SOCIAL MEDIA PROJECT
PRODUCT OVERVIEW
OVERVIEW​

This personal project is about an idea to build a social media which users can invite friends to join events and share the location. The app lets people easily explore activities, and make friends with someone who has the same interests as you. Shorten the distance between people and explore more fun around you.

After the interview and survey, we found out that the majority of interviewees don’t know how to systematically follow up events on the internet they are interested in and inefficiently private message to their friends.

SOLUTION

To solve the problem, we design a social media app that is able to share event stories, save event calendars, follow up the events, and share to your friends. Plus, matching feature can do ice break among the social death in UCSD.

ROLE

Researcher, competitive analysis, sketing, prototyping, user testing, project management.

TOOL

Adobe creative suite.

APPROACH
DESIGN QUESTION
  • How do users keep track of activities they are interested in? 

  • How can our app improve their experience to follow those events online?

 
User journey
PRE-RESEARCH

Before starting making the mockup, it is necessary to define Bilow's specialty by understanding who wants to be attracted to and what events can be promoted on this APP.

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TARGET USERS
  • Different kinds of users: 

    • Students/ the general

    • Reporters

    • Event hoster

    • Youtubers
    • Advertiser

POSSIBLE EVENTS
  • Different kinds of events:

    • Campus club events

    • Workshop

    • Local restaurant promotion

    • Music/ cultural festivals

    • Museum/ government events

    • Sports events

    • Conference/ presentation

    • Performance

    • Fundraising events

HYPOTHESIS

I mapped out an end to end user journey of a typical searching event to visualize areas where pain-points might arise(highlighted in red). After overviewing the user journey, I synthesized an initial hypothesis that users would be struggled to find fun events around them, easily misunderstand the content of events, and feel difficult to find someone going event with them.

After hypothesizing the point of issues, I made a couple of assumptions in order to approach later user interviews for more easily and direct way. Let's start assumpting what users may need in this mobile application!

ASSUMPTIONS
  • Assume that people spend more time searching for events than they expected. They need a more efficient and easy way to find events they like on social media. So, they need a mobile application to explore comprehensively and organize events nicely. 

  • Assume that sending a private message to invite friends to an event is inefficient. User needs a short way to invited friends going event together. 

  • Assume that sending a private message to invite friends to an event is inefficient. User needs a short way to invited friends going event together. 

  • Assume that there may be some issue of missing the schedule of events for users. They need a way to remind them of the event schedule they going to.

 
Interview & search
RESEARCH PROPOSE

The listing assumption with recovered questions, I needed to understand how users keep following the events they are interested in online, so I set up an online survey to know users’ social media habits and behavior. For instance, I hypothetically assumed that users prefer a new type of social media, concluding clear content of events, will shorten the time they spend on event searching. But do they really need it? Doing a survey and collecting their behavior records will help me to find out if that assumption is right. And then during this survey, I was going to ask them some questions, like "How do you find events you are interested in social media? Can you walk through it with me?", "How do you invite friends going an activity together?", and "How do you keep tracking of the schedule of event you going to?"

DESIGN QUESTIONS
  • How do users keep track of activities they are interested in? 

  • How can our app improve their experience to follow those events online?

RESEARCH RESULT
  • Based on survey results, 80% of interviewees use social media to explore events that they are interested in and invite the events to friends. We found out that the majority of them (75% of people who will use the internet to explore events ) use Instagram and snap chat story feature to randomly scan through their interests. They love story feature, and willing to share their fun life with others. The story feature became an innovative visual way for them to explore something new which is more attractive and takes more attention to audiences rather than reading a long paragraph of the vague event description.

  • The result of people randomly searching events through watching stories surprised me and made me recognize that maybe the point of why the processing had been slowed down. The worst-case can be that they can not find a specific event after spending a ton of time. If there is a filter, which selects certain event stories for users. It can be helpful to find what they like more quickly. 

  • Also, mentioned to invitations, the majority of users just sending private text messages to people individually. If there is a way for users to select multiple friends and send interesting invitations to them. It can increase the spontaneousness of exploring cool activities among friendship.

  • Finally, there are a couple of ways for people to remind event schedule, like screenshot saving on own phone, following facebook page, saving to personal calendars. Surprisingly, a great percentage of interviewers just doing a quick screenshot to remind themselves of the time of events, but a high possibility they would forget about it later and miss the event. If our social media with a simple calendar feature friendly remind the time of event users interested in. That may solve the problem.

INTERVIEW RESULT SUMMARY

There are three points that can be improved to optimize users' experience for the processing of searching events. First, most of these interviewers randomly watching stories to explore events. If there is a filter or a flexible wireframe design for them easily manipulating event stories they would like to view. That would shorten the time and effort they spend on the searching and straight to the point. 

Second, sending private messages to ask friends is the most common way for invitations. If users can send an invitation by selecting multiple people once and attaching the event details. That can make it quick and flexible. In addition, it can add some customized emoji or pictures in the step which can add a sense of ceremony and increase the spontaneousness of exploring cool activities between friends.

 

Last, to avoid missing event schedule, a simple calendar feature can friendly remind users of the time and location, which they can pull out event information easily. 

 
RESEARCH INSIGHTs
THE IDEA OF MATCHING FEATURE

At the beginning of the discussion with co-founders, they mentioned they would like to have a matching feature for Billow, which users can do video calls and text messages to online people because they expected users would like to make new friends exploring fun events.

In order to check if the assumption is right and see how users thinking about the idea, the survey needed to continue.

 

At the end of the survey, I asked a few questions like, "How do you think about matching feature? Would you be willing to make online friends?" and "If you and online people have common interesting, do you think making online friendship works for you?" 

 

I tried to understand their behavior and thinkings by asking those kinds of questions and get a conclusion if the matching feature is what users wanted? 

KNOW NEW FRIENDS WHO HAVE THE SAME INTERESTING AS YOU

After the interview, 60% of interviewees are more willing to make online new friends who have the same interesting to explore events, which include the percentage of people feeling mutual or cool with it. They think after knowing they and online friends are from the same school, sharing common interesting, going to the same event, and share social media with each other will lead them to trust the online matching more. In other words, the matching feature in Billow is better to suggest online friends based on interesting, commons, and sharable social media profile. 

THE DETAIL OF SEARCHING EVENT PROCESSING 

Drawing the user journey and interviewing people, I found out the unclear processing of searching for events is the biggest part of those issues. Users need to go multiple online pages to get a comprehensive understanding of the event; for example, Facebook, Youtube, Google review, ticket selling website, and the official website. To solve the problem, an organized event information page may be needed.

 

The event information should conclude stories about it, share the location and specific time, link to ticket/official website, and embed a clear description. After confirming the event is the one wanted to go, the event page is able to send invitations to friends.

RESEARCH RESULT
  • After the interview, it is more clear how to design the wireframe of Billows and it aims to simplify the processing of searching for events with flexible filter settings and easily inviting friends to join with them. 

  • After dipping into the user journey, user researching, and research insight, there is a listing of features I think they can improve users' experience in searching for events: Story, filter, invitation, calendar, and event information page.

  • The matching feature should suggest friends based on commons, interesting, and liked events to bring more topics for users to make online friends.

 
Identify marketing opportunity
COMPETITOR ANALYSIS

We observed other social media that help users to look for new activities and invite them to friends, and none of them dresses to match people who have the same interests. 

After putting the existing solution into a 2x2 matrix, we were able to find our unique market opportunity:

A mobile app that suggests fun activities based on users’ current location, is able to update live stories about the event you are attending, and easily invite friends to join with them.

BILLOW SOLUTIONS

Billow allows the users to research fun activities around their current location, to match/contact with people who have the same interests, and also to update their story video about live events. After research, we found out the searching event and inviting friends processing has been slowed down and been inefficient on social media. So, we decided Billow to let people easier reach out to people to join activities together. 

 
 paper prototyping
IDEATE AND VALIDATE

We want the map page showing pins, and each pin is represented as a unique event. Each pin should be clearly pointing on the map so that users can have a better sense to know where and how long the distance the user from the event. Apart from showing event around users' current location, there should be a button that users can switch to see those events of their followings. It can know what events are happening globally. In addition, once a pin was clicked, the event detail will be stretched and users can see how other internet friends are interacting. By clicking add event button on the map, users can easily share their joy from activities on the internet and make more friends

PRINCIPLE FUNCTIONALITIES
  • Matching 

  • Events map

  • Profile

  • Post events 

  • Event Story 

  • Messenger 

  • Calendar 

  • Login

There are eight basic principles we want to implement on this app, and to quickly test our concept, we created paper prototyping. To quickly test our concept, we created paper prototypes that demonstrate key user flow.

 

The paper prototype allowed us to brainstorm on main features without expending too many resources.  We iterated on our wireframe by conducting guerrilla usability testing with paper prototypes. With a total of 8 participants, we aimed to validate the solution concept, clarity on components.

 
High-fidelity prototype
BILLOW'S FUNCTIONALITIES

After searching and completing guerrilla usability testing with paper prototypes, the direction on how to design the final high-fidelity prototype and approach the problem is more clear in this project. 

 

In the Billow app, there are five main pages, which are Search, Match, Share, Message, and Profile.

PRINCIPLE FUNCTIONALITIES

  • Events

  • Match

  • Share/record story

  • Message 

  • Profile 

SEARCH

Generally, the search page is a map that presenting the user's current location and the city around them. And there are a couple of keys functionalities in this page

Event Selected

  • Events

    • After entering a keyword for event searching, a window will pop up with related events around the user's current location.

 Selected event status 

    • Users can update their own event status for each event. Going, interesting, or not interesting.

    • After the update the event status, the user can receive the newest events' notification.

Event Calendar

  • Search bar

    • On the top of the search page, there is a search bar for users to target the event keyword they are looking for. Once, the keyword is entered and a search result window will pop up.

  •  Calendar

    • The icon next to the search bar is the calendar. After confirming going to an event, the notification of the calendar will turn on and save the event in the schedule. 

    • By pressing the icon, the page will be navigated to the calendar page, which shows the following event that the user is interesting or confirms to go.

Event Filter

  • Filter

    • Users can customize the filter, like what time they prefer for the event, how far the event is away from them, or sorting the event by specific.

  • Filter setting

    • After setting up and update the filter, the sorted events will be updated on the page.

Event Comment

  • Event Comment

    • By clicking the event comment, it can view others' comments and event reviews. Also, it is sharable to friends.

Event Page

  • Event Story 

    • By clicking the story circle, the story will show on the screen and is able to view the live video of the event.

  • Event Page

    • The event page collects the details of the event, including, the location, time, ticket resource, description, and official website. In addition, users can see who is going to the same event among their friends.

Event Followings

  • Event Followings

    • On the page of the event follows, users can view their friends' current event stories worldwide and get the newest update of the event they are following. 

  • The difference between event search and event followings 

    • Event following primarily presents the stories of followings and receive the newest event updates users like. It will be less considered users' physical location.

    • Event search aims to explore nearby events based on users' current location and sort events into different categories. 

Event Invitation

  • Invitation 

    • People can send an event invitation to friends and share the information with them.

  • The new idea of invitation

    • Part of the future part will focus on how users can customize their own invitation emoji or cute animation. I want users to experience interaction through the process of sending an invitation to their friends and have a sense of ceremony.

MATCH

The mission of Billow is to let people easily find fun activities around them and invite friends together. Also, to share live event videos worldwide. To spread the joy, we make Billow include the match feature so that users can explore fun activities with new friends. 

Match

  • Match Feature

    • Users can find someone who has similar events interesting and invite them to go to explore the fun. 

SHARE

By pressing the share button, users can film their event story and share to selected friends or the public.

CREATE EVENT

  • Film 

    • Users can record videos about the events they have been going to, and post them on own profile page as memories.

  • Video editting

    • Users can create unique event videos with those editting tools.

  • Update event information

    • After recording the event story, users can update the event information and share it to others. The update will be collected by algorithms and create own event page to attract more people who have the similar taste as you, and then they may join with you.

  • Share event story

    • The owner can decide either share the event story with the public or with specific friends only.  They manage how their profile will look like from different views.

MESSAGE

Users can privately send messages and make invitations to friends.

Message

  • Message Feature

    • In the message box, users can freely text with their friends, and share event invitations to each other. In advance, after the user confirms the event invitation, it can save to own calendar and receive customized event animation.

  • Inbox Feature

    • The inbox page shows messages from others who are not users’ friends. After the users accept others' friend requests, the message will be moved to the general message box for protecting users' privacy.

PROFILE

The Profile page records individual event stories and activities they are interested in.

CREATE EVENT

  • Event Story 

    • Event stories record users' journey an experience. In advance, users can set up own privacy for each event story, either they are presented in the public, or only showed few special friends.

  • Interested Event

    • Interested event feature collects users' habit and interesting, which let more people know the users.

  • Notification

    • The notification page shows current news and follows up events they are interested in. Also, the user can see who send a friend's request to them and view their personal profile page.

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© Joy Wang 2019