MVP Product Design · UX Research · UX/UI Design
Discover your city one event at a time
Event Discovery App with Social features to help newcomers discover their new city, find things to do, and help them meet new friends!
Solo project for a fictional start up company
Project Details and Brief was provided by Springboard
Minimum Viable Product Design with plans for future expansion
Project Duration: 10 weeks (May - July 2022)
Seety is a startup company that launched a product that helps newcomers meet new friends. The goal of the product is to create a social user experience that will help users get out and do activities in-person.
Product Design Restrictions:
Product must be designed as a native mobile app
Existing product is designed as an events app
The company's current product is not achieving the company's goals and now Seety wants an MVP that would increase the number of people attending events, as well as come up with a product that would help ease social anxiety and encourage people, especially newcomers, to go out and meet friends.
A redesigned MVP product that goes beyond a simple events app but one that incorporates features that would help users easily find events near them, discover their new city, and allow them to casually engage with locals in their area.
ELABORATE EVENTS INFORMATION PAGE GIVES USERS FULL DETAILS BEFORE THEY EVEN GO
Get information about the event you're interested in before you even go
View pictures of the event space, read reviews from past attendees or ask questions on the event board so you can get all the information you may need before you even go!
MAP FORMAT EASILY SHOWS USERS EVENTS HAPPENING NEAR THEM
Explore the map to find what event or activities are happening near you
Easily get acquainted with your new neighbourhood and see all the events and activities happening near you as well as discover your city's hotspots!
FOLLOW FEATURE ALLOWS USERS TO MEET LOCALS IN THEIR AREA
Follow locals in your area and discover like-minded people in your neighbourhood
Follow other people and interact with their posts, build community and meet new friends!
WORKING WITH BUSINESS LIMITATIONS:
REVIEW OF ASSUMPTIONS AND DESIGN
To begin the process, I laid down what I knew so far about the product based on information from the company, its goals, current assumptions and existing design wireframes.
The company believed that friends are essential in helping people deal with difficulties in life so they focused their efforts in providing a platform for people to go out and meet friends through an events app.
However, the business team is now facing a problem with the number of people who say they are going to an event to the actual number of attendees. The company wants to increase the conversion of accepted invites to actual attendees.
The information provided by the company seemed confusing as I felt there was a disconnect in the problem they were trying to solve, their goal, and their current product solution.
In order to move forward, I felt it was necessary to review the company's current assumptions and verify their initial hypothesis. So, I decided to go back to the drawing board and use the existing problem statement and goal to guide my redesign.
How can we help people who have social anxiety step out and make new friends?
Create a social user experience to encourage users to get out and do activities in-person
I THEN CAME UP WITH A NEW HYPOTHESIS:
Providing newcomers with a platform to explore their new city, find things to do near them, and familiarize themselves with their neighbours will encourage them to go out more and attend events
PROCESS OF REDESIGN
With the new hypothesis in place, I proceeded with the redesign by following a non-linear design thinking process to understand the problem space better.
I sent out a survey to people in my network who is now, or has prior experience relocating to a new city to better understand the activities of newcomers and their motivations for going out and meeting new people.
I received 29 responses which gave me insight on how people find things to do in their new city and what factors dissuade or motivate them to go out and attend an event in-person.
I synthesized the survey findings and grouped common themes in an Affinity Map. Five key insights emerged from my research.
The insights from the survey helped verify my hypothesis and made me more confident to move forward with the MVP redesign
UNDERSTANDING THE USER:
From the target market provided by the company and the insights I got from the survey, I came up with a persona to guide my design process
Taking the insights I got from my research, I focused on three main insights to serve as the backbone for my product solution. For each insight, I proposed a solution.
MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT
With Nancy the newbie as my main inspiration, and the insights as the backbone for my solution, I laid down what features to include in the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
STUDY INDUSTRY LEADERS
After identifying the main features I wanted to include in the MVP, I realized that the app I envisioned had no direct competitor. So I did more research and decided to study industry leaders that excel in each of the main features of my MVP
Google Maps and Waze
Google Maps and Waze are undeniably the industry leader in navigation apps. Google Maps is great in showing users' exact locations on the map and what is around their area. Waze has a fun interface which can be great UI inspiration.
EVENT SEARCH AND INFO PAGE
Eventbrite, Meetup and Amazon
Both Eventbrite and Meetup have great event search functions. Meetup even has pre-curated feeds containing categories that would interest new users.
Amazon, although a shopping app, has great and comprehensive product information pages. I particularly like the Customer Question section and Reviews.
Meetup, Instagram and Google Maps
Even as an Events App, Meetup has integrated a social function to the app by allowing users to have their own profiles.
Instagram, as leader in social apps, was one of the firsts to introduce the ability to "FOLLOW" other people.
Google Maps introduced a user-generated feed which allows users to see what other people in their area have posted.They have also allowed users to "follow" others and have a "ranking system" to encourage more users to leave more reviews.
After determining the MVP, I created a simple app map to show the user flow of a new user
WIREFRAMES & WIREFLOWS
With the App Map as the guide, I fleshed out my screens and created a Low Fidelity Wireflow
LOW FIDELITY USER TESTING
I then created a Prototype with my Low Fidelity screens and conducted the first round of User Tests. For the First Round, I focused on observing how users navigated the app, specifically how they looked for events and what they thought about some of the App features such as the Map format and Buddy System.
Only 80% of the tasks were successfully completed by the participants without assistance and all participants showed confusion in several features of the app
100% of the participants liked the Map Format in finding events
Only 60% of the participants liked the Buddy System with almost ALL expressing some hesitation on the idea
HIGH FIDELITY SCREENS & STYLE GUIDE
I moved forward with my design by creating High Fidelity Screens. I created a style guide so I can identify the color palette and overall feel I wanted the app to have. I also made sure that the colors I chose passed Accessibility standards by using the WebAim Contrast checker.
**Free vector images were taken from vecteezy.com and flaticon.com. Due credit is given to the original vector designers. Thank you very much!
Taking the findings from the Usability Testing, I iterated on my design to improve clarity and efficiency.
Improve Flow of Onboarding Screens
Improve Map Interface
Event Check out and Buddy System
Navigation bar and location of notifications
Buddy System Opt In/Out
HIGH FIDELITY USER TESTING
The second round of User Testing showed that most of the usability issues present during the first round have been resolved but issues on the Buddy System itself remained present.
After iterating on the main pain points from my first round of testing, I conducted another round of testing with five (5) new participants. I kept the tasks similar to the first round but paid particular attention to general feedback on the App, particularly the Map Format and Buddy System.
100% of the participants successfully completed their tasks with minor delay
100% of the participants enjoyed the map feature with 80% saying they will likely download the App itself
However 80% of the participants remained skeptical about the Buddy System itself
FINAL MVP DESIGN
From the feedback from the second round of testing, I decided to drop the Buddy System from the MVP Design and park it as a future paid feature and instead strengthened the "Follow" Feature as the main Social function of the App.
Based on feedback from the Second Round of Testing, Seety shows a lot of promise as an Events/Social App but more user research had to be done on the Buddy System itself as a feature in general.
I strengthened the "Discover" and "Follow" features of the App as the Social Components to provide a more casual way of meeting new people instead of asking users to commit to a "Buddy".
Expanded Explore Page
Added screens to expound on the features available to users on the Explore Page
More screens to show the Follow function and showcase the Social component of the App
Preview of Final MVP Design
This project made me realize the BIG role that user research plays in Product Design. I realized how difficult Product Design is and that testing user flows and UI elements are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coming up with a product that users will actually want to use. You can have a pixel perfect App but if the features themselves does not address a user need, you will end up with an App that no one will download.
Overall, this was a great and humbling experience as a Product Designer and I am excited to apply my learnings to other real-life projects in the future.
Thank you for reading!