me now : Mobile SNS for Emotional Communication

The project aims to develop new communication tools that focus on effective emotional communication.

Problem Recognition

Traditional SNS encourages users to broadcast their stories to a large number of people. That is why, despite the fact that it is a social network service (SNS), the place where sincere “dialogue” is located is disappearing more and more. Why can not we sincerely say good(like) or bad(hate) through communication? Why can not I have a sincere conversation with my mobile communications tools? Is the current mobile tool suitable for emotion delivery and expression?

Existing communication tools are specialized in information transmission and have been developed with a focus on them. I am easily tired of the excessive amount of information. Also, problems arise when expressing emotions.  For example, when expressing one’s feelings on a Facebook or KakaoTalk status message, the other person looks at it as ‘bluff’ or ‘cheesiness’ rather than sympathy. In other words, current communication tools are not effective in expressing and communicating emotions. Therefore, a method or communication tool that can express emotions easily needs to be designed.

What is emotional communication?

It conveys my current feelings from my troubles to others, or transmits, expresses and releases emotions themselves. Through this, I get sympathy or comfort from others about my feelings, and healing. In other words, it is the basic principle to communicate my feelings to others and to receive empathy and comfort from others.

How do people communicate emotionally?

Based on these questions, we think that how can we help emotional communication work well in mobile environments? We try to create a new emotional communication tool by approaching emotional communication users.

 

· Prepared and conducting user research

· Extracted requirements and applied them to UI

· Establish user flow & information architecture (IA)

· UI design

· Creating interactive prototype

· Prepared and conducting user evaluation

· Improvement UI design from user evaluation

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September 23, 2016 – November 15, 2017

Hyeonsu Park | Sungho Ahn

Adobe Photoshop | MS PowerPoint | Keynote | InVision

Purpose & Method

Research the behavior of usual emotional communication. Find through in-depth interviews with participant what purpose and thoughts/emotions the user is emotional communicating with.

(Emotional communication behavior : write a diary, hand writing letter, painting)

In addition, we research art therapy methodology. Look at how negative emotions an individual has and how art therapy is used to treat them.

Participant

1) Total of 8 participants (4 females and 4 males, with age range of 22 to 35)

Recruit criteria

· A person who writes a diary every day

· A person who often writes a hand letter

2) Two art therapy expert

Analysis

We transcribed all the recorded data from in-depth interviews. All transcriptions were analyzed by using qualitative inquiry.

The case study aims to analyze the application/service for emotional communication.

This study was divided into operation method and visual design, and applicable items are analyzed.

‘AROUND’

· Image-based card format  

· Use background image to stimulate emotion

·  Anonymity

· There is almost no ‘hateful comment’

· Need ‘Cherry’ to write and make it public

· When I get empathy with my comments, I get one cherry.

 (To tell my story, please listen to someone else’s story first.)

· Automatic archiving

· Based on my location distance

· Check posts with lots of empathy

· Only one article in the whole screen

‘secret’

· Image-based card format  

· Use background image to stimulate emotion

· Only use square images

· User can select background image manually

· Anonymity using a random icon  

· Square frames lead to shorter text than long text

· Trending list : Most Popular, Most Recent

‘eting’

· Pastel-toned little prince concept that stimulates emotion

· Storage, Write, Read 3 functions and 3 View

· Create an appropriate atmosphere through animation

·  1-time only, to send/receive story to someone random

· One-to-one, one-time communication services

· Letter reading format not bulletin board format 

· The emotional motive of ‘coincidence’

‘askFM’

· Flat design  

· Tone & manners that consideration when linked with Facebook/Twitter

· Widely used as a tool to connect with Facebook or Twitter

· Ask anonymous or non-anonymous questions and answer questions

· askFM also gives the question itself

· Social media forms of 100 questions 100 answers

3 main Function Definitions

Through user research and case research, six solutions were derived.

Based on this, three functions were finally derived.

· A diary to write my story

· A letter that sincerely communicates to someone

· Handwriting with hands-on feeling

· Rolling paper where several people give me sincere

· Pastel tone color of movie her

· ‘me now’ – main and writing view

· ‘me now’ – Change sort order

· ‘me now’ – Change stationery

· ‘you now’ – main, write reply, change sort order, change stationery

· ‘we now’ – main, shared writing, comments

· ‘Archive’ – main, my writing, my reply

Purpose

The user evaluation was conducted for two purposes.

1. To verify that emotional communication has been effective after the participant has used the prototype. The user expresses her/his feelings while using the prototype, and confirms sympathy and comfort from others.

2. The second purpose is to evaluate the usability of prototype UI (User Interface).

Method

For these two purposes, a user evaluation was performed on a scenario basis. Scenario-based user evaluations are performed because prototypes can not be written in real time. Since the researcher needs to manipulate this point, a scenario was set up and a user evaluation was conducted.

Participant

Total of 7 participants (4 females and 3 males, with age range of 22 to 32)

Recruit criteria

Participants were recruited for acquaintances who had usual friendship. The reason for this is that it has no objection to delivering a diary, and it is able to know the personality and the current thinking. This is because we can write a reply that matches the situation of the participant.

Result

1. Writing is a serious opportunity to look into my feelings (me now)

When you reply from ‘you now‘, the user looks at someone else’s wiriting and looks at their feelings.

“I feel like I’m seriously facing me while I’m writing something. Feel like pulling out my heart? (Participant 02)

2. Writing in ‘me now‘ is an opportunity to express my feelings. (me now)

“It is annoying that the world is like this nowadays. Is this my problem? […] I want everyone to think like me” (Participant 01)

3. Empathy with people with similar feelings (you now, we now)

(User see a lot of comments in ‘we now’, and user is more sympathetic when it’s a lot.)

“I think there are a lot of people who are like me, and I think my worries are getting less. I honestly feel empathized with someone […] I wanted to be comforted […] I still feel empathy for someone like me to write a hearty note.” (Participant 06)

4. Eliminate the feeling of solitude (you now, we now)

“To be honest, who can write a long reply? I’ve never had that experience since the army. But I feel thankful that someone who does not know will write for me like this. Empathy, up … I do not write for this. But if you reply like this, I feel empathy and comfort.” (Participant 05)

Usability Issue #1

Two graphical elements provide duplicate information by the same action

“I do not know if there are two overlapping features of the two graphical elements […] ” (Participant 03)

Solution

Delete ‘page turn’ graphic element that causes duplicate behavior 

Usability Issue #2

Lack of clues as to what the writing line means     

“I do not know what this is. Do you want to write a title?  Are you going to use the sender? I do not know.” (Participant 07)

Solution

Change the deployment order for first use and later use

At first use, ‘you now’ tutorial screen is shown first after splash screen. The tutorial will tell you that this is a 1: 1, random, one-off communication. It also shows you how to use the lines of the writing page to show you the replies.

Watch the ‘me now’ final design prototype!