MissU is an iOS app that connects people by allowing them to communicate through physical objects around them. The sender can type in short messages in the form of diary entries and the app picks up keywords from the message and translates the message into icons. The icons are sent to the receiver’s app which communicates with a lamp at the receiver’s end. The lamp shade displays the icon, and the receiver can touch the icon to send a notification that the message has been received. MissU does not require the receiver to use his phone to communicate with the sender. In a subtle, non­intrusive from, the message is sent to the receiver’s lamp and serves a reminder that he/she is being missed. It serves as a great medium of communication for people living in different time zones, and for those who are not very comfortable using apps.

Initial Idea

We live in a world where technology has virtually bridged the physical gap between people. Long distance communication has become easy and new wearable inventions have made it possible to feel a loved one’s presence when they are not around. Although phone calls, texts and chats have made communication highly convenient, they are also intrusive and demand attention even when one is unwilling to do so. Our idea evolved from close introspection of the flip side of easy communication. We also realized how people who are not very tech­friendly find it difficult to use technology. It’s even worse if they live in different time zones and calling is not always feasible. We wanted to find a solution that is non­intrusive, subtle, is capable of building an emotional connection, and allows for communication of basic important information. We believe that there is something of importance in tangible totems which cell phones cannot compare to. This is how MissU was conceived.

User Research

We focused on people who live at long distances from their loved ones as our target group. After two turns of interview, we got a bunch of feedbacks from 15 participants who were from China, Taiwan, Korea and India.

My team then brainstormed some solutions based on the interview data with the help of affinity diagraming. In the final solution, we focused on the objects like mug and ring.



Iterative Design - Wireframes

We created wireframes iteratively in two stages.

In the first stage, we drew two versions of the chatting interface. In one version, we separated the interface into two columns, one for the user, one for the contact. When the user selects different contacts, there will be different time shown on top of this page according to the time zone. In the another version, no salient difference in time zones showed. All the user does is just selecting the contact he/she wants to chat with. Only when a message is sent out, the time will show on top of this page.

In the second stage, we continued to drawing three versions by pencil and paper. Then we used Pop to took photos of each interface and then connected them. Six users were asked to complete user tests of each version on Pop.

Iterative Design - LoFi Prototype

Iterative Design - HiFi Prototype

After the interfaces and work flow was decided, I designed the Hi-Fi prototype by Sketch and Axure RP. I did the visual design in Sketch first, then export the artboards and slices into images which were used in Axure RP for connection.