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“CONNECT”

An App/Software Project
By Yasmeen and Janvi
Middle School Students from Mouse Design League (DIIT) @ JHS 217 Robert A. Van Wyck
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About this Project:

Our App Connect addresses social isolation and loneliness. Our proposal was based on social isolation between adults and teens with mental health issues. Our concept has evolved over time as a result of talking to adults and our mentor, getting their feedback. Our project would help kids and adults to socialize and feel more secure sharing their difficulties with one another. This app would reduce social isolation among people suffering from mental illnesses.

Project Media

Images

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Slides

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Community Feedback:

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Feedback from the Judges:

Jackson Powell 👏 Sr. UX Designer at Providence Healthcare — Emoti-Con Judge
What a great problem to tackle, Jasmeen and Janvi! I'm so impressed that you decided to try and help people with mental issues suffering from isolation... especially in today's climate when this issue is so real due to COVID.

I really liked your choice to use speech bubbles as what I felt was part of a brand strategy for Connect. And I liked the easy to get started quickly strategy for the first screen in the images above. That is called Gradual Engagement and is a very smart way to get users hooked. Give them access to the tool as quickly as possible!

I liked the design of the chat page too, using a well-known messaging app pattern of the person who is typing has their messages on the right side of the screen and their friend's messages on the left.

I wonder what the screens and experiences are for users to find people that they want to connect with? And how would you keep users safe from people that might not have the best intentions? Like a way for users to block other users or report them.

I once joined a startup that wanted to create a platform including a web app and mobile app for families to connect and help each other in a safe environment. Families dealing with serious issues like bullying and suicide. They also created a way for families to connect with professionals. This was part of their business model. While the idea is to help people, in order to help people you have to find a way to pay the electricity bills!

So I really like that you both decided to build an app that helps people dealing with isolation, out of all the apps you could have chosen to build. That deserves recognition and praise. Great job!

Ashley Smallwood 👏 Director, TC NEXT at Teachers College, Columbia University — Emoti-Con Judge
The work you're doing addresses something so important—isolation and mental health, especially in pandemic times as we find ourselves. The core need is a critical one and the potential for impact is big!
I especially liked the use of the mood meter; it helps users reflect on their own feelings, normalizes a range of emotions, and connects people experiencing similar emotions. Using this as a check-in before engaging with any sort of social media is, I think, a very compelling approach. I think the idea of the loading screen also provides a uniting factor.

One consideration: how might you create safe, facilitated places for people experiencing similar mental health challenges to connect and commune about those issues?

Well done!

Kathleen Dolan 👏 Director at Accenture Strategy Consulting — Emoti-Con Judge
You provided such a detailed view of all the app pages, had consistent design across them, and included a great set of basic features that should be standard to any app. Your concept is strong to address the social need you laid out and it is a simple but powerful solution. There could be lots of opportunity to promote and gain users of this app in alignment with Mental Health Awareness month and programs.

Holly Tienken 👏 Assistant Professor, Communication Design at Kutztown University — Emoti-Con Judge
Yasmeen and Janvi you are working with two complex topics, isolation and mental health issues. A very challenging route to take but I think the app you have started is a great launching point! The use of speech bubbles makes the overall design feel friendly and inviting. I wonder if having an option to connect with a counselor or to find a local support group might be helpful for your users? Great work!!

Feedback from the Community:

Isatou 👏 a Middle School Student
Hey I think this is an amazing app and great to think of teens relationships with their parent/guardian.
👏 a Middle School Student
keep going!

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