Me vs Destiny
A mobile app designed for the AWAKENS Hack Your Genome hackathon. This project won 2nd place at the event
The goal for this project was to use AWAKENS' genome parsing API to build something interesting. I liked the idea that our genetic data does not give concrete definitions of who we are as people, but instead simply suggests our likely personality traits.
I decided to make a simple game where the user is asked questions about themselves and then we compare those answers to what can be inferred from their genetic data. This comparison is framed in terms of self-determination vs predisposition, or "me" vs "destiny".
I wanted this theme to be purposely grandiose to juxtapose the silliness of the app.
I wanted both the text and concept of “Me” to come off as casual and unassuming while “Destiny” should be mysterious and imposing. This dichotomy would be expressed in differing fonts and text sizes.
I settled on a font for "Me vs" fairly quickly, however the "Destiny" font took a bit of iteration. I originally tried various serifed fonts (#1-2 above) before testing out large, blocky fonts (#3). None of these were imposing or mysterious enough to fit the tone I was going for, so I googled "scary fonts" and came across the More Than Human font (#4).
I like More Than Human because it’s blockiness gives a good weight for conveying importance, while the open lettering conveys a sense of mystery. The default font, however, was a bit too stabby (I found it searching “scary fonts” after all…) so I flattened the bottom of each letter and added a fade to reinforce the ‘mysterious’ aspect.
Users are asked to answer 10 questions above.
While the underlying API tracks 60+ unique genomic markers, I wanted to provide a quick and lightweight experience so I focused on 10 specific traits. These traits were chosen based on how interesting I thought they would be for the user to asses - I focused on traits relating to emotions and the enjoyment of vices. A few binary choice questions were thrown in as well to quicken the pace of my questionnaire.
For the selectable answers, I employed a jokey tone in order to distance the product from the inherent stuffiness of genomic data. It was my hope that by incorporating some personality within the text, users would remain engaged long enough to complete all 10 questions.
Users are serviced one of the above two screens based on how their answers match inferences made based on their genome.
I initially planned on framing results in terms of “you win” and “destiny wins” but decided I didn’t like the idea of telling a user they lost. This seemed particularly harsh on users who (admirably) answered all of their questions truthfully.
I decided to pivot towards more honorific titles: “Path Forger” for those whose personas significantly differ from their genetic markers, and “Child of Destiny” for those who closely resemble what their genomes would suggest. In addition to being kinder to the user, these titles keep with the grandiose theme of “Me vs DESTINY”.