In October 2020, I participated in the uXperience | Think Privacy, a hackathon hosted by the Stratford school of interaction design and business. The hackathon primarily focused on Privacy-Conscious Design and how we, as designers, could start thinking about privacy more.
Create a privacy-conscious product, system, or service that reduces the negative impact of the physical and mental barriers that people can face during social distancing to make them feel loved, supported, or connected.
As one of the many designers part of the team, I was involved in every stage of the project. From ideation, to research, my main responsibility was to design and prototype our app.
My team and I placed 2nd in the competition and are in the talking stages of making Bondfire a real thing!
Me + 4 Designers
How might we connect people and create a sense of “togetherness” while protecting everyone’s privacy?
Bondfire, a real-time interactive platform for isolated college students to build meaningful connections through the power of storytelling.
Organized by category, users are able to join a plethora of rooms (campsite) to socialize with friends or strangers.
Users are also able to create their own campfire and choose to invite their own friends whether they have the app or not.
Live campsites allow for a private experience with a group of friends or strangers. It’s unexpected and exciting for the user to try because it is so unpredictable.
Our app included important features at key touchpoints such as visual privacy policies, multi-level authentication, privacy reminders, and the use of machine learning to help make sure the user is feeling safe and informed.
The visuals in the policy help make the features salient and simple for users to understand and consent to at the outset.
Users are prompted to either sign up with Google, Apple or mobile number to ensure their account is secure
This addition helps funnel through a network of verified and trustworthy users to the platform.
Each campsite provides the user the ability to have random prompts depending on the topic to always keep the conversation going
Users are also able to interact with each other by giving an ingredients to a s'more to show support
From our research, we knew that storytelling was a big thing in making connections with one another.
Random prompts help provide that intimate experience where users are able to talk about many different things to help connect with each other on a deeper level.
This is a method for secure communication that prevents third-parties from accessing data from the app.
With the addition of Campfire Talks, the encryption of data helps ensure that whatever is said at the campfires, stays at the campfire. It also encourages users to keep the conversation more private and intimate.
With the help of AI and Natural Language Processing, it will help filter out personal information, profanity or negative behaviour in Campsites.
With constant surveillance on chats and campsites, it ensures that the app is a safe and friendly environment which also builds trust with the users.
The app has reminders at every touchpoint of the app such as reminding the user that talks must stay private in campsites or mentioning that the chats will be monitored.
Although this may seem annoying, we know the importance of the user knowing everything that is going on and helps reassure users that we really care about their safety.
In order to understand the struggles of many during the pandemic, we asked over 30 university students about the difficulties and barriers of social distancing. We determined that many were having difficulties connecting with people and were not satisfied with their current method of so.
Over 70% of respondents mentioned them not being able to connect to others on a deeper level with current apps in the market. This inspired us to research more on relationship building and came across the idea of building a community through the power of storytelling.
Responses from the user survey inspired us to research more on the idea of relationship building and how human connections are made and developed. During our research, we came across the idea of storytelling and how it can be powerful in building relationships.
Learning about how impactful and important storytelling is in our society, lead us to focus on a more specific problem:
After conducting some user interviews with a couple university students through Zoom, we formed a persona and an user journey map.
Mapping out our user’s pains and gains throughout the day along with jobs to be done helped us determine our key features of the app.
Sketching out the initial low-fidelity wireframes helped us determine the user’s flow. We focused on the key touchpoints of our app such as the onboarding, and campsites.
The visual design of the app features dark purple tones with a vibrant orange and purple to help emulate an inviting and real life night sky experience of the user. The use of cards and imagery also help the user digest information more easily.
My group and I finalized our prototype and pitched to the judges of the hackathon.
We were proud to announce that we placed 2nd in the competition and are in the talking stages of making Bondfire a real thing!
uXperience was my first remote hackathon, and I am happy to say it has introduced me to a whole new world of design. The focus on privacy really made me think about the day to day products that I use and helped me become more cautious as a designer.
Internship, Product Design, Branding
Rebranding the marketing website to increase conversion rates.