6:00 pm and Simon is ready to go to his UX networking event. It looks like a promising night, the event’s description states that ‘lots of people have confirmed and even some ‘experienced’ industry leaders are coming tonight’ — it will be great for Simon to showcase his portfolio and make new meaningful connections!

The truth is that reality is way too far from Simon’s expectations: He arrives to a very disorganized event where there are only 5 clueless people together. It turns out that the organizer has started the group with the hope to attract some of the ‘experienced industry leaders’… but so far nobody has signed up.

Without losing hope, Simon tries to introduce himself to the attendees, but it is very difficult to start a conversation from scratch with any prior knowledge of them. 10 minutes later he’s out of the place. In his way home, Simon can’t stop thinking: There must be a better way!

This awkard situation (that probably the majority of us has gone through) is what inspired us to develop DesignUp — an app to facilitate networking and connectivity in the design world.

Our Team

Laura Lefurgey, Kaylee Korol and myself — Adan Uribe

The challenge

Designing a mobile app that would enable designers to network easily on industry events while they can showcase their work and browse the portfolio of other attendees.

The Research

To learn about the internal and external factors that determine the success of a networking event we used the following techniques:

  1. Surveys and One-on-one interviews.
  2. Competitive Landscape.

1. Surveys and One-on-one in-depth interviews

To understand our potential users we conducted and analyzed 100 surveys and 10 interviews. These are our main findings:

2. Competitive landscape

The networking industry is a high competitive market with several players. The range of competitors that offers similar services goes from big companies as Linkedin to smaller and industry specialized applications as Behance.

A key takeaway coming from this competition research is the absence of a product that enables their users to network, get inspiration and showcase their portfolio within the same platform.

Research Key Findings

  • 50% of designers in Vancouver do not attend networking events, 20% attend 1 event per year and 30% attend 2 or more. These statistics highlight the importance of changing the way that networking products and events work.
  • 50% of designers go to these events by themselves. Supporting attendees to easily interact with other participants is crucial to guarantee the satisfaction of the attendants and the success of the event.
  • Showcasing their work is the main objective designers pursue when they attend to events. Enabling these tasks was a priority in the development of the product.
  • Almost 60% of designers find difficult to network at these events. Thus, the development of tools to facilitate this process was essential to guarantee the success of our product.

The Solution

Designing a mobile app that enables designers finding networking events, learning about the profile and work from participants and allowing communication before the events to facilitate the networking process.

Key Performance Indicators

During the design of the product, our team had always in mind the following KPI’s:

  • Number of active users.
  • Number of events created.
  • Number of interactions between users.

The Design Process

Brainstorming and Affinity Diagrams

After our research, we conducted an exercise to classify the available information in order to identify patterns and facilitate our analysis and decision making process.

User persona

User stories and user flows

First interaction of a new user with the app. Finding an event and networking prior the event with an assistant.

Paper prototype and user testing

After fun sessions of design studio, we came up with a paper prototype ready to use for testing and get feedback from users.


High fidelity prototypes

This process involved user testing and iterating until we came with the final product.

Link to prototype — Click here

For this project, we used Axure prototyping tool. This software enabled us to add animations and progressive disclosure functionality to our prototype.

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