ASPIE

Social Platform For People with ASD

Deliverables: Survey results, User Persona, Customer Journey Map Wireframes, Low Fidelity, High Fidelity, Usability Test results.

Challenge: Develop an app that helps people on the autism spectrum to meet new friends based on common interests.

The Process: design thinking
In order to empathize with the users, I conducted quantitative and qualitative research, respectively in the form of surveys and then interviews to learn about how users used to meet new friends, and their struggles. 
 
In the define phase, I clustered findings in affinity maps to focus strategically on the specific problems to solve. 
 
While ideating, I generated solutions for improving the user interface. I then proceeded to design low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes
 
I later tested with the target group. Now let’s dive right into each phase.
1 %

attested they can’t have opportunities to make new friends very often.

1 %

claimed they can’t figure out who they are talking to on social networks.

Problem Validation

At first, we mapped out how many of our users face difficulties while meeting new people. Our team performed a classic 'market research'

  1. We prepared a survey
  2. We distributed it on various Facebook groups
  3. We analyzed the findings

We confirmed our assumptions and decided that the app should focus on finding friends and not romantic relationships. 

Personas

It would be a lot easier for Kobi to meet new friends if he could use one interface that centralizes all his needs. This way he will be able to meet new friends that match his interests.

Produce new conversations and even encounters with people like him – which will make him feel a sense of community and belonging, “will no longer be an intimidating task, but a daily routine"

Competitive Research

By looking at these different platforms, I focused on who I'm designing for (the user base) and what kind of features and functionalities ASPIE should offer.

Most apps today do not reflect what the match is based on back to the users. That's why OUR app shows the users why they matched – ASPIE is based on common interests and not just superficial information

- Below is a comparison of the features on the competitive platforms

"Social networks are very limited in finding real friends, Facebook is a very tricky place"

Kori,26

"Instagram is just pictures… it's only dealing with the outside, it's not a real acquaintance"

Reuven,30

Interviews

Participant Demographics: 6 participants, 3 different geographical locations

Outcome: From our interviews, we found a recurring pattern where people on the autism spectrum are not satisfied with social media and there is a demand for a centralized app.

User Flow

After the team had brainstormed potential solutions and analyzed pain points, an architecture information outlining the features that need to be developed was created. This allowed us to get a grasp of how the platform would work system-wide.

This allowed me to understand the information architecture and how to design a step-by-step process of finding and applying to improve the users’ needs

The Design
Paper Wirerframe

First, an initial characterization phase and the creation of wireframes for the main screens were done. I focused on creating an easy flow, allowing the user to meet new people and create friendships with strong visual aspects.
The application allows the user to Offer membership requests, approve people with common interests and join/create social gatherings.

Usability Testing

Our goal was to identify any usability problems, collect qualitative data and determine the participant's satisfaction with the product. 

Prototype
Insights

A big thing I learned during this project was to pay special attention to the details when designing digital experiences. Before this project, my screens wouldn’t always follow specific guidelines, but I quickly I learned that in order to work on a complex product, guidelines must be followed rigorously.

An important thing I learned through this project was how to properly recruit, schedule, host, and facilitate formal testing sessions. I understood the importance of the “you are not the user” concept, and how vital it is to make this separation and put the user at the center.

Thanks for reading! 🤲🏼