GalPals is a community-based mobile app for young Canadian women (ages 18-30) to make friends and form connections. This app allows women to connect with each other one-on-one or through group meetups.
How might we facilitate the process of making new friends and forming connections for young Canadian women (ages 18-30) who are currently experiencing difficulties in making friends and maintaining the connection? So that they could formulate long-lasting friendships.
Friendship is vital in every young woman’s life, it can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging that enriches their overall well-being. However, many women face difficulties when it comes to maintaining friendships. In this fast-paced digital age, the traditional way of meeting new friends, such as in-person or through mutual friends may not be as accessible as before. Recent reports have highlighted the increased desire among women to connect with new friends. For instance, a report from Mashable (2023) reveals a significant 44% increase in female users on dating apps, such as Bumble, actively seeking to form new friendships using the ‘friendship-mode’ feature. Furthermore, the 2021 survey conducted by The Survey Center of American Life (2021) indicated that 58% of young adult American women succeeded in making new friends. However, the same survey found that 59% of these women stopped keeping in touch with a friend during the pandemic, indicating a challenge in maintaining these connections.
Our research reinforces the validity of the mentioned articles as it reveals compelling statistics. Specifically, 54.5% of our participants acknowledged experiencing situations where they desired to maintain connections but refrained from doing so. Moreover, a significant 68.2% of respondents expressed challenges in sustaining contact with new acquaintances after their initial encounter. These findings substantiate the claims made in the articles and provide substantial evidence for the discussed phenomenon.
Recognizing the important role that friends play in providing emotional support and a sense of community, it is clear that the challenges in forming and maintaining female friendships are essential. These challenges can impact a woman's emotional and mental well-being, highlighting the need for innovative solutions.
User Pain Points
In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the user pain points within this problem space, we conducted three in-depth user interviews and gathered valuable insights from 22 respondents through our survey.
Some key findings:
90.9% of participants find it more challenging to make friends as an adult compared to when they were a teenager
68.2% find it difficult to stay in contact with a new friend after the initial meeting
59.1% have not actively sought out advice or resources to help improve their ability to keep and nurture friends.
Through our research, we successfully pinpointed recurring themes that our participants articulated as their pain points:
Limited Opportunities for Social Interaction in Adulthood:
- Few chances to meet people outside of work and school.
- Difficulty in building strong connections due to infrequent interactions and busy schedules.
- Working from home limits socialisation opportunities.
- Reduced chances to meet new people in daily routines.
Time and Scheduling Constraints:
- Busyness, conflicting schedules, and varied responsibilities as primary obstacles.
- Insufficient time to foster meaningful connections.
- Recognizing differences in expectations from friendships takes time.
- Geographical distance is a challenge.
- Living in different locations hampers friendship maintenance.
- Life events and distance make it hard to sustain new friendships.
Lifestyle and Priorities:
- Varied life priorities, including career, family, and personal commitments, occupy time and energy, limiting social opportunities and new friendships.
Through our research, we uncovered the significant challenges faced by young Canadian women in forming and sustaining new friendships. These pressing pain points serve as the foundation for our product solution, tailored to address their specific needs.
Landing on the Solution
Our product aims to serve as a dedicated platform for young Canadian women, fostering the discovery and formation of new friendships within a supportive community. In crafting our solution, we specifically focused on addressing the prevalent pain points identified among our target users, ensuring a targeted and effective approach to meeting their needs.
Explanation of Solution
GalPals is a community-based platform where users can create profiles that showcase their personalities and interests. Our innovative app empowers members to curate their social experiences by selecting events tailored to their passions and hobbies. Before these events, GalPals offers the flexibility for users to choose between engaging in group chat interactions with like-minded women or having individual interactions, ensuring a personalised and icebreaker experience.
In our next phase, we are collaborating with a skilled team comprising one UI/UX designer and two developers to refine and enhance our MVP. Concurrently, we are conducting in-depth user research to align our additional features closely with the desires of our target audience. Emphasising user-centric design, we're keen on delivering a seamless and intuitive user experience. Furthermore, we are dedicated to developing a comprehensive product roadmap that charts our course for future enhancements and expansions. This roadmap will serve as our strategic guide, ensuring that we stay aligned with our users' needs and market demands, driving continuous improvement and innovation in our product
Product Manager Learnings:
Before enrolling in co.lab’s DTTPPM program, I arrived with a preconceived solution in mind, convinced I knew the best approach. However, the program taught me a crucial lesson: placing excessive emphasis on the solution is counterproductive. Instead, the focus should be on understanding the problem deeply. What might work for me might not resonate with the target audience. As a Product Manager, I grasped the significance of user research and pinpointing customer pain points. This understanding proved pivotal in identifying potential solutions. I also realised that innovation doesn't always mean reinventing the wheel; it can be about enhancing existing processes, making them more efficient and effective.