Your Guide through the Noise
& Crowds of City Life
Hypothesis & Discovery
During the General Assembly course, I was apart of a team where we were given the task to find a problem space of interest to us and create a solution. My team and I were interested in exploring being an introvert living in a metropolitan city. Our How Might we? (Hypothesis) is as follows:
Life in the big city can be stressful. Urban dwellers can find the stimulation
and forced socialization exhausting.
How might we enable them to minimize or eliminate this feeling?
We conducted our research with articles on the subject (found here, here, and here), interviews, and observations. We relied on our interviews to get the most data; we initially focused on individuals living in New York City who commute regularly; speaking with those who self-identify as ‘introverts’. Some of our questions included:
• What do you find most difficult about living
in a big city?
• Walk me through a recent example where
you were surrounded by people and how it made you feel.
• What sorts of people & situations do you
• Walk me through a recent example of
feeling like you needed to be by yourself.
Synthesizing the data
The solutions that our interviewees commonly used to deal with their stress and anxiety were placed into 3 main categories: Escape, Avoidance, Recovery.
Whether being in a crowded subway car, attending a business event or being approached by a stranger, stress and anxiety was caused by conditions that
were unexpected, unwanted and out of one’s control.
Based on our synthesized data we create a persona and user journey map that illuminates our potential user's daily commute.
With this, we landed on our problem statement:
People who live and work in big cities need a way to remove the unwelcome surprises in their routines. Those surprises are stressful, disruptive and
Next a thorough breakdown of other companies in areas similar to our problem space. Since the problem we were tackling was very niche, there weren't too many issues in seeing an opportunity for Samwise.
Prototype Process and Features
To start, I created a mood board to get a feel of how we wanted the look and function; once we figured out what we were going for we focused on the three features that served as the solution to our problem statement: Evasion, Escape, Recovery.
The three features (Evasion, Escape, Recovery) are as follows:
• Escape: The user can find the best route to navigate the crowds.
• Evasion: Real-time reports of obstacles and surprises relevant to user's location.
• Recovery: Scheduling ‘Me Time’, users input what is serving as an obstacle and their "wish" (How they want or think they should deal with the obstacle) scheduling it as a set reminder.
Test users were given a series of simple tasks (three scenarios specifically) to complete within the Samwise. The results varied but were overall fairly good. The results were:
17% of users weren't able to complete any of the tasks.
33% of users were able to complete 60-80% of the tasks.
50% of users were able completed all of the tasks.
Final thoughts: play more with the concept of voice activation and virtual assist as features.