Jingting He
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Never Have I Ever / App

NEVER HAVE I EVER

How to build an anonymous platform for teenagers to share their embarrassing experiences?

 

MFA Products of Design

Fall 2017

UX/UI Design, Service Design

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Never Have I Ever is the service lens of my thesis — A Mask That Reveals: Exploration and Expression Through Anonymity.

Never Have I Ever is a platform for teenagers to share their awkward experiences anonymously with their friends. It has an advanced system which can provide a 100% safe space and avoid rumors and bullying, which always happens on anonymous platforms, by directly not allowing people to post. Instead, users choose their answers for the pre-written questions. For the experiences they admit to, they can check how many of their friends had the same experience.

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Everyone does uncomfortable things when they are young. That’s ok. They are still in the process of learning. But for most of the teenagers, they feel ashamed to mention those experiences and afraid of people judging them. As they don’t communicate, they never have a chance to know the same thing also happened to others. They keep their secret, and keep feeling bad about themselves.

Never Have I Ever provides a chance for teenagers to share their embarrassing experiences without their name and see how many of their friends did the same things before, which can help them turn awkwardness into empathy, and have a better understanding of their past.

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Anonymous social networking platforms always have bad reputations around violence, rumors, and bullying. Popular anonymous social networking apps, such as Yik Yak or Secret, shut down for those reasons. I started questioning why people have those behaviors when they hide their identities, and created this innovative anonymous social networking platform.

Anonymous social networking apps are not a new idea. Lots of companies have tried with a positive purpose, but most of them failed because users showed their dark side, by posting rumors and bullying.

From my market research, the most popular 3 Apps: Secret, launched at 2013, once had received $35 million in funding, shut down at 2015; Yik Yak, launched at 2013, once valued at $400 million, shut down at 2017; Whisper, launched at 2012,  struggled with its business model and started laying off this year.  When rumor and bullying started to spread out and created a bad user experience, the red ocean became the dead ocean.

A traditional anonymous social networking app usually work like this: people post their secret anonymously, and others can comment on those secrets anonymously (some apps use real-world social networks, while others do not). What happened was, at some point, rumors and bullying started to spread out, and suddenly lost control. When user experiences became bad, nothing could save them.

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After asking the cause of the problem, I found out the most direct way to solve the problem, simply by not allowing people to post.

Instead, users choose their answers for the pre-written questions. For the experiences they admit to, they can check how many of their friends had the same experience. If they answer no, it will skip to the next question. The app also sends secret anonymously to their cell phone contacts via text messaging to encourage their friends to interact with them.

 

 
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