Role: Conceptualization, UX research, user testing, prototyping, UI design
Duration: 6 weeks
Client: School project
Tools: Adobe Illustrator, XD, Photoshop


01 . overview

With the rise of social media and other instant messaging platforms, talking to someone is as easy as a push of a button. In a world of instant gratification, it has become difficult to find meaningful connections, especially during the fast paced and everchanging atmosphere of the post secondary experience.

“one” is a different kind of social media application for students that is designed with the hope of restoring the authenticity of conversation. Users are limited to one message per day to encourage a more thoughtful kind of conversation in hopes of opening doors for a more meaningful connection with someone.

02 . features

sign up
Users select their general interests to help with matching. For a small touch of customization, the user can choose a colour for their name.

The first conversation with a new connection is started with a prompt question.


The main page features a dynamic inbox that changes with the time of day that can also be changed to the user's preference. 

The user can send one message every 24 hour period with up to 3 connections at a time.

mood + respond
Responding to a message has an optional mood element. Responses must be a minimum of 50 words.

Removing a connection isn't as simple. The user is prompted to give a reason which will be sent to their connection. 

03 . ideation + user research

I wanted to create a mobile application that could help post secondary students in some way for my mobile design class. I had a general focus of mental health, though I wasn't quite sure how I'd approach it. I knew it was an important topic that I personally felt was difficult to address, especially in a school environment.

After some initial research, I decided to switch gears and try for a kind of preventative approach as opposed to a direct solution to mental health.  I wanted to focus on the idea of fostering a meaningful connection as a means of improving one's sense of belonging and security.

I was inspired to create an application where the user could send only one message per day. This limitation was set in hopes of encouraging a more thoughtful kind of conversation.


I interviewed 15 people on the theme of a meaningful connection.

  • Every connection almost always began with a conversation of some kind
  • Similar experiences or interests fostered a stronger sense of connection
  • Conversation content that were deeper in nature felt more meaningful as it instilled a sense of trust

From here, I decided to focus on quality of conversation and by what methods it could be improved. I conducted a second set of interviews to try and find what increased or decreased the quality of conversation, particularly in the digital space. My findings included:

  • One word answers/emoji responses had either a negative or neutral impact to the conversation
  • It was sometimes difficult to read the tone of a text message
  • Oftentimes, a text message would be sent without much point to the conversation
  • Longer messages felt more authentic and thought out
  • Many short messages in succession (a continution of a sentence) were sometimes viewed negatively
04 . user flow

I started with a basic user flow to determine how the user may use this app.

05 . paper prototyping


I moved into paper prototyping to flesh out the features of the app. I had some feedback and concerns about the current prototype: 

  1. Would there be any customizations available?
  2. Are there any indicators of emotion or mood?
  3. Messages replied to were not clearly indicated.
  4. What if my connection responds with only a few words?
  5. Are there any parameters for matching or is it completely random?
  6. Could I be an anonymous user?
06 . feature additions

Using the given feedback, I was able to add features to address these concerns. I added the following to my designs:

  • Addition of a customization element - adding a touch of colour to your name
  • A mood indicator when sending a message that would be displayed by your name
  • A simpler indication for 'replied to' 
  • Minimum word count to ensure messages aren't too short
  • General interests and matching preference for parameters 
  • In order to give some anonymity to the user, only first names are used without any other identifiers
07 . branding




The logo is a wordmark type, where the dashes allude to a partial anonymity. The empty expression of the 'o' allows for the idea of filling in the emotion.



The primary typeface is 'Quicksand'. The rounded edges of this typeface give a friendlier, more approachable feel.


The colour palette was chosen to reflect the sky for a calm, soothing atmosphere.