February to March 2014

Lena Malkhasian
Ayobami Olubeko
Emily Danchik

Field research
Logo design
Navigation map
Dashboard Design

Affinity Diagram
Navigation Map
Design Specs
Sales Pitch

Teens today spend more time on their mobile devices than ever. They also keep digital possessions on their phone that they will use for self-reflection, such as photos and music. For this project, we interviewed teens to understand their mobile habits and designed an app that would appeal to their needs. The final product, KneeJerk, is an app that allows to teens to send photos and videos to their friends for the purpose of collecting their reactions.


Since this project is on a short timeline, we had only one week to conduct field research on our subjects. Each member of the team conducted 1-2 phone interviews with teens that we could reach. We varied our subjects by age and gender. Here are some of our key findings:

  • Teens spend much more time in the mobile context

  • Teens want apps that fit into their lifestyle and needs

  • Teens store their virtual possessions on their phones, not laptops

  • Teens really value their photos

  • Teens don’t necessary take photos to share; sometimes it’s for self-reflection



We took the noteworthy findings from our research and transferred them to post-it notes and clustered them by affinity. This exercise helped us to craft a design challenge based on our research of teens' mobile usage behavior: creating a new app that was simple, fun to use, and private.



Based on our research findings and affinity diagram, we developed a persona to capture the goals, needs, and concerns of the end user, Julie. 




After we defined our persona, we designed a product that allows teenagers to share photos and videos with her friends and capture their reactions. In order to prevent KneeJerk from simply becoming a photo-sharing app, we decided that teens needed to commit to sending reaction in order to view an incoming image or video.

Since, the app is meant to be playful and appeal to younger audiences, I designed an animated logo that would appear whenever the system is loading or refreshing. 



To explain how KneeJerk would work, we created a scenario that walks through the main use case for the app and how a teen and her friends might interact with each other through the app.



We came up with a navigation map and a set of wireframes to explain the concept. We started out with just the first main screens to help us figure out the main purpose of KneeJerk. Based on our research, we knew that if the app was overly complicated and clunky, teens would not bother with it. Next, we created a navigation map to help us understand the breadth of the app. Finally we created a full set of wireframes to explain all the pages of the app. Lastly, we created we created a visual design and produced a set of high-fidelity screens.


In creating our client persona, we thought about who might invest in developing a product like KneeJerk and how they might eventually monetize the app. Based on our research, we found that teens are drawn to products that their friends use. Therefore the product should be offered for free, and once proven popular, our client Neil would be able to show demographic and usage to potential customers who might want to advertise on the platform. 

 Neil is the persona of our client and dashboard user. In order to develop an app that our client would want to invest in, we came up with a dashboard to present information that he can show to potential advertisers.

Neil is the persona of our client and dashboard user. In order to develop an app that our client would want to invest in, we came up with a dashboard to present information that he can show to potential advertisers.


If we had more time to work on this project, we would have developed a set of paper prototypes to test this concept on teenage users. If the app causes a strong negative reaction, we would probe the teenagers to figure out what they dislike (and like) about the idea. If teenagers seem interested in using this app, we would then create an interactive prototype, so we can determine more specific usability issues for further refinement.