CS247: Everyday Rich Social Communication

Milestone Four: Functional Prototype I

Feature Decisions

There are three major tasks a user can perform on our platform:

  • Listening to stories from the community
  • Sharing stories with the community
  • Connecting and drawing together

Listening

Because our platform is dependent on having a large compilation of stories in order to engage other users to share their's, we have decided to initially populate our database with those who have been very public with their experiences as well as those who are very public with their support. Furthermore, the perusing of the story gallery will be public allowing potential users of our platform who may be questioning whether or not to post their story can listen and ultimatly commit to sharing their story without the pre-commitment of signing up for an account.

Sharing

Many of our testers were concerned by their anonymity when recording their audio stories. In response, we plan on alter their voices after they submit a story but still maintain the humanness of the voice. During the actual recording of the story, we will display prompts in order to provide sparks for the storytelling. We hope that the prompts combined with the pre-populated and public gallery will engage users to provide thoughtful stories.

Connecting and drawing

When talking with friends, the topics of discussion are not usually planned. Thus, as we learned in our user testing, it is unnatural to need to schedule a time to connect/draw with somebody on this platform because there needs to be a warming-up period to engage the user to even begin to discuss something like a sexual assault experience. Thus, we plan on allowing users to display their online status and willingness to connect/draw in order to allow users to connect/draw instantaneously without prior planning. From feedback from our users, they were more willing to talk right after first listening to other stories. Thus by scheduling a future connect/draw session, we fear that the sessions will be far less beneficial without the priming of listening to stories.

From our feedback, many of the users liked the silliness of the Google Hangout drawing application, which included stamps and characters named beanies. Thus, our shared drawing space will also include stamps and starters in order to bring a bit of silliness to balance such a somber topic.

Implementation

Our platform can be found here.

What we have done:

  • Built a basic listening gallery populated with public stories of experience and support
  • Built a basic recording mechanism to allow users to submit their story (though we don't yet have the funnel to display it on the site)
  • Prettified our site to the point where the UI will not be a distraction for our next round of user testing
  • Spent a lot of time doing the initial groundwork of the site and still dealing with some Heroku problems

What we need to do:

  • Building our shared drawing space with an open audio feed
  • Building our database to hold users, stories, and drawings
  • Providing prompts during our recording session; we are meeting with the SARA team to discuss prompts that are both sensitive and engaging
  • Altering the recordings to maintain the anonymity of the voice
  • Creating an online status feature to allow users to connect with other users
  • Creating account management for the platform