I am a huge lover of everything pop culture: music, movies, books, games – you name it. I find few things more relaxing than being able to immerse myself in a new world and becoming involved in a story. This love is often what connects me to other people. The stories we share with each other, the characters we invest in, and the emotions created by those investments create experiences that bring people together. From observing the power that popular media has to make deep interpersonal connections, I wanted to create an experience where people could connect with each other based on their media preferences. Needless to say, Medley was a very enjoyable project for me.
February 2022 – April 2022
Create a social experience based around popular media.
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD
Medley is a social media platform focused on sharing, discovering, and connecting with others through media. With close to 50 different video streaming services alone in North America, sharing media with friends and family is increasingly frustrating. Medley removes the barriers of separate subscriptions from the media equation, allowing users to share movies, tv shows, music, books, and more with one another without restrictions. Users will be able to identify themselves by the media they love, showcasing their style and taste through a combination of automatic updates and specially curated content. Friends can quantitatively compare their media interests to one another, and users are given the opportunity to make new connections with people of similar interests to themselves.
All of these applications contained a function that was, in some way, based on delivering media to users based on their individual preferences. All of these apps base their auto-generated content on a genre-based system that dates back to when the first bookstores were organized. While the systems in place are now a bit more nuanced in their selections, the bones of the system remain the same, only resulting in satisfying matches a portion of the time. Thus, different methods or combinations of methods for content generation must be explored in order to increase the amount of satisfaction from users. Webtoon has the most satisfying method of finding new media with it’s comprehensive filters. However, Instagram has the best way of sharing media within the application. Apple Music’s interface contains the best lists of the bunch where Netflix shines in its content organization and portrayal of video media while scrolling.
Through my survey questions, I gained a workable understanding of my audience. Those who responded to my survey were three women and four men between the ages of 13 and 23. In all of the responses I received, it was clear that entertainment media was important to all of the participants in some capacity, whether it be simply a hobby or a defining aspect of their character. Almost three quarters of them share media with others regularly, and all of them have at least a margin of relationships that are based on shared media interests. Furthermore, while a few participants did not react negatively to new acquaintances not enjoying the same media they do, each participant gave a joyful answer in response to people enjoying the same media they enjoy. In response to multiple questions, different participants mentioned wanting the ability to share media easily to users on different media platforms. Among those participants who have issues with the current methods of suggestion, there is a general consensus among the responses that lies along the lines of suggestions being unhelpful, difficult to understand, too focused on mainstream media, and simply not using them as the features do not really “know” the participants. When it comes to finding new media, the majority of the participants reported that they would enjoy a feature which matched them with media of their interests and people who share those interests, even requesting interest rating systems for use on fellow users.