Skype + Spaces is a concept that brings geo fencing into Skype. It is works as an ice breaker, that seeks out to those who are near you. The Spaces functionality helps organising potential meetups, with those who are close to you.
The app was prototyped, as being within the existing Skype app environment, hence the aesthetics, feel and animations had to follow their visual language.
The research that led up to our concept, was based on in-depth encounters with 2 focus groups. Our initial approach was to find 2 random groups who had an activity in common. We also wanted the groups to meet at least once a week.
We then participated in these weekly meetings, taking part of their activity to understand who they really were.
Our results were presented in a video and printed format, showing portraits of the individuals and drawing parallels between them and their group values.
After the research, we found multiple areas that were interesting to explore. All were framed through scenarios, that in one way or the other connected back to our research.
The first idea looked at group chats, as both of the groups felt a bit disconnected.
For the second exploration, we dived into the concept of quick replies. Here we looked at various gestures for replying.
Our third exploration looked at Space & Time, which in the end, was the concept direction we went for.
Our team wanted try out a prototyping platform that we had not yet used. Previous mock-ups had been done with Marvel, Processing and Keynote. I've read about Proto.io as a quick go-to tool for prototyping interactive mock-ups, so that was the service we went with.
As you can see in the video, the prototype was a linear User Experience, that gives the feeling of a fully developed application. As opposed to prototyping micro-interactions or spending time building a fully working app.