acht: A Social App that Combines Dating and Museum Visiting Experiences
Acht, aims to provide a social experience centred around dating by using museum atmosphere as a catalyst for emotional and creative exchange between users. This project aims to combine dating with an intellectual and cultural activity—museum visiting. The core concept of Acht is to provide a playful date motivation in museums or similar cultural institutions to its users. The interviews conducted with dating app users during concept development of the project show that most of them are not solicitous enough to make the first move to meet in real life and indeterminate meetings put an extra stress on people. In this regard the project suggests a social mobile app that helps people meet, date and get acquainted to one-another in museums.
This project turned out an academic paper and published by Springer in 2019
Acht has three phases: Matching through swiping, suggestions for meeting places, and a gamified feature in museums. Matching through swiping concept is a conventional design commonly used by contemporary mobile dating and other apps. In this method, if both users swipe to the right of each other, they match and will be able to start a conversation. If a user swipes to the left, which means that user does not like the person on the screen, there will be no match. Potential matches appear on the screen according to the user’s geographical location and their range preferences. After this phase matches should decide at which museum the meeting will take place by choosing it on the map.
With the intention of creating a positive experience for both visitors and museums, museums on sensitive topics such as war and crime are excluded on the list of suggested meeting places. When two matches meet at the predetermined museum, they receive a welcome message which informs the users on how to start the gamification phase. During this phase, users receive questions to trigger communication and interaction among themselves. These questions create the spontaneousness of a date in a well-constructed pattern. “If this building were a part of your house which room would it be?”, “What would you drink by looking at this art piece?”, “Choose 3 parts of your body to express this art piece. You have to show”. While users enjoy art pieces, they also have the chance to get to know each other with the help of digital question cards that are not directly related to the art pieces but the users’ life. These questions are designed to encourage users’ creativity, rather than dwelling on their intellectual background and in this way quality of experience is not related to a user’s previous knowledge.
To encourage users to move freely and physically, randomness was chosen as the main concept for the digital question cards. Users have flexibility in the museum since these questions are not associated with a specific artwork. Questions are activated when two users shake their phones at the same time in front of the same artwork. This shaking gesture not only serves to make users physically active, but to give the feeling of chance by acting as a dice.