Sync & Harmony Process


Sync & Harmony Design Process

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The Team
Project Brief
Our Focus
Ideation & Prototyping
Product Solutions
Market Fit
Process Images


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Before jumping straight into a topic for the project, as a team, we discussed where we wanted to take this project. “The future of computing” was such a broad brief. We had a deep conversation and mapped out current trends in technology, business, society, and our culture.

We all agreed that technology has changed the way we communicate today - not just in the tools we use, but it also has changed how we communicate on a personal level. We live in a world mediated by addictive screens that distract us from what really matters - the people we love. Our friends, family, and our significant others. We challenged ourselves to change that.

Left to Right: Ofir Atia, Serena Jorif, Calvin Lien, Alice Yu

Left to Right: Ofir Atia, Serena Jorif, Calvin Lien, Alice Yu


Project Brief

HP's design brief challenged us to redefine communication and interactivity with a human-centric approach. As we become more dependent on technology to mediate our communication, we wanted to define the relationships we have and not have them be defined by the technology we use. Our cornerstone and inspiration for this project was a quote from the Make it Matter Campaign.

At hp, the things that matter to you, matter to us. We don’t just believe in the power of technology, we believe in the power of people. When technology works for them.
— HP Make it Matter Campaign

Our Focus

Long-distance Relationships

We chose to use couples in long-distance relationships as a pilot for how we can use the power of computing to strengthen relationships that matter. Why? Because technology has made these long distance relationships possible, but definitely not easy. These are individuals who rely on communication every day. And the reality is, the health of their relationship depends on it.

Poor communication = Poor relationship.



Long Distance relationships was the perfect niche for us. Many of us have been in long distance at some point or time, and all of us know someone who has been. It was a great opportunity becasue we had access to so many peiople and really got to listen, and underover needs and opporunity spaces. study these individuals

Long Distance Relationships Statistics

Long Distance Relationships Statistics


Understanding the Landscape

We Identified different communicating tools ranging from apps, communication platforms, couple-specific products, and trends relevant to the industry. Then we used this information to create a visual map of the industry and identify potential opportunity spaces for exploration. Most of the couple-specific products felt a bit gimmicky and band-aid solutions to bigger problems. Social media and messenger apps are effective tools for communication, but not as intimate as FaceTime or video calling - which generally had to be scheduled or planned in advance.


The key dimensions we mapped out on the matrix Anticipation/Spontaneity and Investive/Passive. We discovered opportunity spaces to create more spontaneity and less scheduled/structured communication and to explore systems that enable couples to effectively communicate both passively and investive throughout the day.



Our objective was to understand people and their experience with long distance relationships. We interviewed people who were currently in a long distance relationship, some that led to successful marriages, and even more that let to break-ups. We even have the opportunity to interview a licensed relationship therapist to better understand the psychology of meaningful relationships.

Understanding our users

We needed to understand our end user - their motivations, the tools they used, why they used them and what their thoughts, feelings and needs were. We kept these interview questions open-ended and listened openly. We continued to ask why until we extracted deep, meaningful insights that drove our project and solutions.

Interviewee Snippet


Three Driving Insights

After conducting research, the next challenge was to bring structure to all the incredible data we collected. We analyzed, sorted, clustered, identified insights and began to reveal patterns. We synthesized all our key findings into three driving insights. These insights were used as guiding principles as we began to create personas and scenarios.


Modeling Users


Dylan and Lily's personas were crafted by the behaviors and motivations of the real people we interviewed in our research. These personas were used as a tool to develop an understanding of our user's goals in specific contexts and allowed us to create journey maps, envision scenarios, ideate and validating design concepts.

Our Persona’s Goals

Experience Goal: How they want to feel
Intimately Warm, Elegantly Playful, and Invisible Visible

End Goal: What they want to do
Stay connected with their partner

Life Goal: Who they want to be
A partner that is of personal significance, healthy, caring, long-term and is one the other couldn't imagine living without.


Journey Map to identify pain points in our user’s lives.



As a team, we created visual mood boards to establish themes for our project. This helped us translate persona experience goals into design elements to effectively communicate the look and feel the product solution. This was an effective tool that established design guidelines as we entered the ideation and prototyping process.


Concept Development

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Envisioning Scenarios


Using our personas “Dylan and Lily” as main characters. We developed narratives to imagine ideal user interactions and used those scenarios to test and communicate ideas. We sketched, and used rapid prototyping to test different concepts, form factors, interfaces, and scenarios. This was an iterative process going back and forth from thoughts, to sketches, and developing rough prototypes. Then using those prototypes to envision future scenarios with our solutions.


Framing Solutions

Two interconnected communication experiences

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Bringing Sync & Harmony to Life

Process photos of the development and refinement of Sync & Harmony.

Harmony Mockups