Needfinding, Literature Review & Competitive Analysis
My teammates and I were curious whether there was a market for the product our assignment described. We created a survey to explore the role technology plays in family dynamics and distributed it online. We interviewed parents and their children about how they felt about the way they communicated.
In addition to speaking with potential users, Doug, Truc and I analyzed current family-oriented apps and social networking apps and reviewed several academic papers about family communication.
What We Learned
When we reviewed our interview and survey data, it became clear that parents and children were wary of monitoring applications which might be interpreted as "spying." Whether the children were thirteen or thirty, most felt that they needed to curate any information they tell their parents regardless of platform - phone calls, text messages, and social media. Both parents and children felt their interactions were lacking:
- It can be hard to find common ground to talk about beyond the impersonal and mundane.
- Many conversations are checking in, week at a glance, major life events, decision points.
- Interesting day-to-day vignettes get lost in the shuffle.
- Many want a glimpse into the other person's environment or physical space.
These findings led us to wonder whether we could design something that would help family members develop stronger ties. We hadn't found any applications during our competitive analysis that helped families bond.