THE STORY OF

REACH

VIEW PROJECT SUMMARY
THE PITCH
Knowing the difficulty of keeping up with friends and family, We wanted to create an experience where users could reach out through an interactive game.
ROLE
Visual Design, User Participation Platforms, Interaction & Motion Design, Brand Strategy, Creative Concepting
TOOLS 
Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, Sketch, AfterEffects CC, Marvel
Reach Mobile App - Keeping your friends close

THE CHALLENGE

How can we use game to improve close relationships with family and friends?

THE CHALLENGE

How can we use game to improve close relationships with family and friends?

DETAILS
We live in an interesting time where we can get to know people without even speaking to them. Social networks have been limited in their influence. News feeds may provide current and relevant information about a person, but there is no reason to compel others to reach out for support, praise, or sympathy.

Eroding personal relationships are sometimes attributed to busy schedules or changes in interest or personality. There have been many services that have sprouted to combat those reasons— reminder/scheduler apps that annoy users into action, or filtered news feeds that inform you of what you want to hear about and respond. What if there was a different way to use these digital resources to motivate users to connect with their close contacts?

RESEARCH

We're pretty bad at keeping and cultivating friendships. 

We're pretty bad at keeping and cultivating friendships.

This General Social Survey (GSS) research states that the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has roughly tripled in recent decades. 

A recent study found that when women have children, they drastically reduce their socializing with friends. barely five hours each week, down from 14 hours a week before having a child.

A person's social circle is about 100 to 200. But studies say our closest 15 relationships are the ones that count.

A person's social circle is about 100 to 200. But studies say our closest 15 relationships are the ones that count.

USER PERSONAS

The task of staying in touch with friends and family is difficult, which could instigate negative pressure or apathy.

The task of staying in touch with friends and family is difficult, which could instigate negative pressure or apathy.

MEGAN STEWARD
Age: 29 
Gender: Female 
Family size: Husband, newborn son
Household Income: $70,000
Occupation: Homemaker
Education: Bachelors Degree, English

"It's hard to make friendships a priority, when I have so much going on at home. But I suffer for it. When I get busy and start pushing friends off until next month, I get into this emotional funk -- I feel disconnected and crabbier with myself."
Referents & Influences:
Productivity/Budget blogs, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Friends, and Amazon deals

Technology Expertise:
Internet: Medium 
Using software: Medium
Using mobile/tablets apps: Advanced
Using social networks: Advanced

Experience Goals:
The product should be visually approachable and provide efficiency to my routine.
DONALD GREY
Age: 32 
Gender: Male 
Family size: Wife
Household Income: $80,000
Occupation: Accountant
Education: Bachelors Degree, Accounting; Masters Degree, Business

"After getting married, I left all of my friends behind. And now, you get to a stage in your life where you forget how to make new friends. Sometimes I claim my work colleagues as my friends, but that's not true."
Referents & Influences:
Coworkers, Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Podcasts/Audiobooks

Technology Expertise:
Internet: Medium 
Using software: Advanced 
Using mobile/tablets apps: Advanced
Using social networks: Medium

Experience Goals:
The product should be visually approachable and perform undesirable tasks.

USER TOUCHPOINT

Personal, life-changing events are great opportunities for users to show love and support, and strengthen relationships.

Personal, life-changing events are great opportunities for users to show love and support, and strengthen relationships.

MARKET STRATEGY

53%
of consumers age 18+ view social media content through third-party websites
84%
of consumers say that mobile apps make life more convenient
70%
of greetings cards consumers buy yearly  are for birthdays
Our user personas learn of close friends through social media, but without any sense of appointment to push them to communicate, important notifications come and go. There are a handful of online gift-giving services to help with holidays and life stage events, but none establish urgency for visitors to make purchases.

Including a game mechanic could help establish a system of appointment with gifting, as well as motivations to reach out to friends and family.
Reach Mobile App Market Strategy

SOLUTION

Create an interactive game based on the appointment of special life events within your close social circle.

Create an interactive game based on the appointment of special life events within your close social circle.

Reach Mobile App Logo
Reach Mobile App Phone Mockup
Reach Mobile App Logo
Reach Mobile App Planets

CREATIVE EXECUTION

Introducing Reach
Reach is a mobile app that informs users of opportunities to reach out to their close friends through the use of story building. Within the app is an interactive galaxy, and you're at the center. When you show support to those in your orbit, they will revolve closely and you'll be rewarded. But users beware of the delayed reach out, because if that happens, friends drift away!
Reach Mobile App Story
Learn about current life events of your close contacts
Reach out to your contacts through personal messages and gifting
Gain visual feedback and rewards as you keep your friends close
UX ARTIFACTS
Reach Mobile App Add to Orbit

Add friends to your orbit.

Add friends to your orbit.

Logging into Facebook, a you can choose close friends and family whom you would like to keep in touch. These contacts will be added to your small, private list called your orbit.
Reach Mobile App Add to Orbit
Reach Mobile App Newsfeed

Learn life details of your friends.

Learn life details of your friends.

The Reach app aggregates the key details from Facebook to notify users of important life events happening to those in your orbit. But feel free to look at all of your friends and filter by life event.
Reach Mobile App Newsfeed

Make contact with those who need it.

Make contact with those who need it.

The app makes it easy to send support in the form of a thoughtful card or an inexpensive gift that fits the occasion. Select a friend or family member and a Reach branded envelope will be sent their way.
Reach Mobile App Make Contact

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

- Ralph W. Emerson
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
- Ralph W. Emerson
Reach Mobile App - Close Orbit

Close distances between you and them.

Close distances between you and them.

Through the system view, users can check up on all of their friends represented as planets circling around you. You can zoom around and check up on distance and activity of every friend in your orbit. As your friends stay nearby, you can earn discount rewards for gifts for your friends further away.
Reach Mobile App Moving Planets

RESULTS

When we presented the Reach app to peers, many of them had questions about the features and the limitations of the app, thinking of it as a social app. Addressing their concerns and our own messaging, the feedback was promising. 

There are a lot of apps that act as a way to socialize digitally. That was not our design. We believe in the power of analog relationships. The Reach app is a utility tool to make it easier to rekindle and maintain friendships through the craziness of our lives.
Do you have a tough time with keeping up with friends? I know, right? Lets talk about it.
CLIENT
N/A
TIME FRAME
2 wks, Feb 2017
TEAM
Aaron Wachsstock, UX Designer; Sarah Burley, UX Designer, Shifra Selvakumar, Art Director
PROJECT EPILOGUE
This topic of maintaining relationships is personal to me. With most of my family living all about the country, it has been difficult to have close ties with my many brothers and sisters. I was excited to research this topic and look for true insights of how to build relationships.

We considered many businesses that could partner with our project. I would say that the largest undertaking would be the gift giving portion of the app. Looking further, it would be swell if a larger client picked up on this and ran with it, like Amazon, which already has effective gift giving services. I'm sure that they could benefit from the storytelling of Reach.
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