Learning from social media. Listening to societal needs.
Designing a platform for group support
and personal development.
You have more "friends" than ever, now what?
How we share things has changed. When you need a little support or that extra boost of motivation, the last thing you want to see is more cat memes, food porn or fake news – not to mention a plethora of former acquaintances' glorified life highlights. Community, group support, or a friend to rely on can make all the difference...and there was no mobile solution filling these needs. With a deeply rooted mission and a high bar for required functionality; I set out with a team of creatives to revolutionize how people support those they care about.
Diving deep into group dynamics.
Through interviews, surveys, and psychology research, we discovered what groups need in order to be successful and where current platforms were falling short for those looking for support.
Groups are most successful when there is:
• A balance between group identity and personal identity within the group
• The opportunity for inter-member relations
• The ability to have both centralized and decentralized communication
• The opportunity for intergroup relations
Current social platforms were:
• Too cluttered and noisy
• Uncomfortable for sharing more private moments
• Heavily focused on self promotion and validation
• Motivated by scraping data, heavily driven by targeting advertisements
We created the Speshio Digital Locker Room.
Based on the findings of our research and interviews, we learned that some of the most successful and close knit groups referred to themselves as "teams." We realized that the way that physical locker rooms house the camaraderie of sports teams supported the main pillars of successful group dynamics, almost to a tee! Our goal was to pull the metaphor of a locker room out of the traditional athletic application and design a digital space for any type of team to share meaningful media, conversation, come together as a group, and garner personal support – all with a heavy emphasis on content privacy. Next steps: brainstorming features, flow diagrams, and wireframes.
Pen and paper, pixels and screens...
After several paper and animated prototypes, we polished the UI and moved on to testing.
The test users had a lot to say – and we listened.
Getting the Speshio app into user's hands was the most valuable piece of the entire process. We learned through feedback, testing events, surveys, and analytics which design decisions were a hit and which areas of the app needed improvement. Because of the positive relationships that we built with test teams, we were able to capture honest and constructive feedback throughout the entire testing process. A specific example of this was the Speshio "Note-It" feature. User interviews quickly revealed some unexpected behavior. If a user received a meaningful chat message from one of their teammates; they would frequently screenshot it and then upload the image into their own locker to revisit later. By implementing "Note-It" we gave users the ability to easily save whatever information was meaningful to them.
"The Speshio app provides a safe space
to share personal development.
I can’t wait to fill up our team board!"
– Briana, Health & Wellness Coach, Speshio test team captain
Summary: How you respond to feedback can make or break a user experience.
We had an idea of what feature-set would benefit Speshio users, but it wasn't until we let go and put the app in their hands that we really learned exactly what we needed to provide. Through truly listening to feedback, not being afraid to iterate, and working in tandem with the engineering team; Speshio launched their public beta* on both the App Store and Google Play Store, successfully partnered with a top ranked volleyball club, and was invited to exhibit at Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland.
We felt good about launching a beta that was able to help people; even if our reach wasn't as wide as we had planned.
After struggling to secure funding for a launch of the full-feature Speshio app, the team decided to pursue other endeavors individually.
* The Speshio app is no longer available for download. I am happy to provide more demo materials upon request.