The very reason why the project Entourage was ever created, is you.
Your presence on social media, the way you act online, the way it affects you.
You can be active, passive or non-existent on social media, it has affected you in a way or another.
In whichever case – and stop me if I'm wrong – you at least once felt like your life was boring, or like you were too fat to post a picture of yourself, or not interesting enough…
I think we can all relate when I say that we all had negative feelings when interacting with social media, we had apprehension when posting a picture, our self-esteem lowered since our life is exposed online. Some people even feel stressed when they post.
So here’s a picture of my sister, Mia. She’s 16 yo and lives in Paris. She’s been a real inspiration for me when working on Entourage. I saw how affected she is by social media, she doesn’t sleep well anymore. She spends hours taking a picture, editing it, checking her likes and liking nice comments, scrolling this infinite newsfeed, caring about her image. Yesterday again, she asked me about a picture of hers, and if she should post it on Instagram. I said yes you look beautiful. A minute later she posted a filtered and edited version of this picture, in less than an hour she had 140 likes and more than 60 comments.
RESEARCH AND INITIAL ASSUMPTION
First thing first. I needed to identify these key elements to go any further. Is this project worth existing?
What is the value of this app?
Who is it for?
When and where would it be used?
Which problem is it solving?
VALUE PROPOSITION - Why should it be made?
This app should exist to counter-balance the negative effects social media have on us: The Royal Society for Public Health asked teenage girls in the UK how social media apps impacted their mental health and wellbeing and the results showed that social media led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness.
Entourage would be the only online safe place to be yourself.
TARGET AUDIENCE - Who is it for?
Entourage targets in priority teenage girls, an active group on social media who is deeply affected by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Teenagers and young adults who have a low self esteem
Groups of friends that are living in different parts of the world
The shy ones, the funny ones, the crazy ones, the weirdos. It’s for all of us, to express who we truly are.
What I learned. What I discovered. What inspired this project.
This project encourages young girls to accept and love themselves the way they are, the way they look, and the way they act without filters. According to Robin Dunbar, a respected anthropologist who described our social network as layered, our closest groups of friends include an average of fifteen people – this is why Entourage limits our interactions to fifteen people at a time. The app allows its “cliquers” to post and react through instant GIFs, videos and pictures encouraging them to accept who they really are. Moreover, because social media have been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, Entourage limits its users to be active on the app only five minutes a day.
Creating a system map helped me to get a more defined sense of the big picture for this product. I could see where the key interactions would take place and where some main user flows needed to be developed, especially the onboarding flow, the program and timer creation flows, and the workout timer flow.
I started to wireframe the application, using the system map as a jump-off point and keeping in mind the insights I learned. As I developed the wireframes, it became clear to me that the onboarding process I had built in the system map was far longer and more complex than it needed to be, so I trimmed it down to a simple prompt to add a new timer.
After wireframing, I started developing a visual language to keep things consistent across all the elements in the product. I wanted something that felt slick, energizing, and modern while retaining a welcoming and encouraging voice.
In order to create this online world, I’ve done some research and I was mainly inspired by the seventies, a time where people connected in a very authentic way. A time of rebellion, of love, of peace, of engagement and real feelings. I was inspired by their mindset, their colors, their aesthetic, and typographic choices. That is how I conceived Entourage’s branding. A calm color palette that projects love. Rounded shapes that reassure and include people. A strong typeface, called Rita Smith, that gives the brand some strength and power.
Along with that comes the short version of the manifesto. I’ll read you the last sentence which would help building the context: At Entourage we believe that your life is great and unique the way it is, no need to filter it, no need to be liked.
I’ve designed 5 solutions to accomplish Entourage’s mission. See below.
The first thing I thought needed to be changed is the number of followers we have on instagram, or the number of friends on facebook. It seems to be a race where the more connections you have the better you are.
Robin Dunbar, a notable anthropologist conducted a research concerning our relationship and he was able to layer it. We would have around 3 to 5 closest friends in a first layer, then up to 10 more, and then 100 more, and a 1000 more.
When all social media try to make you connect with everybody we think that it is impossible to be our true selves with 1000 people. If we can be with up to 15 people it is already a miracle.
This is how the idea for the logo was born. Let’s focus on you first, your 5 best friends then, and finally your 10 good friends.
Entourage is not a space that you want to curate or filter or edit to make your profile crazy, unique, beautiful or anything like that. On our platform, you have three ways of sharing instant moment with your friends: GIFs, Pictures, Videos. No filters, No way to edit your pictures. No possibility to import pictures from your library. I want you to feel comfortable enough that you don’t need to alter your posts in any way. We celebrate your real life, not your filtered one.
Teens are so in need to gain likes that they would do and plan crazy things. The gain of likes really affect them mentally.
At entourage, we got rid of likes and comments, but because we care so much about your friends’ real reactions, we’d like to have instant ones, real ones, visual ones.
I’ve designed 2 new interactions. The react button which allows you to react instantly to your friends’ posts through gifs, pictures and videos. The reactions button which allows you to see your other friends’ reactions to a post.
Private means private! Unlike Facebook, we think that privacy should stay private… All profiles are and stay private, and people who become cliquers have access to each others post from the date they accepted to become cliquers.
The last solution concerns our addiction to social media and I think we can all relate here. You might not notice it, but you probably spend around 2 hours per day on social media. I want to limit your time on Entourage. I want to keep you healthy. I’ve designed this new feature that prevents you from spending more than 5 min on the app without interacting. I think that spending 5 min per day being yourself with your best friends will make your day better.
I hope that teenagers would appreciate our innovation in terms of social media interaction. I’ve designed 5 solutions that will will help teenage girls sharing their true selves with their best friends leading them to feel physically and mentally better. With time and perseverance Entourage will show us all that having a healthy online presence will make us feel and be better
Since I’ve been working on Entourage, I decided not to post a single thing on social media, and I already feel better.