Duration: 1.5 - 2 weeks | Team: 1
Often, families live under the same roof but family members hardly see each other all day. With the rising use of technology, every member is consumed by social media or surfing the web which leads to lack of communication with people around them. How can this use of technology be used to transform the lack of communication between family members to more frequent and unique methods of communication? Before I came to Tech, I was born and brought up in India. My parents are both working citizens and my sister is an MBA student. Everyone would be extremely busy during the day and planning events and daily chores would prove to be quite a task. I realized the need for a tool that would help distribute chores around the house as well as help in organizing family events. Such a solution will not only simplify communication but will keep the family close despite their different individual locations.
Is a mobile app for families that live under one roof but hardly get time to talk to each other in person. It aims to simplify communication between members of busy families by making use of fun, interactive methods. By using this app, parents can keep in touch with their kids on the go and plan family activities according to everyone’s convenience.
1. Group chat - message family members, file sharing (music files, photos etc), location sharing.
2. Fast click - a feature that allows you to communicate via photographs. You can send pictures on the go, add text to them and even use your artistic skills to draw over your picture. Set a time limit from 1 second to 20 seconds and click away!
3. Video chat - invite family members and talk to them “face to face”.
4. Add new members - If you want to include your cousins, relatives and friends who are like family, this feature lets you do so.
5. Group calendar - Where your family can plan gatherings according to individual schedules.
6. Chore distributor: Plan out who will do what chores throughout the week, in order to give mom some time to breathe.
Design ideation and brainstorming, sketches, mockups and prototyping.
Before starting to design the app, I developed a persona of a girl Emma and her family using the app in order to understand how it would flow and how it could be used to improve comunication between family members. I also wanted to figure out the interface design so that it would be easy for every family member to use the app, whether they are tech savvy or not.
Emma Johnson is a 17-year old who lives with her parents and brother Nick, in Chicago. She is involved in a bunch of school activities such as being the captain of the girls’ soccer team, member of the Green Club and violinist in the school band. Yes, her schedule is pretty packed. Mr. Johnson owns a restaurant “Le Café”, which is a 10 minute drive from home. He is opening up a new branch in California and keeps flying back and forth to manage the set up. He leaves home every morning and returns late in the evening. Mrs. Johnson is a vet and drives 15 minutes to her clinic every weekday. She returns home late in the evening as well. Nick is 15 years old and goes to the same school as Emma. He is a talented artist and editor of the school magazine. The four of them always have each other’s backs but are extremely busy with their own lives. It is very difficult to organize family events and chores because it is very rare to find all four of them in the house at the same time. Recently, Emma found an application called ‘Fam Jam’. This app made communication within the family way more efficient and it even brought them closer! The screen shots below show how Emma uses the app.
Sketches and initial mockups
I started off by identifying the problem space and sketched a series of mockups using just black pen and paper.
View the detailed interaction here
Following that, I interacted with the mockups myself and tested it out with classmates. This helped me gain feedback about certain inconsistencies in the flow of the app and small design elements. Using this feedback, I went ahead and created the prototype in Axure.
View details about the design decisions involved in building the functionality of the prototype here
View a video of the interactions
After finalizing the functionality, I went back to the prototype a little later and decided to improve the visual design and theme.