Tribe Prosocial Concept

Tribe is a prosocial marketplace designed for users between the ages of 18 and 28, primarily focusing on college students and young working adults who are living in shared housing.

This user group experience frequent birthday celebrations which translates into the need to get meaningful gifts for friends. Living in a shared space also means that they need to share cost with their house-mates on a variety of everyday products, which can often times be an awkward issue.


Tribe solves these 3 main pain points:

(1) getting meaningful gifts for friends,

(2) sharing costs among friends,

(3) consistently asking room/house-mates to pay for common items.


Tribe makes it simple to get gifts for others, share costs with friends and create groups that spend together.

Tribe taps on the power of Amazon and integrates it with social networks to deliver a new retail experience that is focused on others.

Billing Data

Shipping Data


Purchase History





Tribe is designed to be friend-centered, action-focused and people-driven (instead of self-centered, information-focused and product-driven). Most of the front page is about friends rather than the user her/himself. Everything that is immediately seen on the homepage leads to an action that can be taken by the user. Instead of a traditional marketplace homepage that is filled with product, Tribe is filled with your friends and family.

This project is fueled by the belief that all great things start small. Through rapidly scalable networks, changes at the intimate level can deliver huge systemic impact. Improving the experience of individuals changes their behavior, which in turn improves society. When societies change for the better, so will the world.


Tribe has two primary sources of inspiration. (1) I come from Singapore, where birthday gift sharing among a few friends happens frequently, especially when we want to get our friends a gift which is too expensive for an individual. (2) I was fascinated by a TED talk  by Harvard Business School Associate Professor Michael Norton. His claim is "Money can buy you happiness, but only if you spend it on someone else."

I was also motivated by the Lily Cole's impossible project, the concept of social capital, the gaining popularity of crowdfunding platforms and the idea of how systemic change is effected through intimate experiences.

Following Jesse James Garrett's five plane approach, I started on the strategy layer by storyboarding user experience around gift-buying and cost-sharing events, thinking about the business realities and opportunities of the idea and conceptualizing the mechanics of the experience.

On the scope layer, I distilled the product into its essential elements and further refine my pitch for a specific target user group. It was also here that I decided to work off the existing infrastructure of Amazon. This was motivated by both limitations of time and after doing market research and competitive analysis.

On the structure layer, I used flowcharts and experience maps to visualize how different parts of the product would work, both from a macro and micro view. During the process I also evaluated different use scenarios and thought about dealing with negative responses within various process cycles.

On the skeleton layer, I made wire-frames and tested them with audiences which led to further functional and conceptual refinement of Tribe. Finally I made several iterations of the surface layer.

Copyright © 2015 Matthew Lim