map that shows the users events that are either ongoing or happening very soon in their local area
To visualize Emily’s experience on Amitie, she signs up for Amitie to find new friends after moving to a new city. She has tried other apps before but those friendships fizzled out before they could fully develop. With Amitie however, she is able to quickly find a variety of groups that match her interests.
Amitie’s chat prompts that are based off each group’s interests and after in person events help Emily to keep fostering her new friendships over time.
There was a surprising amount of confusion with the first task - creating an account. 4 out of 5 testers were unable to complete this task, because they were not able to see the “create new account” link or differentiate between creating a new account and signing into an existing one. So we went ahead and made the text for creating a new account darker, and also reworked the ux writing on the login page to make it more clear this was for an existing user
We also had 3 different navigation bars - before moving into mid-fi we discussed the pros and cons of each version before creating a uniform one
as mentioned in the test results we changed the welcome back screen to make it clear and easy to understand.
For our homepage because our initial design was difficult to understand so we focused on content chunking by adding heading and more space and allowed for the vertical and horizontal scrolling.
For the map- we changed the layout of the screen from an activities list of things to do in your area, to a map that shows you events happening in real time showcasing the ability to find activities easier
Click on image to view Figma file
During our design phase we came across a potential problem of nested vs non-nested messages and the organization of how the app would communicate with other in a chat. So we decided that we would conduct a preference test to gauge how other felt and get fresh eyes on the project!
Mid-Fi test results:
Fixed the login issue - darker text helped; 4/5 passed
Need to add and "invite to group" option on other user profiles to allow for interaction
Homepage spacing was too crowded, needed bigger cards and more white space
Click on image to view Figma file
Our style guide was a important way of dictating to our users that we were not a dating app but we still wanted it to feel modern and easy to use like our competitors.
Wanted to stay away from pinks and reds to avoid any association with romance
Modern, minimalist look and feel, lots of white space