Young Designers 2011

Yahoo! Mime: A New Way to Communicate
Design for Digital Experience | PGDPD
Dr Bibhudutta Baral
Yahoo! R&D, Bengaluru
Mobile Interaction
Social networking
In the current scenario, where technology is changing rapidly, people are adapting to new ways of communication. The ‘new-to-net’ population is increasing due to these changing patterns. My diploma project with Yahoo! aimed to create an application which would seamlessly fit into the changing technology and provide a new dimension to communication.
A thorough qualitative research with teenagers in the age group of 13-21 years was conducted to understand the mediums they use to communicate. The study, which focused on online and offline mediums, tried to understand ‘why they do the things they do’.
Based on the study, observations and key insights were generated which helped me design my application. Communication in the real world is full of emotions, gestures and articulations. Within their social network and with their families, people communicate in various ways. Based on the context and their intention, they whisper, shout and yell. Generally speaking, today’s teenagers are usually hooked on to their smartphones. They are heavy users of text messages and chats and keep looking out for more ways to express themselves.
Taking these insights into consideration, I designed the application, Yahoo! Mime. Based on the concept of mime (acting out a story through gestures; without the use of speech or text, in this case), it lends a different dimension to communication by providing a platform (in this case, a simple character) to teenagers to express themselves through actions and imitations.

I thoroughly enjoyed conducting the research at Pune, Hubli and Bangalore. It gave me an insight into how differently people perceive their online and offline worlds.
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