Lowkey Chat


How do we create a group messaging experience that balances fun and security?

When I joined Highkey (now known as Lowkey), it was just pivoting from its original mission of highlighting events at college campuses. As the global pandemic shut down college campuses, we wanted to find a way to keep students connected to their campus and the peers around them. Ultimately, the team decided to find a way to create an end to end group messaging experience to promote personal and authentic conversations for college students.


Pain Points Users Faced

The team conducted user interviews with over thirty different students from college campuses around the US.

The main findings were :

  1. Privacy Concerns: College students want to recreate the authentic conversations they would find if they were in person.
  2. Need for balance of structure and fun: Existing group chat interfaces that supported large groups feel clunky, difficult to navigate, and didn't feel oriented towards a younger crowd.
  3. Visual Design: We wanted to modernize the group chat experience in a way that made it feel exciting, accessible, and secure.


Understanding the User Journey

I worked with product manager to identify the key experiences essential to building a functional, easy to use group chat. Narrowed down the key MVP functions to be sending text, images, gifs, replying and reactions, and timestamps. This helps us prioritize what the core user needs are in building large scale casual conversations.


Main Chat CTA

Created an easy to understand, casual approach to onboarding. Rather than having users go through a more benefit focused onboarding process, it was important for us to highlight how we specifically differed from other apps by demonstration. The priorities for the onboarding screens were:

  1. Doing and function focused approach - we wanted our users to gain a clear understanding of our features through walking through the core functions of the app
  2. Emphasis on casual and fun - The call to action is fun , attention catching, and simple. Here users get the chance to test the existing features with our chatbot. We wanted to encourage exploration, and make it easy for people to know there's a lot of features to try out!

Chat Features


You can view how its implemented in the app store here.