“I’ll be there for you” — Totem: social app

Inès Serizer
3 min readDec 11, 2018

My third challenge at Ironhack was to design a social app in two weeks.

I thus needed to find an idea that would answer the following problem: “how to make friends in your early 30’s in a new city?”.

I started this project by looking for trends in the industry as well as numbers, and it appeared that the offer was rotating around those players: Meetup, Bumble bff and some small websites/clubs made for people to meet each other.

Then I created an online survey and an interview guide and gathered around 80 answers in total that helped me coming with the following problem statement:

“Young professionals living in big cities abroad have a hard time to meet with their new acquaintances and build strong relationships. They also have a hard time to discover new places to hang out.”

I also came up with my persona: Maria, a Mexican 28 years old, working as an Analyst in London.

Her user journey is the following:

Maria is having a hard time to plan something to do with Alex, another expat friend of her. It’s a big waste of time and leads to frustration .

I then asked myself:

“How might we help Maria to enjoy the best of the city with her current friends, with the option of doing it with new friends also?”

I started to ideate my app doing a feature prioritisation using both MOSCOW and VALUE VS COMPLEXITY MATRIX methods, keeping in mind I only had a week to design the app having spent my first week on the UX part.

I decided on the following product: my app would help expats to find the best outing options only in their city (restaurants, bars, clubs, sports, etc) and they could plan what they want to do with their friends on the app using a dashboard, in order to save time and do less back & forth; indeed, those lead to cancel plans and frustration on both parts.

The user could also have the possibility to match with new people, according to a compatibility percentage based on their profile and interests, and not on a picture, as this was the biggest brake for my interviewees to use apps such as Bumble Bff.

I came up with the name “Totem”, as a totem serves as a symbol for different groups of people. This symbol could also be used as an incentive to use the app: the number of totems you get sums-up how many outings you’ve been doing.

After doing a low-fi I came up with a lot of modifications since I have quite many features, it was tricky to put all my solutions in a single app. I succeeded to design a mid-fi in order to see if my idea was doable and I validated the user flow I wanted to high-fi which was: Maria planning a restaurant with Alex.

This is the final high-fidelity prototype: