front door

Fall 2018


The smartphone has the ability to encourage users to spend their time calling their close friends, but instead tends to lead users to social media applications where rarely does meaningful interaction take place.


Research | Concept Development | Visual Mock-up

Team: Brandon Farrell, Dan Farrow, Lun Zhou


In the Experience Design graduate program at Northeastern University, the Design Systems course investigated the development of systems to form routines. One team assembled to investigate systems to help form routines to keep in touch with close friends.


Survey | Prior-Art Research


Illustrator | Photoshop | Google Forms

To read the long form version, click here

Framing the Problem

Statista reports that globally, people average over two hours of social media consumption everyday. In my experience, this time is starved of meaningful interactions with other people. Smartphones can easily facilitate a meaningful interaction with a phone call or videochat, but nothing pushes users in the direction to use their phone for that function. Front door is a smartphone application that helps users develop habits to consider using their phone to have a meaningful interaction before they log onto a social media app.

Knocking on Opportunity

Photos are powerful in their ability to transport people to moments in time, causing viewers to recall intangible details and sometimes instill a sense of nostalgia. There exists a tremendous opportunity to turn the lock screen from an overlooked page that the user swipes past into the doorstep for conversation in a way that hasn't been done before through photos. Front Door leverages that opportunity in the form of a lock screen application.

How it Works

To start using Front Door, users download the app and walk through the set up process which is detailed in a section below. In the set up, users select from their contacts the individuals that they would like to have in their lock screen rotation. Front Door then pulls photos of these individuals from the users' photo library to be shown when the user opens to their lock screen, providing users with a selection of personal and sentimental moments as a launchpad for conversation.

When the user arrives at their lock screen, they will see the picture of someone they selected to be in their rotation. By swiping, users arrive at a menu where they have the opportunity make a phone call or a video call through the user's default applications for those functions, or schedule a call through Front Door's scheduler.

Opening Doors

Front Door is a simple concept that could have great benefits for users over time. With the opportunity and encouragement to reach out to a friend every time an individual opens their phone, users could make a habit out of reaching out to their friends for a meaningful conversation.

Theoretical effect of using Front Door over time

To read the long form version, click here