IXD302 – Week Ten: Proof of Concept & Initial Research

During this week’s class, Daniel talked us through the importance of creating a concept that people actually need, that doesn’t already exist, as well as finding research through existing apps and users.

One of the first things he talked us through is how to conduct a SWOT analysis for our product ideas.

I found that this would be very helpful in terms of choosing a final idea, as I have a list of a few ideas that I’m not sure what to do with, or how strong any of them actually are.

List of initial ideas:

  • a touch-based app which allows you and someone else to communicate over long distances using touch alone
  • an app for dividing up finances
  • an app for reading/learning sign language

I composed a SWOT analysis for each idea:

This really helped me to see each of my ideas from a new perspective, and to see which was most balanced between strengths and weaknesses.

I think the least strongest idea was an app for dividing up finances, as I was able to name two different apps that already exist in that category. I don’t want to create an app that already exists.

In terms of the other two ideas, I think both are as strong as each other. The sign language translation and learning app is a much more helpful app, whereas I feel a more personal connection with the physical touching app, as the pandemic has made it much harder to stay in physical contact with friends and family.

I have decided to choose the app based on physical touch from long-distances. I feel very personally connected to this idea, as long-distance relationships with family and friends has been a big struggle, particularly in the more recent years, and it seems like a really nice concept to me. I think it would be beneficial for a lot of people struggling emotionally during the pandemic.

Competitor Reviews

Between

Between is an app designed for long-distanced couples. It tailors to all their needs, including phone calls, countdowns to their next meet-up, photo galleries and chat rooms. The aim of the app is to be able to store precious memories of the relationship on the couple’s phones, to which they can look back on when they wish to.

Reviews

Overall, the app seems to be pretty well received. People seem to most like the fact that they can store memories to look back on. It also keeps them up to date with their own relationship, and gives them a timeline of events using pictures. One of the main negatives I saw in the reviews was the uncertainty about the security of the app, and how the app uses your data and information. It uses things such as browsing history, location, contacts, phone activity, without any explanation as to why. This would understandably make a lot of people uneasy.

Nujj

Nujj is an app that lets you send your partner ‘nudges’ by shaking your phone. You simply shake your phone and your partner’s phone will vibrate. The app is designed as a way of telling the other person that you are thinking of them in that moment, to which they can send a response by nudging back. The app has a variety of other features, too. You can send messages with photos and audios, keep track of dates, set reminders, send your location and create a timeline of events. You can also send your partner reminders or notifications for things for them to do on the app.

Reviews

I was very surprised to find the abundance of negative reviews for this app, but then I realised they were all relating to the functionality of the app, and how it is doesn’t seem to work very well, but that the overall concept of the app is good. Most reviews agree that it is a good concept or idea, and that it would be beneficial if the app actually functioned as it should.

Data

I also wanted to gather some data and statistics about people living long-distance with their partner or friends, as well as people’s struggle to find emotional connections during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

  • 14 million couples define themselves as having a long distance relationship
  • 3.75 million married couples are in a long distance relationship
  • 32.5 % of all long distance relationships are college relationships
  • 75 % of all engaged couples have been (at some point) in a long distance relationship
  • 2.9 % of all married couples in the states live in a long distance relationship
  • 10 % of all marriages in the states started out as a long distance relationship
  • On average, most people in long distance relationships tend to be at least 125 miles away from each other.
  • They tend to visit each other less than twice a month and call each other at least once every three days.
  • A 2018 survey of long-distance couples found that 27% had never lived near each other. About 50% of couples in the survey had met each other online.
  • One-quarter of internet users with recent dating experience (24%) have used the internet or email to maintain a long-distance romantic relationship.

After conducting research from a range of sources, including both around long-distance relationships and the impact of covid-19 onto mental health and emotional health, I have found that I want to combine these two struggles into one helpful app. I want to create a touch-based app that will allow users to feel more connected with each other.

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