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Samsung Health Stack 

Combating extreme polarization by enabling exposure to different worldviews through the medium of storytelling
My Roles & Responsibilities
Competitive Research, User Research, Feature Prioritization, UX Design, Collaboration with UX Writers, Collaborating for Developer feasibility, Hand-off to Developers
In my role at Samsung Research,  I worked on Samsung Health Stack. I lead Research for the Led secondary and primary user research for the Role-Based Access Control feature on the Research Portal, which was deprioritized for beta release later.
For beta release, I worked on the SDK in a sprint based release. 

Team: Me + Snehal Ladke
Jira, Figma
Commune is a concept application ignited by the world events that were happening around us.
Bothered by the polarization and how it was affecting relationships around us, It was started as a project to understand this polarization in an attempt to reshape social interactions.
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Bringing different worldviews through the medium of story-telling
Stories shared by people on various topics/ world events
The Problem
Contextualizing stories and connecting
people through higher purposes
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Differing opinions/ stories but
similar higher hopes for humanity
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Inciting impact through meaningful reactions
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Accounting for
triggers and trauma
Humanizing the stories + Accessibility
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But wait, how did we get here?
Let's rewind a bit.


We had 4 main research objectives to understand this space better
  1. How people engage with social communities
  2. How often people are open to changing their viewpoint
  3. How people react to conflicting opinions
  4. How people react to crucial world events
These were the primary themes that emerged from our user research


People were open to changing their opinions and
in a few instances, they did!
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“If the conflicting side shares stories and facts of people's pain points, it is bound to influence my opinion, either making it stronger or allowing me to see a much bigger picture.”
“I try to understand biases and preconceived perceptions and half-truths”
“Strong opinions held loosely.”
“I retain a handful of friends/follows who very publicly post opinions that are contrary to mine because I don't want to live just in an echo chamber of my own opinions.”


People are most
impacted by 
stories and experiences
“If the conflicting side shares stories and facts of people's pain points, it is bound to influence my opinion, either making it stronger or allowing me to see a much bigger picture.”
....differing opinions have led to a change but perhaps nothing worth noting has happened digitally.
trying to understand the pain points of the affected people around me and being empathetic toward them


People feel most comfortable sharing their opinions with their close ones in person - without fear of judgment.
Yes, mostly because of my friends and audience. If tomorrow my POV were to change on the abortion issue, for example, I would probably have big hesitations about posting it online.
I felt it was better to be just listening most of the time unless I was around friends/peers who felt comfortable sharing some details that I was unaware of about this case.
writing anything online leaves a digital footprint. it's always better to share /easier to share thoughts in person with a loved one.
77% of people
don’t feel equipped

to take tangible
action on discourse
on an individual level.
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After talking to people, we had an idea of what the current emotional journey looks like when something significant happens in the world, with social media being the primary source of information consumption
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What the
ideal path would look like
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The opportunity space
Literature gave us some interesting insights into this behavior as well
We are social animals instinctively reliant on our tribe for safety and protection.
When this safety is attacked, it is our instinct to get into defense mode says risk perception expert David Ropeik, author of How Risky Is It, Really? “Any disloyalty literally feels dangerous, like the tribe will kick you out. This effect is magnified in people already worried.”
Productive exchange is more likely when there’s a mutual foundation of respect and friendship.
In a project called Between Americans, Seattle-based author, and artist Boting Zhang is chronicling the evolution of relationships between Trump supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters over the course of a year. Participants share with each other about more personal topics, but hot-button issues do pop up from time to time—and the strength of the participants’ bond often determines the conversation’s direction.
Matching people based on nonpolitical similarity led to increased feelings of closeness toward the source of a political message
and these feelings of closeness, in turn, predicted
openness toward opposing views.
People are most impacted by in-person stories and experiences.
“Think political correctness has gotten out of control? Follow the many great social activists on Twitter. Think America’s stance on guns is puzzling? Read the stories of the 31% of Americans that own a firearm. This is not to say the Other Side is “right” but that they likely have real reasons to feel that way. And only after understanding those reasons can a real discussion take place.”
Asking questions—and showing a genuine desire to hear and acknowledge the answers—sets a different tone that boosts the odds of a productive resolution, or at least a friendlier statemate that inspires further thought and discussion.
It is not the private interests that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity.”
A community needs a common goal that is bigger than the personal interests and needs of its participants
Understanding the different stakeholders that could be at play and the value they add
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After our research, we
Had an assumption
that people ARE willing to/ are interested in the other side of the opinion
Found that the core problem
is that it’s our instinct to not listen to the other side in defense and hence we are stuck in the same bias and do not challenge our opinions.
Which led to the problem statement
How Might We Instill trust and respect/safety among people with different opinions so that they have the willingness to look at different viewpoints?


With the problem statement in mind,
ideas were formed
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Placed the Ideas according to Impact, to prioritize them
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Here were some of the top contenders ;) 


Upon further feedback and deliberation,
We realized a lot of our solutions were encouraging this idea of there being '2 sides'
And isn't that what polarization is- what we were trying to eliminate?
So we realized
Opinions are not black and white.
They are multi-faceted and multidimensional.
We didn't want to box them or label them, pertaining to the polarization we were trying to solve and the labels already out there.
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Across the spectrum
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Many Layers


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“To Encourage a cooperative atmosphere, there needs to be set rules in place for a community to function”
- Howard Rheingold
(Howard is one of the founding members of the earliest social community THE WELL. He also coined the term 'virtual community')


The idea of Commune was slowly formed
1st Iteration 
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Considerations after laying down the basic flow
🔬️ Start testing & iterating
🔎️ Figure out the home page - how people will explore other topics
🤔 Incorporate
how people can flag certain stories
💭Reflections/ reactions to stories that will add to the algorithm
Multiple Iterations later
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So when does one enter Commune?
Social Media. 
Our social bubble
Social media makes people more susceptible to the influence of others in their social networks (Bode 2016; Bond et al. 2012; Turcotte et al. 2015).
H1 hypothesized that social media news use will be positively associated with changing or reconsidering political opinions based on information received through social media. There are positive, statistically significant correlations between political persuasion in social media and the frequency of social media use.
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Partnering with existing Social Media platforms like Instagram, Facebook
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🔎 Insight
While differing systematically in their moral world-views, people are actually more similar in their moral judgments than anyone thinks
Connecting people through higher goals
A community needs a common goal that is bigger than the personal interests and needs of its participants
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So when does one enter Commune?
🔎 Insight
Matching people based on nonpolitical similarity led to increased feelings of closeness toward the source of a political message
A profile, where other interests of the person are highlighted, outside their political opinions
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⚠️ Impact Analysis
⚠️Stories could trigger trauma and damage to mental health
Grounding exercises, trigger warnings
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 ⚠️ Impact Analysis
⚠️Putting people at risk by sharing their profiles
Allowing people to share anonymously
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⚠️ Impact Analysis
⚠️People using this platform for malicious intent and own propaganda
Strong community guidelines and flagging
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Can we solve extreme polarization?
Maybe not.
But we CAN enable/facilitate a civil discourse.

And THAT might just make internet a little welcoming for all of us!
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Next Steps
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MAU increased by 6.5%
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Avg time spent increased from 5 minutes to 13 minutes
💭 Takeaways
Fast thinking and decision-making. Since it was a quick sprint, I was pushed to make quick decisions and learned how to make decisions based on the data available to me as well as intuition.

Power of diverging as a team and then coming together to share our thoughts. To save time, we divided the work and created our designs and iterations for each feature. We then came together to share our ideas. This opened up ideas that one or the other of us would've never come up with before.

Collaborating with multiple teams. I had to constantly coordinate between Developers and PMs for data asks and to make sure my design was feasible.

Balancing business and user needs. The revamp pushed me to brainstorm ways in which we could incorporate the business needs while not taking away from a smooth experience.

Pitching to Higher-up and Stakeholders. Learned to pitch my designs and decisions to stakeholders and show them the best and worst cases while incorporating business needs.

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