LoCalendar: The App Fighting Loneliness
One of my Final Major Projects for university, making use of UX/UI design and design for change in order to create an app that helps fight loneliness in young adults.
Responsibilities: UX/UI Design Research, Design for Change, App Design, UX/UI Design, Brand Identity Design, Video Editing, Ad Campaign Design
Tools: Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe AfterEffects, Marvel App Creator
Duration: 8 weeks
Project: UAL Final Major Project
Brief: (An RSA Student Awards Brief) Accounting for how different groups in society are affected by loneliness, design a way to reduce its impact on one or more of the following: physical health, mental health, or access to services.
As part of my initial research, I watched a BBC One documentary on loneliness in all ages, from 16 to 100 years old. It gave me key insight into why people are lonely & how to help reduce loneliness.
This documentary was key inspiration in terms of what people find is the best way to reduce personal feelings of loneliness. Below are some quotes I extracted from the documentary that helped shape my project.
(Spotlight on Loneliness, Campaign to End Loneliness)
“Loneliness is becoming more and more unavoidable”
“I needed [my lifestyle] to be structured so I had a reason to get out of bed in the mornings”
“If I haven’t got things planned, the depression will start kicking in again”
“I don’t want to talk to people about how I’m feeling, because it’s, it’s too painful really”
“It’s very important to hear just a friendly voice”
“Someone to come and see me for a couple of hours, [...] it really helps when you’ve got something to look forward to”
I took inspiration from a project called 'A Positive Platform' by Studio Output, which aimed to reduce time spent on social media - as studies show that heavy users of social media are more likely to suffer from mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
The intelligent algorithm could block content that may be harmful to mental health, and improve the overall experience of using social media.
(Studio Output, A Positive Platform)
(Studio Output, A Positive Platform)
From a survey I conducted on 18-30 year olds, the most interesting responses I got were to the question 'Do you find that there is a lack of social or community groups in your area?'
The majority of participants answered 'yes,' even those who live in an urban area. From this, I realised that perhaps those who said there is a lack of social groups may simply not be able to find groups relating to their interests or at a convenient location or time.
Another interesting response was the most popular way to reduce loneliness among young adults turned out to be chatting to friends and making plans. At this point, I began to have ideas for an app that helped people find groups and activities and make new friends.
Colours found during research that make people feel happy and empowered.
My app idea was titled 'LoCalendar,' an app that helps people find events and groups in their local area that are tailored to their interests and fits around their weekly schedule. Once I had figured out the outcome I wanted, I started working on the branding of the app, and its functionality. I made use of the online tool 'Marvel' to create a prototype of my app.
I refined my app functions & branding based on feedback from those who participated in my survey and ranked themselves as 'lonely,' with their consent.
Iterations of design elements
My final outcome consisted of an app that finds and schedules events tailored to their interests into their personalised timetable. This acts as the first push towards making new friends and going to social gatherings. I designed other elements such as adverts for the tube, shop windows, Instagram, and a video explaining the app's functionality.
You can try out the app here.