Research shows we can only hold close relationships with a small number of people. Social media helps to develop these connections, so why not allow people to prioritise posts from a small network of friends? These would be given preference in feeds, with less restricted notifications and the potential to discuss and report content. This would help to develop valuable, trusted relationships instead of mass follows.
One of the most addictive qualities with social platforms is the endless stream of content. There’s always more out there, so we keep scrolling. Giving people the ability to digest and snooze notifications for a set period of time could encourage less addictive behaviour, improve concentration and promote healthier interactions with apps. We could also create smart notification settings based on time of day, geo-fencing notification activity, sleep windows and predictive well-being.
If we monitor our fitness and generate goals for physical health, could we do something similar for mental health, particularly around social media usage? An app or social platform could help set goals, monitor usage and provide contextual tips and insight that helps us make more informed healthy choices.
Social platforms can lock us into habitual behaviour with the routine of scrolling rewarded by the dopamine hit of something new. What if we could replace one potentially unhealthy habit with more constructive ones? Often we just need inspiration to shake us out of a routine, so an app full of randomly-chosen ideas could be just the kickstart we need.
Some key research pieces and studies have informed this project:
Our short discover/design projects unpick challenging problems and drive innovation through a rapid design process.