Design + HCI at Carnegie Mellon University


work about resume 


Spring 2017
Team: katie chen, henry dixon, sam kim suh, maddy cha, arnav gupta

Creation of a social networking app with the goal of building stronger connections and helping students meet other students, within a university proximity. Sort of like the opposite of tinder.

See below for our presentation.

Invision Mock Ups:

Video Pitch:

Glacier Pitch from Katie Qian on Vimeo.

Process Report

The report contains all the decisions that went into making the app and a deeper discussion into the purpose, goals and features of the app.


Following the conception of our idea, we had a lot of logistical and design related decisions to make for the app to function smoothly. Other decisions are more deeply discussed in the report, but here are a few key points that were greatly debated!

how should the reveals be done?  There was a lot of debate on wether the app should prompt the decisions (ie. after a certain number of messages or a certain number of games played together would the app automatically prompt the users to spin the wheel and share something about each other) or if there should be a button for users to prompt the decision, and only would the wheel spin if the other user complied to also revealing something about themselves. 
What is the scope of the app?
We decided that it would be risky for people to meet complete strangers across the app, since the ultimate goal was for these people to meet up in real life and not live the rest of their friendship through the app (therefore using social media to facilitate more than a surface level bond). There would be a lot of potential liability issues in the event that the meet up goes wrong, and most of our group members agreed that they themselves wouldn’t see the app as much different from existing online chat rooms like omegle.
To differentiate ourselves and make the app safer in general, we decided to limit the app to university campuses, so that users would have to log in with their school ids to access the app features. The limitation in proximity would make it both easier to meet up (assuming you are all on the same campus), and make users feel like they’re meeting up with not a random creepy stranger.  
Should we include a discovery map?
Another potential feature that didn’t make it into the final model due to time constraints was the idea of a discovery map which would show you a main dot that would represent someone on campus, and smaller dots around it which would represent Facebook mutual friends between you and that person. You could click on the dot to see that person’s card, and decide from there if you’d like to connect.

What would the app look like?
We made copious lo-fi and mid-fi mockups and did user ab testing to determine which ones were most appealing to university students. The theme of “glacier” came up since the app was about getting to know people, and like an iceberg, people would only see the tip of it at first unless you get under the water to see the rest of it.

how would the algorithm match users?
After our research, we concluded to include two different card choices as friendships are not always just between two similar people, but also people who are opposites! By taking the results of each survey question asked to the users once they download the app, and turning those into vectors, we compared the vectors for those with the least (similar responses) and the most (opposite responses) cosine distance to match users.

Cargo Collective 2017 — Frogtown, Los Angeles