The brief in this project was to find out which factors cause loneliness in Norway, and how we can prevent and overcome loneliness in our society.
In this phase I collaborated with three classmates. All of us live in separate corners of the country and have different work schedules, so we needed to work individually to reach our goal. We set up a research plan spanning over two weeks. We decided to conduct literature review, interviews and create a survey to gather both qualitative and quantitative data.
We collected facts from 18 different sources in our literature review, and received 161 responses to our survey, in addition to three interview sessions. As a result, we ended up with a table containing 250(!) facts.
I sifted through the facts, highlighted the golden ones and created an affinity map with these. On the face of it, loneliness seems like an individual problem. It can seem like the cause is from a lack of friends and that people just need to be more outgoing and extrovert. The issue is much bigger than that, and the solution to “cure” loneliness is complex.
The goal with our research was to gain a deeper understanding of what causes loneliness and how we can prevent people from feeling lonely. After going through the facts and gaining insight, I reached four main conclusions:
I created a persona to get a clearer idea of my user: John the Everyman.
How might we help people build meaningful relationships? John is feeling lonely because he has difficulties getting in contact with other like-minded people. If we can help John combat the loneliness, it will likely improve both his mental and physical health as well as his overall life quality. It will also benefit the Norwegian government because avoiding loneliness can reduce the treatment costs of physical and mental illnesses caused by loneliness.
Through multiple ideation sessions I ended up with a top idea inspired by three post-its. The idea is to create a self-help app to help the user developing skills by coaching them in their personal goals which they can choose from a number of categories. The name of the app is Something Good.
From our research, we learned that being lonely often is a vicious cycle. By helping people become happier with themselves and get a more positive outlook on their situation, they will be less self-conscious and find it easier to get to know others.
Based on the research and top idea, I have created a user flow and wire flow of the entry point of my persona: John downloads the app after reading about it online, and decides to check it out.
This is a project I'm currently working on at Noroff. Next up: Usability testing!