BL!ND DATE
Monogamy, Polyamory and Beyond
An experimental public dating experience that increases the visibility of non-monogamous relationships and challenges the 'normal' concept.
Categories

UX Strategy
Experience Design
User Research
Visual Design
Concept Ideation
Role

Desk Research
Interviews
Experience Prototyping
Graphic Design
Video Editing
User Research
(Solo Project)
Tools

Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Premiere

   the problem        

The concept of non-monogamy is greatly over-exaggerated and hyper-sexualized by mainstream media because then it’s easy to marginalize the people who participate in such relationships.

   the solution        

Bl!nd Date is a physical semi-public (in a designed truck) experience that aims to increase the visibility of polyamory and to educate people around different kinds of nontraditional relationships. By randomly inviting people on the street to have a blind date with our two persons (our actors), participants will finally realize that they were talking with the person who is in a non-traditional relationship. In the end, participants receive a pamphlet and a tote bag as takeaways of the experience.

   the challenge        

The concept of non-monogamy is greatly over-exaggerated and hyper-sexualized by mainstream media because then it’s easy to marginalize the people who participate in such relationships.

   the audience        

People who have stigmas around non-monogamous relationships.
People who have not been introduced or educated about polyamory.
People who want to learn more about relationships besides monogamy.

Design Process
MARITAL RELATIONSHIP STREET SURVEY
What People Think of Relationships

Date: 2nd March 2019
Location: Chelsea Area
Total Participants: Thirty-six

To design the experience I need to understand generally how people think of relationships first. On the afternoon of Saturday, I walked to the Chelsea area to research marital relationships using the survey I created. The survey contained six questions, beginning with, The questions that followed were accompanied by a list of illustrations of people:

1. Who do you think is the happiest (the people with or without children)?
2. Which picture best describes your relationship?
3. Which relationship would make you happiest? Pick from the illustrations above.
4. Which of these do you think is a NORMAL relationship?
5. What should happen next (in society)? Write/draw your ending.
FROM THE STREET SURVEY
Insights

Thirty-six people participated, twenty- nine of which are single, three of which are married, three of which are partnered and one of which is separated. I also had a short conversation with them to learn their point of view about relationships. It is not surprising that 70% of participants think couples (choice 3-5) are the happiest. And 75% of participants think that being in a couple would make them the happiest.

Education around all kinds of relationships is important: Indeed, many people did not know the correct definition of polyamory. The only impression they may have had is that of one husband with many wives, an arrangement that is common in some areas in the world.

Challenging the 'normal' concept:
One participant pointed in particular to the question that asked, Which of these (relationships) do you think is a NORMAL relationship? and advised me to remove normal. On the other hand, I wanted to take this chance to learn people s biases towards relationships. Asking them, Who do you think is the happiest? and What relationship would make you happiest? is a way to see how people would react to others and what they would choose for themselves.
User Experience Process
try hover your mouse on each pic ;)
Introduction

The facilitator who is also our matchmaker, greets participant and hands the participant a questionnaire.
Getting To Know

The participant fills out the form and hands back to the matchmaker. The matchmaker gives the form to actors, Ted and Yuko, behind the blinder in the truck.
The date

Then the participant is guided into the truck and starts the conversation with one of the actors. (The actor who start the conversation depends on the preferred sexuality that the participant selected.)
Big Reveal

In the middle of their conversation. Ted/Yuko opens the curtain and introduces their partner and ask the participant if the participant would consider polyamory.
Takeaways

In the end, Ted and Yuko tell the participant that they're actors and explains the goal of this experience. They hands the participant a branded tote bag and a educational pamphlet.


Tone of Voice
Bl!nd Date is:
Unbiased
Unique
Unexpected
Unbelievable
Nontraditional
Bl!nd Date is not:
Biased
Common
Expected
Normal
Traditional
Takeaways

A Branded Tote Bag & An Educational Pamphlet
User Reflections
What Participants Think About This Experience
“In general, people are very open-minded even if they weren’t necessarily practicing non- monogamy. They were like curious, asked questions and they were kinda surprised to see the range of possibilities.”
- Yuko Kanai, BL!ND DATE actor

“People are very interested in various structures. But then a lot of people don’t know how to start the conversation, and that might be a place to explore.”
- Theodore Scoufis, BL!ND DATE actor


“I appreciate people who can live that lifestyle. It s not for me, but I have nothing against it. I think they(society)should just mind their own business. If people want to be in a polyamorous relationship, let them it's not affecting anyone.”
- BL!ND DATE Participant A

“I think that society should be accepting because it s not up to other people to judge what type of relationship any individual wants to be in.”
- BL!ND DATE Participant B

“I was intrigued. I think it s very important to get yourself educated about this. I don t think there is enough education around the concept of polyamorous relationships. So I think this is a good step in the right direction of informing people, educating them and understanding what polyamorous relationships are and why people have them.”
- BL!ND DATE Participant
Experience Prototype
‍‍Evaluate The Design Concept
Prototyping the experience is an important way to test out the design concept and find out what and where to improve. I invited two people who do not know anything about my experience to participate and asked how they feel about this.
Next Steps
What Did I Learn From This Experience
1. This project taught me that designers need to consider the background and needs of different participants in many aspects, especially this external public experience. For example, consider monogamous people, more open-minded people, people's sexual orientation, etc., and respect each person so that participants do not receive offense.

2. Designers need to be bold and invite people to participate in the design process and find answers from them. For example, BL!ND DATE as a public experience does not have a standard answer for everyone, but rather motivates people to think more, it is necessary to start from the interaction with people and generate new ideas from the experience and conversations.

3. The importance of entering the public. Designs need to be understood by the public, and should be answered by the user regardless of the purpose of the design. This experiential activity is a great way. I will try more in the future.