At the intersection of social sciences and design

Hack Week

Prismatic Hack Week

For Prismatic hack week, I wanted to work on two aspects I had been thinking about: navigation and profile.


Had a few goals I wanted to accomplish with my project:

  • make it easy to switch between interest feeds
  • make interest feeds destinations
  • expansive to easily accommodate future feeds
  • more room for content
  • make it easy to explore

Started exploring a couple navigation concepts.

[show sketches for the different nav concepts]

Prismatic is essentially a collection of feeds. How can we make it easy to switch between? Was inspired by the navigation on iOS webapp. Cards layered upon one another. These can be many different things, such as a feed of most discussed articles that you can switch to.


  • Defer to the content, especially photos
  • Use same technique as we do for topic cards: image from top article (perhaps of all time)

Also an idea of feeds as destinations. How can we make them engaging?



Have always had an interest in how people represent identity. 

Role of Profile

  • offline, although impressions are a function of complex information, initial impressions often form quickly, on the basis of relatively little information with long lasting implications
  • these impressions are often predictive of future interactions
  • with the advent of social networks, impressions now may form online rather than in a face-to-face context
  • important for us given we want to connect people over interests

Looked into the research on identity. [range of academic literature that I looked into]

Identity is prismatic

  • Oxford dictionary: “varied and brilliant”
  • You are more than a name and a photo
  • Identity isn’t static, changes with time
  • Identity negotiation: our environment, relationships, etc are also part of our identity

With these goals and ideas, thought about what a profile on Prismatic could look like.

[would be good to show sketch book explorations]

Core to Prismatic is this idea of interests - An idea I played around with a year ago: Interest DNA. not just on profile, but can reframe onboarding as a building of identity. It's almost like DNA - started looking into DNA strands and how we could use that mental model to quickly communicate the breadth of things people are interested in, with an understanding of the depth.

Build the creation of this DNA into the product - onboarding as a way of creating your identity, letting Prismatic know who you are.

Identity as things you’re interested in and things that influence you: year you were born, where, where you live, where you work -> all potentially feeds on prismatic that you can visit. How can you dig in and learn more about what they do?

How do you balance this with wanting to know how you come off to people who view your profile?

Was really fun working on these projects - looking forward to seeing them realized!