Team: Jeff Gadzala, Emma Fagergren and Julia Rickles
One Month Research Project - The purpose of this assignment was to develop and deploy a unique research method to investigate 'intimacy in the online age.'
Solution: We used physical images and had our subjects assemble them to tell the story of how dating was for their grandparents and is today.
Getting to choose our area, as a group we were drawn to online dating because during our first meeting we were looking at my Okcupid profile just to see how the site works and being a free site, Jeff and Julia both created profiles as an experiment for new users. By the end of the meeting, Julia had 20 messages to Jeff's 0 and after we let it go overnight, Jeff had a few profile views while Julia's inbox was almost full. Since there was such a stark contrast, this lead to a discussion of gender roles and dating, and so we set out to explore if online dating has done anything to change the gender roles when it comes to dating. (The typical story of the guy always asks the girl out.) Spoiler: it actually amplifies this behavior.
We set out to gather more data, Julia and myself used online profiles on Okcupid to invite people to take our online survey to confirm the message discrepancy and gauge peoples attitudes toward dating. We also conducted in person interviews over coffee, to discuss their online dating experiences in more detail.
Using this data we found out that while some people are more than willing to talk about anything, dating life can be a very personal subject matter so then how can we come up with a better way of communicating a persons thoughts and feelings toward the matter. We came up with the idea of using images to tell a story as a way to project these attitudes in a light manner. It turned out to be the most fun I had running a user test as this method essentially turned into a game. The subjects above were great and the images made them fair more playful with these ideas, this created a conversation between the two that was a data goldmine.
Lastly using that data we were tasked to come up with 12 concepts based on our findings. All ideas are in the document but some examples are, filters that limited messaging in bulk (Spam for Spam) and rejections tools to kindly let down an persistent person (Reject or Reply).
This project wore me out, but in a good way. I was in charge of getting females from Okcupid to participate in the online survey (we had close to 60 participants in five days), I conducted interviews on the website itself and in person, I lead the storyboarding session, conducted the one on one interview with our male subject and I was extremely active in the concept sketches at the end.