UX/UI Design, Prototyping, Research
The Other Cookie is an app where you can read or share experiences of injustice through stories. With a mission to help people build the ability to empathize with others, and fortune cookie as a metaphor, it is a platform where people can tell their stories and listen to each other in respect. The main interaction is to answer to the prompt - what would you do in this situation?
In divisive times with different beliefs and views, how can we make people more tolerant and empathetic of each other?
Being a storytelling platform, the app needs to have many stories, have people share their stories, and interact. I had several goals in mind:
1. Have as many users share their stories.
2. Bring in a diverse group of users
3. Increase the interaction of users with one another even if they disagree
4. Improve the ability of the users to empathize with others.
The goals 1 and 2 are important to address at the beginning of the app to increase the traffic of the users and making it active.
The goal 4 is more of a high level goal as a system that I expected this app to bring values to the bigger problem of the society.
I chose to focus on the goal 3 this time to test if this idea of storytelling is useful and effective as a form of interaction between people who disagree with each other.
My research included desk research on empathy and storytelling, and competitive analysis on projects on building empathy.
What I found interesting is that storytelling does not automatically generate empathy. For human kindness to really get flowing, readers must be transported where you have your full mental and emotional attention.
The Problem and Opportunity Area
The problem I identified was that the "What would you do?" question after listening to someone's story was a blocker for users checking out. So I defined a problem/opportunity area around improving the user experience and motivation around answering the question, with the goal of increasing the interaction of users with others.
A hypothesis should clearly state and include:
The segment of users to be evaluated [user group]
The change we are making [change]
What we believe the result will be [effect]
Why we think that result will take place [rationale]
And finally, the measurable result we expect to observe [measure]
User testing informed me that the users who exit the question are often uncomfortable or not sure how to answer the question. Writing out the answer is also an act of commitment to the statement they are making which can be quite taxing. They like to read and browse but it feels like homework to actually respond to the prompt.
The users who usually exit the question after hearing the story will answer the question "What would you do?" will continue with the activity if they are given choices to see others' responses because more stories can make them feel like they are transported to that situation. This will increase the rate of exits and therefore, the number of interactions with the story and others.
Noting that the testing will involve success and failures, I used this diagram to communicate what could be done next and how each test will inform the next. The final item step at the bottom shows what I expect will work but along the way, it’s meant to be taking small steps, adjusting and learning, instead of jumping straight to the assumed solution.