VoizeBox: Voice-Only Social Chat Platform

A new social chat platform which focuses solely on voice interactions. The platform aims to provide a genuine sense of authenticity and appeal to millennials. My main purpose was to design and build a system for users to easily connect and exchange voice messages. Users can also upload short audio messages and visual stories to a feed and earn popularity points.

Behind The Scenes: My Process

As someone who frequently uses social platforms and messaging tools, I strongly believe in the importance of voice communication. Therefore, I was extremely excited when Aly from VoizeBox approached me to design and create a new social chat platform that focuses solely on voice interactions. There are situations where sending a voice message is more effective than using text, photos, or videos. Voice messages not only save time but also provide a genuine sense of authenticity, which was the main idea behind Aly’s concept for VoizeBox. Our objective was to develop a user-friendly and stylish voice-only social chat platform that would appeal to a large audience, especially millennials. My main role was to design and build a system which allows users to easily connect with each other by synchronizing their contacts and exchanging voice messages. Additionally, users would have the ability to upload short audio messages and visual stories to a feed, and earn points for their activities. These points would serve as a measure of popularity on the voice-only social platform. This project would prove to be one of the most challenging, yet fulfilling endeavors I have ever embarked on.

Steps Within My Process:

UX Research + UX Design
UI Design + Prototyping
Branding + Full Stack Development

Within my early design process for VoizeBox, I first listened intently to Aly about what he had discovered within his own research. It was clear the main want and need was for this app to stand out from the crowd and offer a very unique + authentic user experience. The biggest challenge here was to design a user interface that would allow users to express themselves solely through their voices, fostering genuine connections and meaningful conversations. After thoroughly listening to and discussing with Aly, I started to conduct market research to understand the existing voice-based communication apps and their limitations. I wanted to identify the gaps and pain points that users often face while using these platforms. This research not only helped me gain insights into the competition but also gave me a clearer understanding of the target audience’s needs and expectations.

Next, Aly and I started sketching out rough wireframes and mockups to visualize the potential layout and design elements of VoizeBox. We wanted the app to have a clean and intuitive interface that would make it easy for users to navigate and interact. Aly, being a creative genius, provided valuable feedback and suggestions, pushing me to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. To make the app more unique outside of just voice, we decided to integrate two key features. The first one of those features would be enabling the voice messages to be truly encrypted, similar to apps like Signal. The second one of those features would be a personalized scoring and recommendation system. VoizeBox would analyze the amount of users’ contacts + connections, then go onto analyze interests and preferences to suggest relevant topics, groups, and individuals for them to connect with. This feature would not only enhance the user experience but also foster a sense of community and belonging. Throughout the design process, we conducted frequent user testing sessions to gather feedback and make iterative improvements. We invited a diverse group of individuals to try out the app via a prototype and provide their insights. Their input was invaluable in shaping the final product, ensuring that it catered to a wide range of user preferences and needs.

As the development phase began, we closely collaborated with each other – ensuring the UI and UX designs we had finalized would be able to come to fruition. We wanted to ensure that the app’s functionality aligned perfectly with the envisioned user experience. Regular meetings and brainstorming sessions allowed us to tackle technical challenges and find innovative solutions. Finally, after months and months of development, we got to the point where we could submit the app to Apple’s App Store. This is where the absolute most challenging part of this project would come in. Apple had just released iOS 14, which contained numerous changes to how apps handle and track data – and along with that, their privacy around that data. Submission after submission, after submission after submission – all of the builds were rejected by Apple’s review team for privacy concerns around the sending of audio.

It was time to go back to the drawing board.

Alongside Aly, I completely revised how the app would send and store the users voice recordings, revised our user flows, and made it very clear that each time a user recorded and sent an audio recording, or each time a user received an audio recording, the contents of that recording would be kept completely private and encrypted. If the user pressed “No” on the App Tracking Transparency popup, the recordings were handled a completely different way. In the end, this revision brought us to a much better place. Recently, we took the time to revise VoizeBox again with even more improvements to this area and the code base. After much process, the app is set to launch later this year.

The Results