Revamping a Network for Entrepreneurs
In the spring of 2015, Netcito wanted to broaden their networking platform for a national audience. I was sought out to develop a cost effective strategy and design concept for expanding their online professional network. I had one month to revamp the social networking platform to allow Netcito to automate their onboarding process and unify all their third party applications. This would eliminate man hours, costs, and most importantly gets members using and loving the website.
Timeline: 1 Month
Digital Wireframes: https://goo.gl/WaZLKb
Methods & Deliverables
- General Research
- User Journey (Whiteboard)
- User Flows (Draw.io)
- Site Map (Draw.io)
- Interactive Wireframes (UX Pin)
Untangling the Complexity
Neticito is far from another professional social network focused for founders. Netcito’s key differential is their ability to attract elite members and who engage on the site regularly. However, the current vetting process had each applicant to go through many drawn out processes before becoming an active member. To ensure an elite level of the members are engaged on the site, members are required to participate in the Netcito curriculum. Members have to complete monthly tasks using a variety of third party software. In order to scale to a national audience and reduce costs, these elaborate processes had to be streamlined so members can quickly sign up, join a circle, and manage their own professional networking with ease.
One Month to One Day
A major element of the project was to streamline the Netcito application process from one month to one day. Currently, every applicant went through an offline vetting process being placed into a circle. This caused delay in acquiring membership fees and the member’s disengagement from the site. I worked with Netcito to develop user journeys that walked them through every interaction and reduced wait time. From there, I helped simplify the process of creating a workflow that pre-qualifies candidates, and offers members the ability to join circles based on their answers to a series of questions. This process permits qualified entrepreneurs to on-board in a systematic and cost effective fashion.
Another important aspect was how members first engaged with Netcito and became familiar with the Netcito curriculum. Previously, members would receive a packet in the mail describing the unique facets of Netcito membership and curriculum. Netcito wanted to reduce the high costs and time associated with mailing these packets while simultaneously building on the initial excitement of the customer. Just moving online wasn’t enough to spark engagement. I created a framework for an online education tutorial that walked members through each chapter until course completion. A progression bar marked their progress throughout the course. This helped break up the orientation into smaller parts, making it more engaging, and reinforcing the member to read the rules.
New Way To Network
The ability for entrepreneurs to connect professionally and personally is the essence of Netcito success. With each new membership and circle, members had to pay a fee — generating Netcito’s income and driving their business forward. Therefore, it was imperative that I expanded on their existing social platform to emphasize what’s important to an entrepreneur. I did this by improving member profiles allowing members to share their unique start-up story, highlight their skills, describe their business, and show off their social influence. I also improved the search functionality to allow members to easily search by industry and skills to find the best circle. By creating a more engaging and relevant profile, this would improve the member’s networking ability and ultimately Netcito’s financial success
What makes Netcito unique is the curriculum and management tools they provide their members. From circle leaders to members, they had the ability to set their own meetings and monthly goals, and were able to rate their circle leaders. Previously, each of these steps were completed by using third party applications independent from their platform. This resulted in giving the members a disjointed and cumbersome experience. I helped integrate these tools by creating workflows into their existing system. In addition, I was able to also incorporate such outside tasks as taking meeting notes, attendance, and voting new members into the circle, into one system. By bringing these separate functions together into one easy to use, networking platform. I was able to emphasize Netcito’s brand and creating a better experience that members would love.
Final Thoughts & Lasting Impressions
Though this project I discovered my passion for deciphering problems and identifying business solutions. I was able to move away from a more esthetic focus on web design towards a real understanding of the user experience. I was able to work with the client to strategize the best technology and design, creating workflows that would get customers using and enjoying the product in a new way.
Visit scott-thomas.net for more examples of my work