UX Case Study

Concord
UX Design Sprint
Adobe Creative Jam
Design for Good Finalist

We set out to create a user experience that mobilizes individuals to challenge racial injustices and advance equity.

My Role:

Collaborative designer – user research, user interview, logo, branding, prototyping

Team:

Vanessa Bowen – UX Designer
Cynthia Hopper – UX Designer

The Problem:

In the United States, the pandemic exposed racial inequities and sparked attacks on minorities, including the Black, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities. But racial discrimination is a global problem. One of the barriers to reducing inequality is how some people justify and rationalize it.

 

We found that 62.5% of BIPOC people don’t feel safe as a minority. They often “keep a low profile”, “take as little space as possible”, and “always have a phone ready” when in public alone.

Should minorities continue to feel they need to shrink themselves in order to be safe members of the community? How can we start to elevate their voices and empower them to stand out while countering unconscious bias deeply rooted in our communities?

Our Approach

Concord is a casual location-based audio app with augmented reality features showcasing authentic, diverse stories from local storytellers aiming to break down stereotypes and reach beyond our own comfort bubbles to hear other stories, experiences, and connection to place.

Design Process:

01 Conducting Research

02 Identifying Insights

03 Ideation

04 Developing the Concept

05 Finalizing Concord

06 Reflection

01 Conducting Research

Research Method 1: Screener Survey

The goal of sending out a survey was to reach those who experienced or witnessed racial injustice to gain a better understanding of how and why these incidents occur.

Survey Highlights:

8/8 of Respondents were of Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous, or mixed ethnicities.

Research Method 2: User Interviews

User interviews were conducted to get a deeper understanding of racial injustice experienced by BIPOC individuals.

2/2 Users stated that the racial injustice experience was rooted in stereotypes of their race.

2/2 Users tend to avoid racial injustice discussions because of the trauma it raises.

02 Identifying Insights

BIPOC tend to blend in to avoid scenarios of racial injustice.

BIPOC tend to avoid racial tension because of how situations escalate quickly, often violent.

BIPOC have to resort to weaponizing for self-defense to feel safe.

Racial injustice is closely tied to stereotypes.

Allies are becoming more aware of racial injustice through listening or herd mentality.

“[I’ve experienced] constant racist jokes/mockery growing up ever since I was a kid till now, being told I can’t do certain things as well as others cause I’m not white.”

03 Ideation

Taking into consideration the research insight of “allies are becoming more aware of racial injustice through listening or herd mentality”, it was vital that our concept focused on ensuring quick, easy access and the ability to share diverse stories.

04 Developing the Concept

Refined Concept: During our design sprint we created our prototype to complete the happy path for a user to be able to explore or share stories.

05 Finalizing Concord

After a brief onboarding process, users can view stories in close proximity to their location and a quick way to leave their own story.

Key Features

Concord uses geolocation to place shared stories either as a map-based audio clip or an AR object with an audio clip.

  • Geolocation
  • Map-Based AR Objects
  • Audio Stories

The Goals of Concord

  • …humanize community members…
  • …nurture cultural oral traditions…
  • …strengthen the connection to place…
  • …educate each other from the first-hand experience versus perpetuated stereotypes…
  • …provide easy access to hear diverse perspectives…
  • …form connections and understanding within a community…
  • …encourage active listening without social validation or gamification…

“I feel like people are waking up to [racial injustice], like, now it’s now that we’re in a space, as a society, as people that we want to address this. And we want to handle it.”

06 Reflections

Concord’s ultimate goals are to humanize our community members, nurture oral traditions, and challenge perpetuated stereotypes.

The project was led with keeping engagement and real-life experience at the forefront of every decision to ensure users utilize the app and not let it become the forgotten app that eventually gets deleted to free up storage.

If there is one main takeaway from the project is the simple call-to-action to listen and broaden understanding of people and place.

This concept is also backed by cultural lifeways of traditional oral storytelling that many Indigenous tribes still uphold to this day. It’s an age-old tradition intersecting with modern technology to promote the wellbeing of our communities and its BIPOC members.