Designer | Writer

Neighborlink Mobile Application

 — An academic exercise of the end-to-end UX research and mobile app design process

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Neighborlink

Solving the design question:
How can we help connect neighbors over shared meals?

Connections to neighbors have historically been a source of socialization, companionship, and assistance, but these days those relationships are harder to forge. This app is our attempt at helping to solve that.

From October to December of 2015, our team conducted research on how to help better connect neighbors. Research included surveys, participant interviews, and prototype evaluations. 

We learned that there are a LOT of people interested in meeting their neighbors, and would do so over food if given the chance. This project was an excellent opportunity to really understand the usability process from start to finish, and we wound up with an app that has serious potential. Our first million, maybe?

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Research

Our initial approach was incredibly broad, so we built a survey to help us narrow the focus of our design question, and to determine who our audience/stakeholders might be. We knew we wanted to create something that would help neighbors connect with each other, but it was important to know how people were willing to do that, what obstacles would keep them from it, and whether there was a target audience. 

After compiling and analyzing the open-ended question data, we were able to clearly see trends around how people have successfully connected with their neighbors in the past, and how they would like to connect with them moving forward. This was instrumental in helping us determine the system we would design, and the audience we would target.

User Research Summary

Design

After a brainstorming session to develop a basic interface and flow, we built a paper prototype to test our initial ideas. Because of its complexity and likelihood of use, we decided to build out the path for organizing a potluck event.

To test the workflow, we gave users a scenario and a set of parameters for them to organize the potluck, then prioritized the issues they encountered by severity.

Prototype evaluation

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We ended up not building a digital/interactive prototype for our class submission. In the interests of developing this skill set I took it upon myself to build out the Organize a Potluck happy path we'd vetted in class using basic interactions and some new visual design elements. 

Neighborlink Interactive Prototype
PW: n3ighborl!nk