Social Interactions and COVID-19

Promoting Social Interactions in a World Shaped by COVID-19


COVID-19 has changed our world. Whether through fear for our health, or a sense of responsibility towards others, or compliance with regulation, how we interact with other people has changed. Even after a vaccine, for many the feeling of vulnerability may continue. In this new world, how do we help young people—highschool to 25—connect socially? How we enable the vital human exchanges that are part of maturing as an individual and finding oneself continue in a safe way.

Project Goal

Your goal is to design a product or service to enable more natural social interactions in a world shaped by COVID-19.

Problem Definition & Specifications

Think broadly, and then articulate a specific challenge.  Examples might include: a face mask that people want to wear, a video system that supports natural conversation, a place to enable remote social entertainment, a remote tactile device so you can give someone a hug or a pat on the back… or play a game of foosball. Identify specific customers and learn from them what they want;  ideate and prototype solutions and evaluate with your customers; iterate, refine, and then present a prototype and vision for how your idea will help young people interact socially. [We highly recommend that your team includes at least one person with previous experience in human-centered design or that you join to learn about the process]


Your efforts will be judged according to:  

  • Clear description of user(s)
  • Thorough understanding and new insights into users’ needs
  • Idea based on needs and new insights
  • Convincing prototype of the experience
  • User feedback incorporated into design
  • Compelling idea that would help someone