Preliminary Research and Pitch Iteration

Questions to answer

  • Why are we socializing with each other?
  • How important are common interests when people are socializing?
  • What are the keys to socializing successfully with strangers?
  • How do we spark up conversations between two strangers who are not good at socializing?

I want to start with learning what it is socializing is essentially about. Therefore I can have a better understanding of what motivates two strangers to socialize with each other. Simply making two people socialize with each other won’t be enough. I also plan to interview people to find out the key to successful socialization, which means establishing friendship or love relationships after socialization. After that, I want to discover a way to engage two strangers who are not good at socializing. This is out of consideration of the extreme case. As long as I can figure out a way to engage two shy strangers, I can motivate most of my target users to socialize with each other in my design.

Major learning points

Social is about reciprocity, the back-and-forth flow of social interaction. All of the three interviewees I interviewed mentioned the importance of common points. They think common points account for at least 50% and up to 80% of the success of strangers’ socialization. Common points include common interest, common background, common preference, etc.

Communication is the primary way people interact with each other. And there is one thing significant to know: coffee plays a vital role during strangers’ socialization. Cafes provide a great environment for people to meet, and coffee helps spark conversation. One line I saw when I observed people in the Starbucks reserve store: Coffee has been inspiring conversations for centuries. One data I found when researching: 48% of people talked to another person when having coffee. Due to this, I think coffee has a great potential to be part of the solution for strangers’ socialization. Back in the 17th century, cafes were where Frenchmen shared their opinions and thoughts. To some extent, they are one of the early “social media.”

Pitch iteration

Provide an in-person social platform for people to meet, engage and connect successfully.