Oh-hi on a laptop


Military significant others are an essential component to the health of a military family. Yet because 1/3 of all military families move each year,  many of them feel isolated and insecure.

Oh-hi is a service that offers military spouses a way to quickly find and meet new friends.

From research to development, build a service that helps military spouses build friendships that offer a sense of security and reliability.

Contextual Inquiry & Design Research
Synthesis & Ideation
Prototyping & User Testing
Strategy & Business


To gain empathy for the problem space and to build the foundation of our project, we conducted inquiry sessions with a range of military families.

Contextual Inquiry

Through observation, contextual inquiry offers insight into raw human behavior – what they do rather than what they say. 

We conducted our inquiry sessions in their homes. Our goal was to understand our participants' family dynamics and observe firsthand the ways in which the military directly, and indirectly impacted their lives.



We sifted through the research and developed themes based upon hundreds of utterances and photos. From that data, we were able to identify several key insights about the lives of military families and ultimately decided to focus our project on military spouses.

Key Insight
Transient military families struggle to build deep relationships vital to security and reliability.

Design Implication
The design must provide tools to foster the development and maintenance of deep, supportive relationships.

Journey Map

We visualized our data to clarify our understanding of the life of the military spouse. Using visualizations like a journey map, we were able to identify several insights, one of which fueled our ultimate design. 





We generated ideas began to generate ideas using methods ranging from word association exercises, visualizations our ideas, and ultimately wireframing. We went through several phases of ideation and iteration.

ideation pictures


Sketching allowed us to share a narrative around our ideas and determine their validity.

Down Selection
Through the ambiguity of ideation comes the clarity of a single idea. Selecting the right idea required us to consider our potential for impact as well as demand.

We explored various ideas, ranging from a means for a military spouse and their service member to stay connected to one another during tours of duty away from home to a knowledge sharing network for military spouses. We focused our efforts on helping military spouses find and build potential friendships. 





Once we selected Oh-hi as our final idea, we created a set of high fidelity wireframes. These wireframes presented our vision state and helped us illustrate a more refined concept to testers, partners, and a potential developer.

Service Blueprint

We generated a service blueprint to identify all of the actions required to complete each task. The blueprint articulated both how a user would request a "friend date" and how to make the date a reality.



Propagating and testing an idea validates your assumptions. To validate our assumption that military spouses would agree to reach out and show, we created a lightweight website and SMS messaging system that modeled intended user flow but without the automation.

With that system in place, we tested Oh-hi with military spouses at Fort Hood. Testing also required that we build a business model and product roadmap.