How would you build Facebook for blind people
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2 Answers

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Its a really nice way to say to 40M people in the world that we care. FB moto is to connect people irrespective of their disability. Lets first clarify a few questions

1a. Are we talking about visually impared people or people with color-blindnessr or people who are blind and mute? - Lets say blind people

1.b Are we talking about people who have recently become blind or are blind from birth (As they wouldn't know how FB operates today)- doesn't matter

2. Are we restricited to certain age group or region? - Nope

3. Are we looking to build an app or the web version? - Lets say app

Persona - Blind people

Pain points ; let's walk through the FB process and all of them will be a pain point for blind people

1. Opening up of the app and logging in

2. Checking the news feed

3. Reacting to a news feed

4. Posting a comment / feed

5. Deleting a post

6. sending or accepting a friend request


1. Voice activated app. From opening up of the app to logging out. Every event would be voice activated. The AI would read to the user the news feed and also describe the photo posted in the feed and at each step AI could ask if the user wants to reach to the post. If the user says yes, the AI could provide further option of reaction.. if its a like or they want to post a comment. The AI could understand the voice commands from the user and act accordingly.

Complexity: Medium

Impact to user High

2. Input via Breil and output via voice. The second solution considers that there are other people around who are not visually impared and can read and hear perfectly. For them, the above solution could be interrupting. The app woud take in input from a breil connected to the phone so that the blind user can react via posting the comment. The AI would still read the posts/newsfeed via voice. The person could wear a headphone

Complexity: High

Impact to user High

3. Integrate with "be my eye" app. The users spend average 2 hours on facebook. Let's say for blind people it will be a bit less. Their purpose is to connect with their loved ones and get their updates on FB. The be my eye app identifies a volunteer who is ready to help a blind person. FB can connect with the app and identify a volunteer via which the blind person's phone screen could be shared and the volunteer could help read the newsfeed and help in reacting to the posts. This solution brings in the "human touch".

Complexity: very high and you might not find a volunteer at a time when a user wants to access facebook

Impact to user:  Medium ; they might not want someone else to go through their personal feed

Based on the above I would go with the 1st solution.

Metrics to measure

-  Users who have activated VIP features vs people who are actually it

- Users posting comments or reacting to the feed

- Avg time spend per user



- Churn rate
by (159 points)
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Let start off by asking questions like:

1. Why does Facebook want to have this?

2. Will it be a feature or a separate product itself?

3. Is it targeted to users: a) Full Blind - Born or Later? b) Partially Blind c) Colour Blind?

Let me assume the answers to the above questions are:

1) Because it connects with FB's mission - to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together 

2) It will be feature/features within

3) Fully Blind

Yes, it makes sense to target this segment, as FB's core principle is to connect people and assuming 7 B population with probably 5% will be blind, i.e. 35 M we will be targeting 

Let me list down the needs or pain-points of blind people:

1. Obviously, they're not able to see but they are able to feel the environment nearby

2. They want to know what their friends and family are doing. They too want to socially connect by feeds, groups, and chat

3. The can't log in, check the posts or respond to them. In terms of the journey of a normal user: Login --> Feeds --> Check Posts --> Respond Posts --> Likes/Comments/React --> Update Profile --> Chat --> Check Groups --> Accept Friends/Send Friends. All these can't be done by the blind person

Let me look into solutions --> Blind Mode Option will be there to activate this feature:

1. Vibrations and Voice Based Triggers: For all the actions/triggers there can specific vibration and sound-based that will let the blind person know the context. Voice can be used to feed the response of the blind person. Impact - High, Delight - Medium, Cost - Medium

2. Human Assistant: Facebook can have a marketplace model or volunteering, where people can come and help blind people to physically connect and also update them about facebook's notifications. Impact - High, Delight - High, Cost - High

3. AI Bot: Facebook can build a bot that will speak and accept commands of the blind people. Impact - High, Delight - Medium, Cost - High

4. Neural Chips: Facebook can build a new tech, where a chip can surgically attach to people's head and that will transmit data in-form of data to head. If you think of it, photons are processed by our retina to perceive as images, the same thing can be used by creating an artificial neural network to connect with the brain. Impact - Medium, Delight - High, Cost - High

5. Using braille and Voice: Output will be by braille, Input will be voiced based. Impact - High, Delight - High, Cost - High


Based on this I will launch the solution 1 and make a small team to do a POC for 3.

Success Criteria:

1. #actions/#Voice Inputs --> Will make me understand usage and quality of feature

2. Average Time of Blind people of FB

3. DAU/WAU/MAU --> I feel blind people will not be using every day, so WAU will be the north metric. Also, we need to analysis the cohorts of DAU, WAU, and MAU


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