About this Project:
This app is called WeChat and it’s about online chatting with people of different ages. It can be for school work or just for fun in a safe and monitored setting. It’s like video/text chat and you can talk to other people, friends and family.
The app is going to be mainly for teenagers. It’s not safe for a kid to be online chatting with strangers. To make the users comfortable, the user’s age will be displayed at all times. Also to ensure you are speaking with a user that is the age that is displayed, certain filters won’t be allowed to be used while on the app.
The app also can help people go out their comfort zone and be themselves both online and in real life.
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Feedback from the Judges:
I'm a trained UX Designer in multiple disciplines (visual, interaction, research, strategy) who can deliver production-quality front-end code. I love to work on web-based or native mobile applications that users use to get something done...and delight them while doing it! I'm a systems thinker and empathizer with a knack for translating business needs into user-friendly interfaces. I'm an explorer and a Toys R Us kid, constantly learning about myself and the world I live in.
I also felt seeing the screen where the user picks topics makes me think you all thought about personalization which is a smart idea to keep users coming back to your app. That really stood out to me and is something I wanted to highlight in my review. :)
The slide deck and mockups clearly helped me understand the user journey and how you all thought about visualizing the solution to the problem you decided to solve.
I think it would be a good idea to explore Apple's and Google's design systems for their smartphones. While they are similar, they each treat components like buttons and patterns like navigation slightly differently. You can make an app look and feel however you like, though I believe in using familiar and well-design elements when possible to help reduce user confusion, design, and development time.
Some features I liked were the ability for users to add other users to a video or text chat. Very well thought through! I think that would be a useful and wanted feature for communication apps like yours. I also liked your strategy to ensure people don't lie about their age and then display that age on the user interface. Being a parent of two high schoolers I worry about who is on the other side of the video games my sons play. I also like how you gave users different ways to find topics to join and chat in. Not everyone finds things the same way. Some like using search boxes and some like seeing the options and clicking through to find what they want. I thought it was cool you all figured that out and implemented it in your app.
Congratulations on creating WeChat! I imagine the journey has been both hard and rewarding. I hope you all keep going, trying to solve other problems using technology in this wonderful world and age we are living in.
Jessica Hochman, PhD, has 20 years of experience working as a teacher, professor, researcher, and consultant. She is one half of We Need 2 Talk, an educational partnership that facilitates critical conversations about race. Jessica also works for the Equity and Disproportionality Lab at Temple University. She has taught workshops and courses, and facilitated professional development programming in addition to publishing articles and book chapters on technology, literacy, and identity.
Kathy is a Biomedical Engineer who works with very cool medical devices. For the last 8 years Ms. Rutherford has taught robotics for FIRST Lego League, FTC and FRC’s 130 pound robots! Kathy also works with the Greater NY Girl Scouts and has judged FIRST FRC, FTC, World Robot Olympiad, NJ Science Olympiad and Makeblock’s MakeX Spark competitions. Engineering is the coolest profession that no one has ever heard of. Kathy is devoted to showing students how cool tech careers can be!
Rae Blumenthal started her career at the United Nations in community-based development strategy and now works on Trust & Safety in the tech industry. She leads Meta’s risk mitigation and management strategy as a Program Manager, focusing on support for vulnerable populations, crisis response, and the company strategy for the severe real world harms facing the 3.5 billion users across Facebook and Instagram. Outside of work, she loves hiking, traveling, and exploring the Bay Area.
Feedback from the Community:
Thank you for a record-breaking 14th anniversary event! Comments are officially closed until next year.