Sole UX/UI Designer
June - Aug 2021
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.
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.
Create an asynchronous connecting feature that encourages students to reach out and form new and meaningful friendships by expanding upon their current social network.
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.
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.
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.