more face time.

Project by Allie Langohr, Nicholas Cross and Aman Dhaliwal

Echo is a location based social media network meant to get users to spend less time on their devices while still optimizing their ability to build networks with other people in their area.

Echo eliminates the need for users to have to sift through other users' posts to make the connections they are seeking. Instead, users make posts indicating what they are looking for - perhaps their band needs a drummer, or their cat has just had a litter and they need to find good homes for their kittens. They are also able to make posts about what they are seeking. Making use of iBeacon technology, businesses like cafe's and libraries can encourage users to meet head to those location to receive notifications about connections that have been made based on matching posts. Once a connection is made, users are invited to chat with each other through the app to set up a meeting and bring the networks built on social media into the real world.


Sketching Echo began with exploring the concept of the hive, or the networks that are possible thanks to Web 2.0. We chose a hexagon for its ability to make connections on multiple sides, and for the way that, when seen in a large group, a recognizable interconnected network emerges. The name "echo" further reflects this idea, so that at every level of the design the users are encouraged to make meaningful connections with each other beyond their device screens.


Our final design is centered around organizing different types of posts into different categories so that users can easily manage the kinds of networks they want to build. Matches are shown through the hexagonal list, and once a user selects a match they are lead to the user's profile where they can begin a chat or ignore the match. A built in calendar makes it easy to schedule meetings with matches and keep track of the connections they make.

Privacy became a major issue as the concept for Echo evolved. Because users are notified when a match is made in their immediate area, we took measures to ensure that no one could be identified based on this notification alone. We encourage the use of usernames rather than first and last names to protect people's privacy. In addition, we made scheduling meetings a core function of the app. Having a record of meetings helps people feel more secure. Having businesses as hot spots also ensures that meetings are happening in safe, public spaces so that people feel more confident making face to face connections based on common needs.