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Surfn

Role
Sole UX/UI Designer
Timeline
June - Aug 2021
Tools
Figma
Adobe Illustrator

Surfn is a socializing IOS app aimed to mitigate feelings of loneliness and isolation in college students worldwide. Students are encouraged to self-match and introduce their mutual friends in order to grow their social and academic networks and bond over their college experiences.

As the sole UX/UI designer for this project period, I was in charge of designing the "dots" feature — an asynchronous channel for friend requests while users were offline. I took initiative to conduct user research, define goals, design interactive interfaces, and complete the first round of usability testing. Since I was continuing the work of previous designers,
I designed in accordance with Surfn's pre-existing branding identity.

Role Overview

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The Problem

While Surfn was already achieving success in connecting people through synchronous video matches, the company needed a way to maintain momentum and engagement even while students were busy with everyday college life — going to class, doing homework, engaging in extracurriculars etc. 
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Challenge

Create an asynchronous connecting feature that encourages students to reach out and form new and meaningful friendships by expanding upon their current social network.

Design Process

User Research

Due to Covid-19, the way students interact with one another have shifted from pandemic-free years. To understand how student sentiments surrounding online social interactions compared to in person hangouts, interviews were conducted with 7 individuals.
The main questions asked are shown below.

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Through the user interviews, we gathered 3 main findings:

1. Students often find it difficult to balance school, career, and social life.

2. Meeting people online is generally faster and takes less effort (physical prep, small talk, etc.), 

    BUT it is more difficult to feel out someone's true vibe and stay connected.

3. It is much easier to become friends with people who share similar interests/goals, fields of

    study, or routines.

4. Friend groups form as a result of mutual connections introducing more friends.

Ideation
& Prioritization

Following the user interviews, I analyzed the feedback and discussed relevant features with the managing team. To determine the prioritization of features for the MVP, I categorized our ideas under must, should, and could-haves.

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Wireframes

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Prototype Features

Take a tour 
New users can take a quick tour through Surfn's self-match and matchmaking features before exploring on their own.
 
Self-match with mutual friends
In self-matching mode, users browse through student profiles until they find someone they are interested in connecting with. Then, they can send an icebreaker to begin a conversation.
 
Matchmake your connections
In matchmaking mode, users create friend groups by introducing their direct and mutual friends with one another. 
 
Chat and accept match requests
In the notification channel, users can browse through their new chat messages, friendship requests, and matches from current connections.
 
Updates coming soon...