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The Spectrum Project Update 6 : Getting specific

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 | Posted by alex.wykoff

Last week, my design partner Chelsea Hostetter introduced Scenario Validation, where we allow the user to read through and imagine particular uses of our application.

In particular, Chelsea highlighted the core of our application which we believe works well:

CoffeeRoulette’s best features include:

  • a curated community of trans*friendly folks, initially seeded by the alpha testers in the trans*community.
  • a no-hassle 45-minute timed meeting to meet with others (but not feel bad if your time runs out and you don’t want to meet them again)
  • a way of connecting others in a generally anonymous, one-on-one way to protect the privacy of individuals.

Having these fundamental concepts of the structure of our community and the ground rules of a time constrained meeting between anonymous participants, we were able to rapidly try various permutations of the meeting mechanics, continuously refining our concept along the way.

After a certain point though, if the design idea is to become real, you have to prune your options and make some lasting decisions.

With that said, we have landed in a pretty solid place and have decided that the way we would like to go is to ditch the games, focus on the trans* and gender variant community, and give people the most direct path from invite to first meeting.

Queery

After receiving a lot of feedback, we changed the name one more time. ‘Queery’ plays on two concepts, the primary one is that this is for a nonconforming community, the second being that so many of our participants have questions and would like to find some friends with whom they could explore these questions.

From the image above, you can see the first few screens a potential user would encounter. The very first is an email invitation from a current member.  We believe that this social vetting mechanism is a great way to keep the community safe and to keep the quality of the interactions high.  After clicking on the link, the user is sent to a web app (see forecast.io via your smartphone for our inspiration) where the user is given a carousel of discussion topics. Most of the topics are rather broad and inclusive of the broader community, some are very specific to the trans* and gender variant community.

The user has to make 2 selections, create a password, then they are given an option to confirm the meeting. We decide the location and discussion companion, but the rest is driven by the user.

Our goal is to help introduce members of the community to one another in a safe manner. We hope that these meetings will help our members forge friendships and build out healthy, supportive social circles.

So how do we know this idea is useful for our community?

More testing!

Our mission this week is to complete a series of usability tests which allow our potential users to give us feedback on not only if the app feels easy to use, but also if is it useful for their needs.  Preliminary feedback is certainly looking good.

Would you like to help us test? It takes an average of 30 minutes, you’ll get free coffee, a sneak peek at our design, and the chance to help the community. Please email us at spectrumproject@ac4d.com

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