By: Editorial Team | Posted: January 29, 2019 | Updated: April 5, 2023
Ever thought “I need to make some new friends: There should be an app for that”?
A group of Longevity Explorers and design students brainstormed the features they would like to see in an “App to Make New Friends” at an intergenerational design workshop at the 2018 Stanford Centre on Longevity Design Challenge.
To be more specific, here is the way we framed the discussion.
Imagine you are helping develop a product (likely an app or website) designed to make discovering and connecting with friends more likely and more satisfying.
Listen to the Brainstorming Discussion
In the audio recording below, you can hear older adults and younger design students bouncing ideas off each other about a variety of aspects of an “App for Finding New Friends“.
The intergenerational group talked about things like:
- The importance of Privacy;
- How to handle Language and Context;
- Need for a Common Lexicon;
- Online vs Offline;
- What Platforms different types of people prefer;
- The optimal time of day for interactions;
- Are Interests really a useful way to identify “friends”; and
- Do we want something like this App?
This design brainstorming session was led by Richard Caro and Ken Smith. This was part of a larger workshop at the Design Challenge (1). The workshop was organized by the Stanford Center on Longevity and Tech-enhanced Life. You can see an article capturing everything we discussed at: “Intergenerational Design Opinions“.
For more about Loneliness and Social Isolation see the exploration “Isolated and Lonely: How Can We Avoid This?“.
Does an “App to Make New Friends” Already Exist?
We know some of you are thinking “but doesn’t this already exist?”.
Well, we know of several attempts to develop something like this, but we think there is quite a bit of room for improvement in the ones we know about, especially an App designed to be useful for older adults.
We would like to know of more “Apps for Making New Friends“. If you know of such products, please tell us about them in the comments section at the bottom of the page — especially if you have used them and have an opinion about how useful they are.
For developers working on something like this, we hope the ideas in the brainstorming session below might help make your product even better than it was going to be. 🙂
If you have questions, or want to dive deeper into what we have learned about this topic, feel free to reach out with questions or to arrange a discussion via the comments section below.
(1) Design Challenge, organized annually by the Stanford Center on Longevity.
*Disclosure: The research and opinions in this article are those of the author, and may or may not reflect the official views of Tech-enhanced Life.
If you use the links on this website when you buy products we write about, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate or other affiliate program participant. This does not affect the price you pay. We use the (modest) income to help fund our research.
In some cases, when we evaluate products and services, we ask the vendor to loan us the products we review (so we don’t need to buy them). Beyond the above, Tech-enhanced Life has no financial interest in any products or services discussed here, and this article is not sponsored by the vendor or any third party. See How we Fund our Work.