Case study

Understanding loneliness


School Project

MA Design for People

Designskolen Kolding

What is the oposite of loneliness? what does feeling lonely mean? What do people do when feeling lonely?

We kick started the course by asking ourselves these questions, and soon we found out the answers can vary a lot from people to people. 

Loneliness is not an easy topic to talk about. People often don´t admit that they feel lonely. In order to understand how people deal with loneliness, I ideated an anonymous research method.

I put boxes in all the school bathrooms with a pack of post-its and a pen. Next to it, a poster asking about loneliness.

The response to the inquiry was amazing. More than 200 people wrote their thoughts about loneliness and put them in the boxes.

The answers on the post-its were quite raw and honest, which provided valuable data for my research.

With all the answers from the post-its I created the first output of the project. A web generator, a machine created by aliens to show humans that everybody feels lonely at times. The purpose of the idea generator would be to suggest ideas on how to tackle loneliness as well as creating awareness about it.

> Check out the idea generator here

After that I classified all the data from the post-its into different categories. 

As the research shows, the majority of people’s reaction to loneliness is reaching out for company, mostly friends. 

Therefore, I started thinking how could I help people make friends. So I thought that, since nowadays many people use the app Tinder to look for a partner, I though why not design an app to help people make friends?

I started researching the app market and I found out there are many apps for meeting people, each one targeted to a different age/interest group. Some are targeted for people looking for a relationship (Tinder and Bumble), while others are more targeted towards people trying to meet their neighbors (Nextdoor), people trying to meet people for business, etc.

I found there was a gap on the market. There wasn´t any frienship app targeted to the group I was doing my research on, early adults from 18 to 25. 

All my ideas start in my notebook. Paper notebooks are my main tool for organizing and portraying the thoughts in my head. Firstly, I draw some low fodelity wireframes of the main screens. 

Then, I moved on to digitilizing my wireframes and creating a high fidelity version of the app. I used these for doing some user testing before moving to the final design. 

Some behind the scenes line art and grid on how I created the alien illustration.

Web Idea Generator
Welcome Screen / Sign Up / Dashboard
Random friends / Matches / Circles
Filtered Search / Private messages
Customize you profile

Thanks for watching! 😉