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Social media UI, Critical design

Glom is a darkly humorous, vaguely dystopian app concept which comments on our culture of ‘like, follow, share,’ as well as the increasingly reflexive attachment we have to our mobile devices. Using a surveillance state-inspired aesthetic, this anti-social media app inundates the user with monotonous content as it anonymously shares the details of their own tedious day-to-day life with the rest of the world.

The prompt was to redesign the user experience for a line-of-sight camera with a pointed focus on design process. The process for this project was roughly 80% research and concept design, and 20% production.

Two things that struck me during my research of line-of-sight cameras and related social media were the narcissism inherent to social media stemming from self-curation, and the increasing amount of research supporting links between social media use and depression/anxiety.

My initial concept was to design a sharing service that prevents the user from sharing anything but the truly mundane, and to celebrate that as it deserves to be: the quotidian elevated. No self-curation, no profiles, & no feedback mean no comparison, and therefore no social anxiety: social equity through anti-social engagement. Through group work, prototyping, and storyboarding, the concept evolved to include a focus on device attachment.

The way glom works: when you unlock your phone, a photo is taken by another random user’s (always-on) line-of-sight camera. Your line-of-sight camera plays the same role to others. Once a day, you receive a digest of the photos taken upon your (dozens or hundreds of) unlocks and have the choice to ‘glom’ (save) one photo to your ‘glomyard,’ which is your anonymous profile. Because there is no social feedback and there are no notifications, the only motivation for ‘glomming’ anything is the act itself.

This was a group project for Axel Roesler’s Foundations of IxD class. I worked with Peter Dolezilek, Raj Makker, & Nicola Scutt. I contributed to research, concept, design, & film production.