Close The Gap


Interaction Design Studio | Fall 2022
A gap in physical distance often prompts emotional disconnect and reduces the quality of human conversations.

This ecosystem of digital touchpoints, works together to “close” the naturally occuring availability gap between individuals in different time zones. 

The features and design choices made, strive to optimize the time users are able to spend interacting with one another and ensures quality conversation remains a priority, so that relationships may continue seamlessly, despite physical distance. 


This project topic stems from challenges I have faced when trying to mantain close relationships with my mother, an international flight attendant, and several of my close friends (currently studying abroad). The below journey observation exercise details key pain points I experienced while planning & engaging with my friend in a FaceTime call. She is currently residing in Luxembourg, France — a 6 hour time difference.

User Journey Map

This path enabled me to identify the following design opportunities:

  • Allow planning to occur independently
  • Provide real-time availability status
  • Enable impromptu availability notifications
  • Outline logistical details & highlight potential connectivity issues ahead of time
  • Provide area for “awareness notes” that would facilitate flow of conversatio
  • Enable prioritized agenda; automatically move uncovered items to next agend
  • Provide agenda guides that recommend which topics are best covered over phone versus text messaging

Information Architecture



Style Direction 1

MoodBoard + Style Frames

Style Direction 2

MoodBoard + Style Frames

Final Style Guide

The most successful and relevant aspects of the above style directions were combined, refined, and built upon to arrive at a visual aesthetic that enables users of this UX Ecosystem to achieve their main objective with utmost ease — as limited time is a key cosideration, and maintaining focus on quality conversation is the goal. The final style guide establishes a clear visual hierarchy, connects visual flows among related items, and optimizes layout across different pages, all while bearing in mind a wide target user group.

User Testing Feedback


The ‘Close The Gap’ Ecosystem leverages two Task Flows to optimize the time two or more users spend interacting with one another across differernt time zones, and ensure each interation prioritizes quality conversation — so that relationships may continue seamlessly, despite physical distance.

Long-Term/Planning Ahead
Send a calendar invitation for a new connect with a friend.  

Short Term/Immediate Connection
Notify an available friend of your mutual availability and desire to connect.