Milestone 1: Ideation

April 17, 2014

Brainstorming on Project Ideas


Additional Need-Finding

We also interviewed one person who had two major needs around communication:

- when she sends someone a text or email and they don’t respond, she needs to know the other party’s status (i.e. why they are not responding when she knows that they read the message)

- She has difficulty in cross-cultural communication, especially in project teams. She needs to know that she is not offending other people and wishes to express that what others say doesn’t offend her.

- She needs all parties to understand mutual expectations, as her conflicts usually arise when expectations differ.

We are planning on doing more user interviews to find out and narrow down compelling needs, and update our project ideas if necessary after more need-finding.

Our Three Project Ideas

1. Couple Diary

This idea targets at couples, mainly long-distance couples. The product is in the form of a mobile app that enable couples to chat, video chat, and call each other, or send an audio / video / photo / text message. At the end of each day, the app sends both of them a daily synthesis of “highlights of the day”, including some communication items they add in actively and some items the system chooses. After a while, they can also playback the daily syntheses as a slideshow-like video. This product aims to meet the need of couples to record their trajectories together and look back at their time together in the future.

2. Make a band with other strangers waiting with you for something

People waiting in line are often waiting amidst other strangers and need a way to kill off time. Most people kill off time by interacting with their smart phones, and as a result are not social and cannot meet other interesting people. This idea is a way to get to meet other strangers while killing time waiting for something (bus, ticket booth, etc.). You form a band with your fellow waitees by playing music with your phone. You get assigned an instrument and you make music to support the entire band.

3. Status-update by calendar

People who send messages often get a read receipt from the recipient, but the recipient doesn’t respond right away. The sender needs to know the current status of the recipient in order to infer why recipient is not responding. Our idea is to connect the message app with your calendar, so that in addition to the read receipt, your status (whether you are currently busy, based on calendar) will also be sent. You can specify the level of specificity, i.e. whether to name the particular event you are busy with.