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A digital platform that captures the wisdom of humanity.

StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, providing people from all backgrounds with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. When StoryCorps’ founder won the 2015 TED Prize, the organization selected MAYA to design a digital platform that makes the StoryCorps interview experience accessible to everyone.

The StoryCorps mobile app, with complementary website, expands the organization’s reach globally to capture and share the wisdom and experiences of humanity— saved for generations to come. With approximately 10 weeks to deliver a beta version, the MAYA and StoryCorps teams worked side-by-side to gather insight, test with users and iterate quickly.

Client:

Products & Services

User Research
UX Design
Analysis & Insight
Pervasive Computing
Facilitation & Innovation Coaching

Within the first 6 months of launch:

245,000

App downloads

94,500

Registered users

10,000

Recorded interviews

“MAYA helped us find a solution that thoughtfully combined technology with our tested interview practices and personalized approach. The result is a powerful tool that is helping StoryCorps reach more people than ever before.”

- Dave Isay, StoryCorps Founder & President

MAYA found a way to use technology to preserve an experience that is extremely personal, without being obtrusive.

Ten Weeks to Traction

StoryCorps was launching at the annual TED Conference—one of the biggest international stages, in front of an even larger online audience. MAYA and the StoryCorps teams had to quickly align around the product vision. Product development often involves moments of uncertainty as teams need to explore and experiment with ideas. To prepare for this, MAYA proposed a design process that allowed the team to test and learn from ideas, while providing constant feedback to StoryCorps. By using human-centered design (HCD) techniques, the team was able to focus, manage risk and make decisions quickly to meet the aggressive time frame.

Dave Isay, StoryCorps Founder and President
Image credit: TED

Putting Users at the Center of the Design Process

Connect

MAYA was responsible for gathering insights and aligning the many business areas and stakeholders tied to the project. Using HCD, we were able to elicit input and ideas from team members on how the platform could look and function, while helping to select and prioritize which features to include.

Make

MAYA used paper prototyping to initially learn how the app should function, and moved to digital prototypes as the design evolved. At the same time, our engineering team built the infrastructure to ensure that we were developing the right technology to support the needs of the user.

Test

The product design decisions were based on real-life observation and feedback from users. This approach helped to identify failure points early in the design process and allowed for multiple iterations to gather insight, test and refine.

Deliver

The beta version of the StoryCorps app launched in front of an international audience at the annual TED Conference. Viewers were immediately able to download it on the App Store and Google Play.

Image credit: TED

A New Form of Social Sharing

Users are spending 15-40 uninterrupted minutes listening and connecting on topics that really matter, and sharing their stories with the world.

With StoryCorps, people are empowered to record and preserve meaningful conversations about their lives. The teams will continue to monitor how people use the platform and expand the feature set.

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