The Presence Project

In A Few Lines

The Presence Project is an iOS and Android app. Drag your finger to show others that you’re on the app, using colors. Feel a vibration when you touch the same spot on the screen as someone else.

The only thing you need to start vibing on #ThePresenceProject is to open the app with someone at the same time. 

No signup. No profile. No avatar. No ads. No scrolling. No feeds. No history. No editing. No likes. No followers. No notifications. No gimmicks. Just Presence.

In A 30” Video

In A Few Gifs

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In a Few Thoughts

2020 is a special year. #ThePresenceProject allows you to experience social interactions a bit differently when we all need it the most. They feel captivating, inclusive and pure. There’s a sense of equality, cohesion and even romance as you are interacting in harmony, in the present, using only colors and haptics. It’s so minimalist, almost immaterial, but your mind can still get lost in it. The absence of profiles, lists to scroll, feeds, history, likes, editing, followers and notifications makes it feel like the app almost have nothing in there, which is surprisingly relieving. There’s absolutely no pressure on #ThePresenceProject so you can start feeling what it means for a social product to be off by default.

We often hear about how much we all look at our phones. You could argue that we’re all looking at Interfaces more than “phones”. Interfaces today are basically a proxy between you and a product, a service, a feature.

We usually consider an interface to be good when it is extremely simple and straightforward. Ideally, “you shouldn’t even see it”. Templates allow anyone to create an interface that is ready-to-work without knowing how to design it. In the same vein, Design Systems became a foundation within Product Design teams to create consistent interfaces as quickly as possible. 

A lot of good things came out of this train of thoughts, the main downside though being that interfaces started to feel cold and similar throughout apps. It feels like they have been generated by a computer when they’ve actually been designed by humans! We wanted to focus on the craft, the savoir-faire and the feel of the interface. On #ThePresenceProject, the interface isn’t the proxy, it’s actually the product.

The interface is vibrant, fluid and dynamic. Gestures from people interacting defines how it looks and haptics literally bring a magical vibe to these interactions. It looks and feels different every single time you open the app, and as a result, every screenshot from #ThePresenceProject is unique. Like an original painting or a nice view, you can’t really copy and paste it.

We hope #ThePresenceProject will make you think differently about how a social app could look and feel like. A positive and contemporary perspective inspired by how we live and uses our “phones” today. We’re hoping to contribute to an era of Renaissance for social apps that influences how they are designed and perceived in our modern society.

Behind The App

It's a side (passion) project that Tiago and I started to work on to take our mind off of things when needed. Among other things, it has helped us to learn Unity and experiment around a new type of "aesthetic" for interfaces. We also design and build at Snapchat 💛・