Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Testing More Hypotheses

After demoing yesterday, the upshot was that it is difficult for people to view memes as a form of visual  communication (as seen in the previous post).

While we believe that rage comics are like visual tweets (fast transmission of an experience), yesterday's experience told us that we need to more concretely validate that our solution can fully solve a problem. So we started back at step 1 again to validate our hypotheses by talking to users from the ground up.


Our premise is this: sharing stories, a fundamental human desire, is actually difficult. Telling it in words is difficult because language is limited and lacks contextualization. You've seen this: when someone tries to tell you a story but ends up fumbling around with the words, what do they say? "You just had to be there."

From our previous prototypes, we can see that other people share this problem.

So the question is: how are people sharing stories now? Can we use rage comics as a better way for people to share personal experiences?

My hypothesis is that people usually simply wait to see someone to tell them a story. Or if that's not possible, they would try to call them. These are the best ways of explaining stories, in my opinion. Then: IM Chat, emailing/Facebook messaging.

Online solutions include emailing/Facebook messaging a narrative. But anything that includes typing up a story is already a non-starter because it is difficult and time-consuming. Instant messaging is the exception because of real-time feedback that could clarify certain areas of the story.

In the cases of verbalizing a story through a call or in-person, online solutions still may be better. Like the rise of text-messaging, it's more convenient to communicate something without requiring the other person's availability. Also the advantage of premeditating a message is a big plus.


Researching online and talking to users, we know that most people don't read rage comics because they simply aren't funny. This is fair: not everyone shares the same type of humor, especially when an experience is irrelevant to you.

What we want to know is whether people would read rage comics more if it IS personally relevant to their social circle and their lives. Put another way, would Berkeley students read rage comics way more if all the stories related to UC Berkeley? We think so.

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