Milstein student Chloe Kanders '22 is working on the UX for Pear App, a mobile app project through the Cornell AppDev club. Pear hopes to facilitate interactions between Cornell undergraduates with similar interests.
Pear fosters meaningful connections between Cornell undergraduates by encouraging meet-ups. The app matches students based on interests, extracurricular activities, and availability – automatically pulling all the logistical weight out of making new friends over coffee or lunch. This semester, we are focusing on how to find new ways to engage users and encourage them to meet up with their matches. In order to gather user feedback the team is conducting a soft launch internally within AppDev and then will add one or two other student organizations, like the Milstein Program. The purpose of this launch is to understand users' motivations for using the app and how we can better help them meet their goals.
The Problem: Cornell students want to form meaningful connections with particular students. But this is difficult because:
- The Cornell community feels isolating
- They don’t know who or how to reach out
- They don’t see the value in reaching out to people outside of familiar spaces
The Question: How can we facilitate making connections on campus through an app?
Our feedback is broken down by in-app surveys, Google forms, and interviews to gather different insights. In-app survey data will be used to improve the matching algorithm, Google forms will give insights on what the users are looking for in the app and help share the product vision and interviews will provide more details into user’s "painpoints" and expectations for the app.
Phase I: Prepare for Soft Launch - Jan 19 - Feb 15
• Fix server and image storing on backend
• Implement in-app match feedback and Google form general feedback
• Redesign profile to increase flexibility and customization
• Reach out to organizations to participate in soft launch and prepare user research protocol and metrics
Phase II: Soft Launch - Feb 15 - Mar 22
• Onboard organization members on how to use app and give feedback
• Collect feedback through in-app surveys (after each pear meets up), google forms (1/week) and interviews (3 in-depth interviews/week)
• Develop activity feed and match history
Phase III: Iterate on Feedback - Mar 22-Apr 12
• Prioritize building new features based on user feedback
• Build messaging feature
We hope to have an updated app iterated on from user feedback that is ready to launch next semester.