Live Better, Together
The initial goal was to examine the effects of social isolation in the senior population. This evolved to include users of all ages as I explored ways to connect local people in person to form meaningful relationships. The result was a closed mobile network concept for multi-resident communities called Pool.
UX and Mobile Designer
August 28 – December 12, 2019
Survey Monkey, Illustrator, Adobe XD, After Effects, Google Slides
Social isolation is rising due to heavy work schedules, segregated living situations and lack of meaningful relationships. It has become a leading cause of loneliness, depression and premature declines in mental health.
How might we enhance our living spaces to encourage social interaction and promote interpersonal connections?
"We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s."
-Vivek H Murphy
Former Surgeon General of the U.S.
“I really missed my work friends. I started volunteering to feel useful again. I’d like to meet more people in my neighborhood.”
Belinda, Retired Travel Agent
Social isolation is as bad for health as smoking
People who develop strong relationships retain sharper memories longer
Harvard's Grant & Gleuck Studies
Social media can serve as a platform for complaining
Volunteering is often a one off and doesn't offer consistent interaction
Interviews indicated that people felt a level of trust and comfort with local neighbors even if they did not know them personally.
Online research showed the detrimental health effects of social isolation as well as the lack of options for stranger to connect and form new relationships.
Providing socialization for multi-resident communities could add competitive value.
- Retired Older Adults
- Single Adults
- Busy Families
The target audience consists of people living in multi-resident communities who may be isolated from others due to lack of work network, lack of social groups, or busy schedules.
A mobile hub for residents of multi-family residential communities, enabling them to connect with neighbors and share experiences.
Pool (verb): to share with a group so they can work more effectively together
- Residents form new relationships, increase quality of life and aquire an additional support system
- Property managers will attract more residents, happier residents will stay longer
- Healthcare system will be less burdened with people staying mentally sharp longer, reducing their need for skilled care
Scenario: Marlene's printer won't work
Marlene is really frustrated, trying to print some photos of her grandkids.
She was so excited when her new printer came from Amazon this morning but she can’t get it to work
Marlene posts in the forum on Pool to see if anyone in her building has any tips. Sarah, a student on the third floor offers to come by and help her out.
After 10 minutes, the printer is working and Marlene thanks Sarah with a homemade cookie.
Marlene has a person to person interaction with someone she might never have have met. Pool plants the seed for a new social connection in a trusted environment.
- Closed network concept is not clear
- Feature should feel more connected
- Community should be the focus
- Engagement should be encouraged
- Not available to smaller multi-resident buildings
- Refocused app around custom feed determined by interests
- Removed carpool and buddy finder features
- Expanded usage for smaller buildings to join neighboring networks by request
- Informative onboarding with walkthrough
- Self-introduction post prompt
- Prompt to help organize social events
- Tagging posts for custom feed
A big focus of the revised prototype was the onboarding flow. A quick walkthrough on entry was important for users to understand the purpose of the features and how to interact with them.
Updated Onboarding Flow
Humaaansicons by Pablo Stanley @ https://www.humaaans.com/
A community feed is the central focus of Pool. New users are prompted to introduce themselves int the feed with a quick video. Residents can post to the community, the events page, and the marketplace from anywhere in the app.
Photos by @ https://www.pexels.com/
Icon by @ https://www.flaticon.com/
Illustration by @ https://www.humaaans.com/
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
This project pivoted many times in the research phase. As much as I wanted to help seniors combat social isolation, the early concept feedback pointed me away from a tech solution for older adults. My professor reminded us to fall in love with the problem, not the solution. By opening up the target audience, I could still make an impact. Given more time, I would like to have done research with existing multiresidential communities that have social committees to get a service design perspective.