I'm kind of a digital all-rounder: part user experience designer, part graphic designer, full time design thinker and I know how to code too. Currently I'm completing a Masters level program in Digital Media Management at Hyper Island by finalizing my master thesis on experience design.
Problem Skype owns video calling, but their instant messaging is terrible. Skype asked us to make their asynchronous communication more personal & user friendly.
Solution Skype users are often family members or friends who are located far from each other and they want to tell how the things are. These users also felt that instant messaging lacked intimacy, restricted storytelling, expressing feelings and that they didn't have fun while using the service. After prototyping different ideas to users we focused to create a concept called the Playground. With Playground users could send customized photos, drawings, text or even music to the receiver, which allowed to tell stories more efficiently. Users could also record their own video emoticons, which makes instant messaging much more fun :)
"The idea of making your own emoticons is brilliant. It makes much Skype more personal." - Antonio Pedro Rezende, Senior Visual Designer at Skype