For Ever After



Problem
There are multiple platforms available to share one’s loss online, but none of them fully allow others to empathize with your grief. The sharing of photographs allows for a momentary feeling of satisfaction, and the likes and comments do not fill the void that now exists because of the loss. 


Goal
Creates a museum of memories to celebrate a loved one by sharing feelings in the form of text, audio, video or photos.


User Research
It was difficult to interview people to understand their experience with losing someone because they were hesitant to talk about their grief.

Insights from people who have lost someone -
  • Feeling of despair and loneliness eventhough they have friends and family around them 
  • Not knowing what to do with physical objects associated to the deceased person 
  • Wanting to delete the deceased person’s social media profiles 
  • Intimidated to share thoughts and feelings on social media
  • Fear of being pitied by friends or family

Findings from friends/family who know someone grieving a loss -
  • Not having the right words to empathize with the person
  • Not knowing how to be there for the person 

Discoveries by reading books and articles, and attending talks -
  • Grief is an individualized experience
  • People grieving are looking for a community to feel less alone
  • Posting on social media is a coping mechanism for milennials


Target Audience
Milennials who have either lost someone or are supporting a family member or friend who has lost someone.


Insights
Grief and loss are rarely represented and shared on social media, and when they are, they fail to capture the right sentiments.

Obituaries mention details like the deceased person’s occupation and family life.


Facebook posts create a dilemma of whether to “like” or “sad react” to a person’s post. Triggers people by showing pictures of the deceased person in the newsfeed.



Memorial websites (e.g. Legacy.com) have an outdated design and highlight generic information like the person’s favorite food.


These platforms and their requirements create a barrier to get to know the person who passed away and commemorate them for who they were. 


Design
Mobile Application
For Ever After dedicates a permanent virtual presence to a person, long after their physical presence is gone. The visual identity is inspired by the night sky and constellations. Each circle is symbolic of a star in the sky, which holds a memory shared in the museum. The varying opacities and sizes of the circle are indicative of the time passed since the memory was shared on the platform.

A museum for my dog Sasha, who passed away two years ago 

Logo & Icons
The solid line changes to a dotted line to make a full circle, suggesting that the application creates a digital space for a person even after they’re gone.



Process
Designing For Ever After took ten weeks. The versions changed drastically after each user testing phase. I began with a wireframing the user’s experience on the application and then experimented with color, hierarchy, and typography to build the user interface. 




Impact
Death is a heavy and sensitive subject and everyone tends to mourn differently. It was interesting to learn that 18 of the 25 users that tested this app, mentioned that they struggle to find the right words to communicate their feelings, and the feature to share thoughts in the form of music and voice notes helped them overcome that.
Updates
The pandemic and the losses that accompanied it made me revisit this project recently. There are a few ideas that I want to build as extensions to this application which I’m working on currently (stay tuned!).