Vincere: art therapy & conversations for assault survivors


The challenge: Design a new product to facilitate social communication online

What we did: Needfinding, interactive prototypes, iterative rounds of prototyping and testing (wizard-of-oz testing, user studies, and surveys)

The result: A site to connect victims of sexual assault in a low-stress environment (See prototype)

Awards: Class Honorable Mention

Duration: 8 weeks

Team: 3 students

When: Spring 2014 (Stanford CS247 class)

"I guess all that matters is that I have a safe stay with supportive people, and it's sometimes hard to find that anywhere else."

Design process

Version 1

Our original concept focused on finding just the right person to talk to. To do so, we had the idea that:

  • Tell: Survivors would record and post the story of their experience.
  • Listen: Survivors would listen to others' shared stories and reach out to them via the website to set up a time to talk 1:1.
  • Connect: Two survivors would meet in an online, collaborative drawing space with an audiostream to talk.


Once we had an idea, we created some rough mocks to get a sense of the user flow. We showed multiple versions to users. The main distinction related to which survivors you could connect with: ones who were immediately available (easier) or ones who were most like you in some way (harder to find).

Version A

Version B

User Testing Round 1

With these ideas, we did some rough Wizard-of-Oz testing. Here's what we found:

User Testing Round 1 - Impact

What happened:So we decided to:
Users love "Connect"--> Focus on "Connect"
Site is complicated; requires a very motivated user.
  • Survivors didn't like "Tell" or "Listen"
--> Simple connection process.
  • Remove "Tell" and "Listen"
Users wanted a reference to professional help.--> Add link to more resources

Version 2

Goal: To create a safe space to encourage conversation

Before testing

Prototype of the 1:1 drawing space

Issues and feedback:

  1. What are we supposed to talk about?
  2. Oh, am I supposed to be talking to someone? (Forgot to enable microphone)
  3. What do I do? (Confused by drawing)
  4. How do I know I’m talking to another survivor?

Implementing final feedback

Final product of the 1:1 drawing space

Final feedback

Users like the look-and-feel, the connection, the drawings!