CONTEXT: Group Research Project
TIMELINE: 15 Weeks
This is a group project about young women's mental wellbeing and how it's influenced by social media. During the research, they realized that what young women experienced on social media is a "feedback loop", where they consistently seek out content that makes them feel good but being exposed to more harmful content and finally stuck in that loop. An APP and bracelet system is created to help them break away from the loop.
An Instagram plug-in that tracks users' facial expression when using Instagram. It will cross analyze facial expression with content they are exposed to, and provide users with suggestions accordingly.
A total of 16 interview sessions with lead users and experts were conducted during this process. Each session lasts about one hour including discussion and a card sorting activity of social media features in the end.
After user research and insight mapping, we realized that, as experienced social media users, women in college have become apathetic to the way they view themselves. After years of adhering to unrealistic beauty standards, it has become the norm to be hypercritical even if the content you are being exposed to is more encouraging. The result is a feedback loop in which the user can never feel satisfied with themselves, but will continuously seek out content that they believe will make them feel good.
How might we remind young women that their virtual presence can have a physical effect on their mental health?
Instagram Plug-in & Bracelet
InstaBrace plug-in aims to connect their users' emotional state with the feed they are using and eventually serves as an agency for the users to alter their own emotional states through their Instagram feeds. The bracelet aims to remind its users' emotional situation by making their emotions visible on the bracelet.
The plug-in will be scanning users' facial expression continuously once it is on. And it will connect users' emotional changes with the content they are viewing.
Users will be provided with a daily/weekly/monthly report of their emotional status and some suggestions made according to the report. Users will be able to apply these suggestions directly to their Instagram feed.
The user's Instagram home page will be updated accordingly. For example, if the report suggests the user to decrease the frequency of concern by 20 percent, her Instagram home page will show her less content that made her feel concerned.
A Miro board was made to show the participant a combination of storyboards, UX/UI features of the plug-in, and renderings of the product.
Insights & Iteration
As we interviewed more participants, we gravitated towards allowing more interaction with the brace.
We also changed the plug-in features to allow the user to have more control over their posts.
We replaced the screen showing the scanning process with a small banner to allow users to see how the plug-in works through active facial scanning.