Bridging social and political divides through video conversations.
Master's Thesis (MFA in Products of Design)
Project advisor: Brent Arnold
In my thesis research, I found individuals across a multitude of political identities expressing desires to hold conversations that would expose them to opposing viewpoints, but they do not know how or whom to engage. Union brings socially and politically separated people to the same table — or rather, it brings the table to them.
RESEARCH + LEARNINGS
Before building out the core features of Union, I identified four user archetypes based on both interviews and my own participation in intergroup dialogue initiatives. I then tested my assumptions about these archetypes with an anonymous survey. I shared the survey on LinkedIn and received seven responses. The survey included a brief description of the concept but tested more foundational assumptions, rather than the interface. It did not ask for political identification.
The results confirmed my assumption that Union would primarily attract users who were interested in expanding their world views, or Challengers (see the archetypes below).
Creating the mockup was a 15-week process through which I learned a lot about designing good UI. Below you can see how things evolved through five iterations.