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Social Platform Concept

It was the year 2012...

The social media landscape at the time was littered with memes and a host of user posts void of context and disconnected from the virtues of storytelling. Out of dissatisfaction with the status quo and a desire for a greater sense of meaning from online interactions with my friends and family, I conceived BioBits: a concept for a narrative-friendly social media platform. An important objective driving it’s design would be to authentically translate online the generations-old experience of the human voice telling the stories behind the photos in a physical photo album.
Grandfather reading book to granddaughters

Core Concept

The core idea behind BioBits is that users can turn a series of social media posts into a narrative by grouping them together. These individual post units are called “Bits.” A Bit is similar to a Facebook post in that it can contain a single photo, a video, or a photo album with some accompanying text. However, what’s unique about the Bit is that users can add to it a short voice recording to talk about its content. Users can then group bits in a unit called a “book”, which visualizes all of the Bits horizontally to form a timeline. The resulting arrangement allows users to see multiple Bits on one screen and pick photos to hear more about them, reminiscent of the experience of sharing a coffee table album with friends and family.
Biobits timeline

Designing BioBits

BioBits underwent three major design iterations. I first created a desktop interface for a video demonstration that a potential investor requested to elucidate the concept better.

Another One

The second time around, I designed a mobile prototype to provide a more hands-on demonstration for future investors and to judge interest on the go. This time I subjected my design ideas to user testing. After several rounds of testing and redesign, I arrived at a demo that reviewers found enjoyable to browse and generated excitement for the concept.


My final design iteration came in 2014 when I modernized the visual layer of the interface to keep up with the times and to incorporate a more polished, contemporary design vision in my MFA thesis paper.


A full decade has past since I first conceived of BioBits and saw that the social media landscape needed to become more narrative-friendly.
Since that time, many of BioBit’s concepts and interface ideas that were once novel have become more commonplace on social media platforms today. “Stories” are a prominent feature on many major social media platforms. Still, a photo album narrated by the user’s own voice has yet to be fully realized ten years later.