This is a side project that originated from my thesis project “Concept Shaker”, an ideation tool that helps designers browse and shuffles through a large quantity of ideas, identify common patterns across different ideas and articulate their relationships. The way of achieving such goal is to leverage the structure of a metaphor “A is B” or “A is like B” to help designer map one norm that they are familiar with into a new norm.

After graduation, I continued working on a broader implication of the same idea to help people understand new things by mapping and relating one thing to another.

Link to project “Concept Shaker


My Role

Wireframing (Sketch3)


Lei Zhang


How it works

1. Streaming a train of thoughts

Ideas come to the users instead of user have to flip them through. The service will prompt users to select topics that they most interested in learning and streaming a wide range of concepts within that topic area.


2. Vote/Like/Contribute

There are three different levels of user input depending on the level of user involvement. Users are able to vote up or down to an idea, save an idea for later reference or become an active contributor to the conversation by submitting their ideas into the queue.

3. Comment and explain

To make it easier for people to understand where the idea is coming from, it allows and encourages users to talk through not only the things they are most resonate with but to articulate the commonalities between the two.


4. Delete an idea from a personal streaming

It could get fairly subjective considering it doesn’t provide a universal answer that makes sense to everyone. One of the major differences between “ThisIsLikeThat” and other knowledge base service like "Wikipedia" or "Quora" is that the former highlights the commonalities between two concepts, the latter provides thorough definitions of one concept. To avoid the extremes, it allows user to dequeue ideas that are not relevant from their perspectives.


Next Step

In the process of learning and examining a few APIs that are open sourced for advanced text mining and semantic analysis like Alchemy API. At the same time, iterate on designs.

Ongoing thinking

The hashtag that reminds, connects and explains.