When it comes to casual stranger-to-stranger interaction, communities are moving online. We react to news in the comment section of Reddit, we flirt w

1. 🔍 User Experience Research

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2022-07-06 18:30:15

When it comes to casual stranger-to-stranger interaction, communities are moving online. We react to news in the comment section of Reddit, we flirt with neighbors on dating apps, and we idly chatter on Discord. Yet asynchronous social apps have not seen user interface disruption beyond infinity scrolling feeds and reaction-emojis. What if you could reap the benefits of video game design—abstracting 2D content into 3D skeuomorphic objects, scrolling by manipulating the camera perspective, and juicing the mouse or touch interactions—without habit forming loops of a win / loss state? Could there be a way to stop feeling fatigued after a session of social media browsing?

Common scenarios emerged from interviewing people about the origin stories of their favorite friendships - chance encounter at some public event, introduction by mutual acquaintance, casual group sports, project collaboration through school / work / volunteering, and hitting it off at a private house / dinner party.

Since friends hit it off regardless of activity, I suspected that shared interests were a weak form of compatibility; confirmed by often-cited failures to hangout following a Meetup.com event.

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