A social debating platform that encourages the spreading of more diverse viewpoints through text, video, and live debates, community-sourced prompts, and data visualizations of changes in opinions over time.
ui/ux design, ux research, project management
team (4 others & me), class project
7 weeks (apr. 2022 - jun. 2022)
Set the scene: You and your friend are discussing the results of the latest election.
…and you both disagree with each other. Vehemently. Later that evening, you wish to continue the discussion, but your friend doesn’t want to hear you out and have an open-minded conversation because they believe what they saw on Twitter is the absolute truth. You feel defeated and isolated with no one to safely and openly talk to about this topic, but also find that you can’t seem to understand others’ viewpoints of the results.
USER RESEARCH & INSIGHTS
"Almost always, someone gets personally offended. It's like talking to a brick wall."
— Participant 1, age 18-35
To understand individuals’ personal experiences with debates, discussions, and how ideological conflicts are navigated, I created and distributed a survey to academic, extracurricular, and hobby-based online communities. 29 total responses were received, approximately 75% of which fell into our targeted age range of 18-35 years old.
AND SO WE ASK...
How might we create more supportive online discussion environments in order to encourage empathy and the spreading of more diverse viewpoints among young adults aged 18-35?
Introducing DebateTable, your debate platform for all the latest topics.
Recall the aforementioned scenario, where you struggled with finding a tolerant environment to express your views and with empathizing with others’ opinions.
Now, you remember that you recently downloaded the DebateTable app, where thousands of users come together to learn and dialogue on matters important or interesting to them. You log in and create a live room called ‘Election results: What do we think and what does it all mean?” Soon, other users flood into the room and some request a seat at the table to debate with you. You begin to understand and empathize with others’ perspectives while safely sharing yours. Now, whenever you’re feeling the urge to speak on a topic and hear what others think, you know to hop onto DebateTable!
PROTOTYPING, ROUND 1
Experience prototyping: DebateTable through Discord
To experience prototype DebateTable’s core features, we turned to Discord. This first round focused on two main features: text-based debates and video-based debates.
“Talking through chat or voice about cereal and soup wasn't as bad as I thought.”
In our first prototyping session, key insights showed our main obstacle to be getting participants comfortable with speaking up.
Key points identified from the post-prototyping survey for Round 1.
PROTOTYPING, ROUND 2
DebateTable through Discord, user flow edition
In this prototyping round, we also streamlined our focus down to creating a clear user flow, making debates less daunting (using small milestones like polls and daily questions), emphasizing the relevance of debate topics (using quantitative stats), and enriching the video-based debate experience.