The goal of my senior studio class was to develop ideas for new products, services, experiences or interventions that could be useful or beneficial. After fifteen weeks of process work, researching, prototyping, discovering, thinking and designing, a final result emerged — Echo.
I began my research for the project by looking at how our society interacts with social media, how it has so drastically changed society within a relatively short time span and how it has changed advertising. I was perplexed at how something called the next industrial revolution could be used for meaningless tasks like sharing what someone had for breakfast. My goal became to figure out how social media could impact the world positively. As I dug deeper, I came across examples, such as the use of text messaging and blogging to deliver relief and supplies to Haitian earthquake victims in 2010 faster than through usual rescue methods, and how the 2008 Iranian elections were widely monitored by individuals using social media.
I began to look what qualified something as "news" on the Web. This eventually led to the concept of micronews — smaller events that might not be reported by the larger news outlets — and the creation of Echo, a micronews application. Echo allows users to instantly post events, enabling the emergence of community trends that may not ordinarily be noticed. Multiple individual observations might then coalesce into larger stories and events. Using Echo, users are able to see events in their community, city, state, country and internationally, allowing for increased knowledge about the neighborhood and ultimately the world.
Above is a short video that shows some of the interface and flow paths of the app. Using Flowella, an application designed by Nokia to prototype phone interfaces, I was able to create a mock working version the application with screenshots. The mock version is clickable with a mouse or can be uploaded as a website and tapped through on an iPhone.
For a complete in-depth look at my process, click here to download my process book as a PDF.