Your digital safe space to openly confront life's challenges, find understanding, and share your journey with trusted friends.
Discovering the Root of the Problem
Personal challenges, you know, they come in all shapes and sizes, right? But what's interesting is how many folks tend to keep these challenges locked up inside. Ever wondered why?
- Lack of Discussion: There is a noticeable absence of open discussions and communities centered around personal failures and challenges for young adults.
- Downplaying Drama: People often shrug off their own struggles, thinking they're not as important as someone else's. Strange, but true.
- Avoidance of Support: Many find it tough to reach out, mostly because they're afraid of putting themselves out there or being judged.
- Impact on Functioning: And guess what? All these hush-hush challenges can pile up and seriously mess with your ability to function in everyday life – personal growth, work, relationships, you name it.
So, we started thinking the issue was all about the lack of discussion and community around personal failures/challenge for young adults.
But as we dug deeper and had some heart-to-hearts with people, we realized something profound. It wasn't so much about not having someone to talk to; it was more about having emotional and mental roadblocks that kept them from reaching out. People were struggling to tackle their challenges head-on, often brushing them off as no big deal and avoiding seeking help.
With this insight, we set out to find a solution that could empower young adults to boldly confront their challenges and, in the process, gain the confidence to seek support. Our aim was to help people break down those emotional and mental barriers within a safe and supportive space, making it easier to open to the people they trust.
- It’s a universal experience: So, we asked a bunch of folks in our survey about their life challenges. Every single one of them had faced something that made them think, "I need some outside perspective here."
- Common challenges: When it came to the most common challenges, we heard a mix of personal growth (21%), relationship bumps (19%), work-related woes (18%), money matters (15%), family dramas (15%), and health challenges (11%).
- Communication Difficulties: Speaking of talking, opening up about these challenges? It's not always easy. There's the fear of being a burden (31%), feeling vulnerable (23%), struggling to put feelings into words (15%), finding the right words (17%), and sometimes, not having enough support (6%). But hey, there's also a small percentage who had no troubles at all (3%).
User Pain Points and Feedback:
- Scared to Share: Lots of folks told us they were afraid of dumping their issues on someone else. This often left them feeling alone and hesitant to seek help.
- Picky About Sharing: Finding the right person to spill the beans to? Not a piece of cake. It had to be someone who'd understand without judgment, and that's no walk in the park.
- Self-Reliance: People often tried to DIY their problems, thinking they could handle it solo. But guess what? It led to internal battles, bottling up emotions, and not really solving those issues.
- Problem Size Matters: Some folks had trouble sizing up their problems. They'd often downplay their own struggles, thinking they weren't as important as others'.
- Safe Spaces Needed: Many said they needed a safe and judgment-free space to let it all out.
- Craving Real Connections: People wanted real, genuine support when they shared their challenges. It was all about having a meaningful conversation that hit the spot.
What we heard from the pros (you!)
- With sharing - talking “helps more than you think”, someone hearing and listening “helps more than you think”
- “My initial reaction to that is, what are they gonna say? And most likely, like, is it gonna be something negative?”
- “Regardless positive or negative, you got it off your chest. That way, you know, you don't have that burden on you where the rest of the day”
Landing on the Solution
How We Came Up with the Solution
So, to tackle all these challenges we've been talking about, we set out to create a sort of haven where folks can be real about their issues and find the support they need. Here's what our solution is all about:
- Speaking Your Mind: It's a place where you can spill your thoughts and challenges without holding back. We're all about letting you own your experiences.
- Understanding and Backing You Up: We're not just about venting; we're here to help you understand what's going on and offer some solid support.
- Starting Those Conversations: Plus, we've got a handy tool to kickstart those tough talks with the people you trust, even when they're not around.
- There's a golden opportunity for a platform that's all about real user stories, the kind that share the ups, downs, and everything in between.
- Make sure to arm users with top-notch tools for recording and sharing their stories in all sorts of media formats.
- Building a tight-knit community that thrives on openness and genuine connections is key to our journey.
Elements to Present our Solution as a Safe Space
We've put a ton of thought into making it a welcoming and secure digital space. Here's what we've focused on:
- Visual Communication & Appeal: We believe in the power of aesthetics. Our design isn't your typical sea of muted tones. We've opted for soft, playful colors that exude warmth and safety.
- Communication Without Hurdles: Expressing yourself should be as easy as talking to a friend. That's why we offer various ways to communicate. Audio recording lets you spill the beans naturally, without filters. Plus, we provide tools and prompts to help you understand and articulate your challenges better.
- Your Choice, Your Privacy: We get it – not all challenges are meant for the world to see. That's why we give you the power to choose. Keep your reflections to yourself or share them with your trusted circle. It's all about respecting your need for privacy and ownership.
We've learned some valuable lessons along the way:
- The Power of Design: Effective design can transform a digital space into a safe haven. Users felt at ease, except for one minor detail - the action color.
- The Venting Paradox: While users found immense value in "venting" and expressing themselves, they showed little interest in re-listening to their own stories. It's all about letting it out.
- Labels Matter: Users were particularly drawn to screens where they could label their challenges and emotions. It's a simple yet powerful way to make sense of their experiences.
To refine the platform, we are focusing on:
- Guiding You Better: We've heard your call for more guidance. We're working on providing clearer explanations within the platform so you can navigate challenges with confidence.
- Your Unique Voice: We know everyone has their own way of telling their story. That's why we're exploring options for you to express yourself through various forms – whether it's writing, video, or something entirely unique. Your voice matters.
- Tech Stack: We have employed React for the frontend and Flask for the backend, ensuring a robust and user-friendly platform.
- Current Design: We have successfully implemented high-priority features, creating a safe and inviting digital space for users.
- Technical Trade-offs: To meet initial deadlines, we made necessary trade-offs, such as temporarily setting aside community sharing features.
- Community Building: In the next phase, we plan to create a community platform based on user usage patterns and feedback. This will let you connect with your trusted circles right here, making sharing your challenges, stories, and thoughts a piece of cake.
Product Manager Learnings:
This experience has been transformative, contributing not only to the platform's development but also to my personal and professional growth. I have learnt the art of balance, the importance of user-centricity, and the fulfillment that comes from tackling challenges head-on. These lessons will guide me as I continue to refine and expand the platform, ensuring it exceeds user expectations.
This experience taught me the importance of staying nimble, agile and ready to pivot in a project. It was a wonderful opportunity to work alongside a startup founder and front and backend developers. Through this collaboration I developed a better sense of technical constraints while developing an MVP, and the vigilance required to stay focused on the roadmap.
This experience, despite being a tedious one, has taught me about team collaborations, particularly how to ask for help when stuck. I've learned how to communicate my ideas with confidence; they don't have to make perfect sense; I just have to express them. It has also allowed me to expand my horizons in terms of how I approach writing secure APIs.
My experience so far has been one of growth, being ready to stretch when needed and relapse too. I have learned that you must not know everything and you must learn to ask questions. Working in an awesome team of Fai, Tyler, and Jessica has been the best of experiences, everyone is there for you and the collaboration is top notch. I am coming out better, more refined and ready to do big things.I learned so much about states, libraries and doing mad stuff with React.