Bumble Bizz is an aspect of the current “Bumble” platform. If you’re unfamiliar with Bumble, it is an app for dating, finding friends, and professional networking. According to their description in the iOS App Store, “Over 50 million people have signed up for Bumble to start building valuable relationships, finding friends, and making empowered connections.” Well, according to my research, empowered connections would be a stretch. My goal was to use the design thinking process to incorporate a feature into this already existing app to add value, and my focus was on the “Bizz” portion — the professional networking.
I did some industry research first. I found out that a staggering 85% of jobs are filled through networking. Another interesting fact was that 1/3 of all professionals on the planet are on LinkedIn.
I dove a little deeper into the industry and Bumble Bizz’s current competitors. There isn’t very many apps dedicated to professional networking, but I did compare it to LinkedIn, which is definitely it’s most outstanding competitor, and Meetup, since a lot of professionals use Meetup events as networking opportunities.
I continued with some user research. I interviewed 5 people in person, and interviewed 10 users via messaging on the Bumble Bizz app. One interviewee said, “I don’t go onto a sleazy app with the intention of networking professionally.” Many people weren’t even aware that Bumble had this feature. I coined the term for this attitude towards Bumble Bizz as “The Bumble Stigma.” There was also many complaints saying that there’s not enough people on the app in general, and that everyone on the app is “sketchy” or “just trying to sell me their pyramid scheme.” It was pretty agreed upon among my interviewees that LinkedIn is the top dog for professional networking.
Let’s be honest, people don’t professionally network for fun. Bumble Bizz currently includes the “fun” aspect of swiping, but it’s missing the serious factor. Networking serves a purpose. It could be expanding your professional reach, job searching, looking for collaboration. Legitimate business people want to connect with other legitimate business people.
I ideated with three “How Might We” statements, focusing on our tribe’s pains and gains. I put my best ideas into a MoSCow Map to help me visualize the impact they would have on the user vs. the effort they would take the business to complete. This is how I came to my MVP: Adding a feature to Bumble Bizz where you can connect your profile to your LinkedIn account. This would allow users to verify that the person they’re looking at is a legitimate business person, while also knowing that person is open to networking and connecting. Networking on LinkedIn itself can be difficult because not everyone is responsive to reaching out.
I wrote a main job story and new feature story to humanize my idea:
Main Job Story — When professionals are looking to network, they want to connect with like-minded individuals, so that they can learn about the job market and advance their career.
New Feature Story — When professionals connect their Bumble Bizz profiles with LinkedIn, they want to see if other users are legitimate business people, so they can connect with useful individuals.
I went on to create a user flow chart, which helped me to understand what screens I needed to create to help my user connect to LinkedIn.
An insight I got from ideation is that it is easier and more economical to connect profiles to LinkedIn than trying to come up with Bumble’s own separate process to verify someone’s professionalism and credentials.
I moved on to lo-fi sketching. I time-boxed myself and created several screens that a user would flow through to complete this task. I tested the paper prototype on 5 people, and I got great feedback, like “The Verify Your Account and Connect to LinkedIn features right next to each other is confusing” and “I really expected the Connect to LinkedIn button to be next to the Edit Profile button.” I used this feedback to update my mid-fi wireframes.
I tested my mid-fi wireframes on 8 people. All of the users completed the task, although I found that I didn’t have a way to autofill your profile with your information from LinkedIn after you went through the process of connecting your profile, which was a frustration. Since you had to do that to complete the task, you had to start over and re-connect to LinkedIn again. I kept these frustrations in mind as I went into designing my hi-fi prototype.
I did an atomic design inventory, cataloging the colors, shapes, and fonts that Bumble used. I created atoms, molecules, and organisms that I used throughout my design. I found Bumble’s brand guidelines online which was helpful for knowing the correct fonts.
Attached, you can see my hi-fi working prototype, done with Sketch and InVision.
For this project, I believe that we can measure success with the following metrics:
- Increase in users on Bumble Bizz
- Amount connections being made
- Amount of people connecting their profiles to LinkedIn
- Increase in user satisfaction
- Time in app
- Daily active users
I think the following would be good failure metrics for this project:
- No change or decrease in user satisfaction
- Retention rate
- Churn rate
My key learnings from this project are that making symbols in sketch is an absolute lifesaver. It saved me so much time on my hi-fi designs. UI kits are also great tools for prototyping, though there unfortunately wasn’t one that I could find for Bumble.
The next steps I would take for this project would be integrating more information from LinkedIn into the Bumble Bizz app, making a feature where you can filter out users that aren’t connected to LinkedIn, and just making it known to users of the Bumble Date & Bumble BFF how easy it is to use Bumble Bizz (especially since the new feature autofills your profile for you).
I think that Bumble Bizz is a great idea, but the execution is poor. There isn’t good marketing currently, considering most of the potential users don’t even know it exists. I think adding this feature would take the “fun” of swiping on Bumble Bizz, and the “professionalism” of LinkedIn and create a really great platform for professional networking, allowing users to actually create empowered connections!