The Chain

Timeline: 2 weeks

Designed by Zekun Yang, the Chain aims to provide people with a platform to make and maintain relationships online. This app can provide specially designed, one-to-one virtual activities to help users enhance their friendship. Because of the lack of interaction, relationships created online is not as strong as relationships created in person. And a relationship is also tough to maintain using existing social apps. “My relationships with people are maintained mostly through in-person activities; the social app is just an additional part of a relationship. But what about the times when we can not have in-person activities, like right now?” said Zekun.


Chain, a social platform designed for a virtual time.


Here is how to “chain” new friends in three steps: First, sign up and set preferences. By doing so, this app can accurately match you with potential friends and recommend activities both of you are interested in. Second, make new friends on your new friends page. Third, “chain” with your friends using activities suggested by the Chain.


The Chain provides 100+ activities designed to enhance friendship, including, sharing shopping list, redo a movie scene and cooking competition. Then users can send activity invitation to their friend using this app. This app is suitable for many scenarios for example, for long-distance relationships and for people who want to make new friends beyond their social circles.


Fun Activities Chain Provides

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Sharing shopping list

You and your friend can share with each other your shopping list and do shopping based on that shopping list your friend provided. This can be a great opportunity to get to know each other’s personal life better.


Cooking competition

Cook with each other in separate kitchens using the same recipe. Use substitute if you do not have all the ingredients. You can use our video chat to share with each other your cooking experience and have a virtual dinner together.


Redo a film scene

Choose a film scene and watch it together first. Then you can redo the scene with our voice message function. If you want to take a step further, you can also wear costume and use our video chat to recreate the whole scene.


information architecture

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Experience Framing



  1. The filter function should be removed as it is too complicated and is not necessarily needed to provide the experience users expected.

  2. It takes too much time to fill in user profile, users should be allow to access main function without completing the user profile.



The chain app is one of the outcomes of the 7-week Affirming Artifacts course where students were asked to redesign the first pieces of garbage they throw away after this course started. The piece of garbage Zekun throw away is a fruit package and she designed this keychain for fruits based on that garbage. The idea of keychain for fruits comes from Zekun’s imagination of if human can carry fruits like hedgehog then we will not be needing any fruit packages and therefore reduce waste production.


A special background story was made based on this keychain. TheChainStore is a supermarket located on the moon and all the merchandise are connected to a keychain to prevent them from floating around.

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The fact that this keychain is so inclusive that you can attach anything to it inspired Zekun to apply more meaning to it and design the Chain app, and an advertising campaign to promote it.

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what will you put on your chain?



More than groceries

the Chain

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additional products