Build a trust relationship with your next-door neighbors through a private network of favors.
Research, Product design, UX, Prototyping, UI, User Test
Analysis, Sketches, Wireframes, Interactive prototype, UX Motion
— 01. Overview
Clique was created as a fast solution to day-to-day problems.
It is a iOS app to activate the relationships between next-door neighbors, which aims to build trust networks of close and immediate support.
It is based on the concept of help in the form of supply and demand of favors.
With Clique, you can ask for help to your closer people, because life is tough enough.
— 02. UX Challenges
1,620,000 people live in the urban center of Barcelona and almost 40% of that population is foreign (not from Spain) or from outside of Barcelona, so they have no one to turn to (partner, family nor friends) in the face of an emergency.
This research is based on the personal observation that we hardly ever ask for help to the people we have closer, but to the ones that we trust the most. It cames logical to me, but sometimes it just not the smartest choice. Day-to-day problems often require fast solutions (You lose your keys, a pipe bursts, you need to pick up a package, ....), so time and distance can really make a difference.
100 surveys and 5 interviews after, I got to know in greater depth how people build trustworthy relationships with their neighbours or why they don't, and overall what makes a good neighbor.
(Take the test)
98% of respondents lived far from their hard-core support system (partner, family and closest friends), almost 80% had them at more than one-hour distance, and yet only 12% of respondants asked for help to their neighbors in case of necessity.
The reasons for not doing so were very diverse but the predominant one was: I do not know them, we are very different, the neighbors are always changing, as I am renting I do not know them ...
From this research we could define a user persona: lives in a big city with his partner but they are both from outside and they have no family or trust circle nearby. Lives in a community of neighbors with whom she has little to none relationship. Her partner travels for work and she often thinks that it would benefit her to have a relationship with her neighbors because she is afraid that something will happen to her, and nobody will find out. Fix day-to-day issues translates into extra investment of time, displacement, stress, frustration and feelings of loneliness and helplessness.
Main pain points
Then I did the user journey, I could detect the main pain points of the experience of communicating with neighbors, which were:
- current communication systems such as notes in the elevator do not help to strengthen ties
- Everyone hates WhatsApp chat groups of neighbors, and do not pay any attention to them due to the typical nosy neighbor.
So I asked myself... How do one start trusting their neighbors?
When are trust relationships established between neighbors? The answers were: When they help with a problem, when we have things in common and when we have a good image of them.
To sum up, to be a good neighbor, you should guarantee:
- Provide help when needed
Here it is when I found a cul-de-sac, because according to the research, people do not have a hard time doing favors but have a hard time asking for them. When was it easier? When the others have already offered it to you several times. Therefore, the application had to be based on both the demand and the offer of favors.
— 03. My approach
I wanted the solutions to be based in frictionless design.
It had to be fast, consistent and intuitive. The less screens the better, focusing on what matters.
— 04. UX solutions and outcome
- Strict privacy and security check prior to sign up for the first time (QR and geolocation + paper mail with code)
- Feed of pending favors
- Request a favor and customize your request
- Match if a neighbor agrees to do a favor
- Private chats only accessible when a neighbor agrees to do you a favor and viceversa
- Customization of the kind of favors the user is able/willing to do
- Filter the request only to a specific neighbor
- Close favor when done via confirmation thorough scheduled push notification
- Simplified private newsfeed only for the building
For visual design, I looked for a clean and neutral and yet close interface. Trust is an emotional issue so I thought it will help if the tone was warmer than the usual design systems.
The idea, as always, was to keep the application simple, consistent and visually pleasing.
— 05. Prototype
For this app, I developed an mvp for the main feature, which was the two-step security verification sign up, and to agree to do a favor. Click on the image to navigate to the prototype.
— 06. What's next?
Once the prototype was ready, I conducted a usability test to get my first user feedback. Next steps will be:
- To Develop some card sorting test, to work on tone and voice of the app, to give it some personality and to make some of the main features clearer, so they proved to be kind of hard to understand.
- Try to reduce the number of customization options when posting a favor request, or at least, shrink the screen so it is not than long.
- Enhance emotional design with more positive feedback
- Check usability issues such al legibility or contrast.
— 07. My personal opinion
My personal goal here was to build a digital product that was feasible and credible. One that when a new user would see it, could think: "I would definitely use it".
I knew from the beginning that this is not an app that one will use on a daily basis, so I chose not to use a pre designed design system and opted for customize its visual appearance at its maximum.
It is risky and slow, but I wanted to give it a try and push myself to look for its own personality.
I am not yet sure that I have accomplished my goal of make it credible, I think I have to go deep in terms of reducing complexity and in visual consistency. But in terms of interaction design and intuitiveness I believe that all the iterations done when looking for simplicity have paid.