College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Graphic Communication Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Graphic Communication



Primary Advisor

Hocheol Yang, College of Liberal Arts, Graphic Communication Department


Sappling is a new application that aims to tackle some of the shortcomings of traditional social media, which currently dominates the way we interact with friends and other users online. In its initial phase, we plan to target a certain demographic of people that we feel would benefit most from the platform, such as engineers or musicians. As a part of my project, I plan to help identify which group we want to target in this development stage, using survey data and other metrics to measure different groups and their likelihood to benefit from this new platform. As some research suggests social media platforms are not simply ‘tools’ for engagement, but they are also part of a rapidly changing institutional and political landscape where they can influence both supportive and critical attitudes towards education (Van Dijck & Poell, 2018). Sappling aims to capitalize on this area of the social media space, where users are more likely to engage with each other and promote collaboration and positive social engagement that will drive higher levels of creativity and unfiltered expression. Along with determining the ideal user base for the initial launch of this project, the current application design will also require user testing and basic modifications to ensure that the design at launch is fit to accompany a variety of marketing efforts to promote the app to new users and make it attractive and intuitive. The user interface and experience design will be my main focus for the project, as it aligns with the concentration I have chosen and the career I plan to pursue after graduation. Based on the current design, there are some key areas for improvement that I noticed in my initial evaluation. Some of these include: allowing the user to put the current task into a meaningful context, disclosing information in a progressive fashion, and defining shortcuts that are intuitive (Sridevi, 2014). I plan to create medium and high-fidelity prototypes of the application based on the current design, and perform user testing to measure the success of these 4 proposed changes and collect data on how the usability of the design can be improved. These prototypes and user tests will be completed by the end of this academic quarter, around the second week of March in preparation for the compilation of results and presentation before the quarter concludes. The current design and functionality will be compared to the new prototype to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of the new design, using data from a variety of different potential users. The project will also include a limited branding overhaul to create a more effective logo and marketing collateral to accompany the launch of the app to new users.

Included in

Social Media Commons