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Pop-up community goes business-events

Final 10 day project with Alba Comenge at Ironhack UX/UI Bootcamp

In a two week sprint, Alba and me added a matchmaking-tool and re-designed the app with the design thinking process for comyuno.

What is comyuno?

Comyuno is a social network that connects people based on a specific location, a community or an event.

It consists basically of an agenda for events, a social feed, a profile, connections, and messages. And each comyuno (yes there are several) is like a channel with different interests which you can join.

For example there is a comyuno at Klunkerkranich Berlin, a rooftop-bar whose channel you can enter. Or there is a comyuno for a specific event, for example, the “Social Recruiting Days” where attendees can schedule their timetable and connect with other attendees.

What means comyuno to our stakeholder?

As we met the stakeholder he told us that an important role plays the security as there are no third parties involved that could gather user data. Also, he is not using Smartlook or Google Analytics — so it’s a very safe environment for the User.

His only advise was to focus on events for business reasons.

Technically, comyuno is a progressive web app — which is really nice because you don’t need to download another app which takes space on your smartphone. But on the other hand, means that iOS-users can not receive push-notifications as you get through an app or as an android-user — for example if someone wrote you a message, replied to your post or the agenda has been changed. After some research and talking about pros and cons we decided to go for designing a native app as it is crucial to be notified on schedule changings during an event. Also, we found out that 80% of event attendees are willing to download an app if it helps them navigate through an event. (Source CEvent, Edelman Study 2018)

And what is comyuno for event-attendees?

To get a better understanding of our future-event-user we decided to go for guerilla testing as we need to know what is their impression of comyuno — what are the pains, what are the gains, what are their needs, what works, what can be improved?

Therefore we created a Berlinale-comyuno and tested it with event-attendees what brought us helpful insights.

The most important finding was that attendees struggled a lot with the navigation in the web app. As the menu at the top is not labelled, people didn’t know what to expect. Moreover, it was not clear why there is a logo beneath the profile picture at the top.

What’s about other Event Attendees? Are there any Surveys with the same questions we have?

In our research, we found surveys that gave us broad answers to the struggles of event attendees. One important survey of Cvent and Edelmann Studies taught us that 75% of event attendees downloaded a mobile app for an event and that 60% of event attendees are iOS-users — so our assumption of creating a native app was proved.

Most important finding was that event attendees are stressed by the unknown. They are away from the office and from home, they are in a new location which they don’t know. As they also attend business events to learn something new, they don’t know anybody but want to make business contacts. So match-making is not only a big buzzword.

And in addition to that, the navigation through an event and the location is different every time - event-attendees search for the one-stop-shop for an event where they can find everything related.

Another important fact is that the main satisfaction measure method of an event is the engagement rate of attendees — to have a one-stop-shop instead of using several platforms makes it easier to rate engagement.

Let’s put it all together: Affinity Map

To have a visual overview of ALL the findings we used sticky notes with the relevant information.

Seeing all the information helped us to define how we might improve the stressors of event attendees.

Collecting many different HMW’s we decided to stick with:

How might we INFORM, ENGAGE and CONNECT event attendees during an event?

As especially networking is one of the main reasons to join events?

If we are able to find a solution for these three sections we would solve the biggest stressors of event attendees.

How do our competitors solve these stressors?

Looking at our competitors we found out that the biggest difference from the point of view now is the security. Competitors like Attendify, Aloompa, Yacoo, Ning and Facebook Workplace didn’t offer transparency to the data they gather. Other event-apps like line-upr, whova and MEA are more data- and privacy-aware.

Also, all the apps are highly customizable especially the well-known event-app-creator Attendify. It’s even possible to choose from a huge set of icons for each site. So either it is a fully customizable event-app-creator or you have a specific event like for example DMEXCO which has it’s own event-app — but even this app is super plain and not really much of recognition value.

Taking a closer look into the event- and social-app landscape…

…showed us that our overall feeling of the competitors is demonstrated even in the colours and logos they are using.

Nearly every social community platform and event-app-creator is using the same shades of blue. The same comyuno is using so far…

But what is the difference between comyuno and the competitors?

There are lots of competitors which already provide a one-stop-shop for events.

Strategy: as comyuno now is mainly a community with data-security in the back, we want to move it to the event site but with bringing recognition value in it to differentiate from competitors.

Okay, and WHO we are designing for?

The motivation of our User Persona is that she wants to find the most relevant talks and make efficient connections during an event.

Our next step is emphasizing with Annika in one day in a business event. Therefore we created a user journey map.

Finding out about Annika’s pains and gains during one day in an event we dived deeper in the information architecture of comyuno’s current state. This brought us to do some open and closed card sortings with users.

This helped us to get an idea of how we want to change the information architecture and we created a sitemap with three features that cover event attendees main stressors:

· Agenda, where you can personalize your schedule

· Social feed, where people get information and are able to engage

· Business-Matchmaking-Tool, where people will be connected based on their interests

Due to limited time of 10 days, we focused only on the social feed and the matchmaking-tool for now.

After creating the sitemap we came up with a user flow to figure out which screens we need to test. After several testing phases, the user flow changed from time to time and we updated it. This is the final user flow:

Ideation: How to combine recognition value with business goals for comyuno?

With the help of the crazy 8’s method we came up with a good idea:

Why not combining professional skills with superpowers? Everyone has a superpower and our user is attending events to broaden their skills but also to learn from people with other superpowers. These superpowers can be combined and *bam*: they are partners in crime! (which means they can benefit from each other)

So we decided that every person when creating a profile gets a mask on their face, which will show off as soon as people are connected. Important identifying features are hidden by the mask which gets along with the security importance for comyuno and it also brings gamification into the app which makes the user more engaging — and what we’ve learned previously: is the main measuring method if an event was successful.

Also, when setting up a profile you choose your three superpowes (which are the skills you are good at) and you select the three superpowers you expect from your partner in crime (which will be your dream-future-match for business reasons). Then the app will suggest you matches for your “partners in crime”-recommendations that you should reach out at the event. As soon as you are connected you can write each other for scheduling a coffee-chat.

A nice side-effect is that they have immediately a topic to talk about as they can mention they are partners in crime.

As earlier mentioned comyuno uses the same shades of blue as every other social network and event-app-creator — therefore we also redesigned the app from a visual perspective and created a style-tile which we tested with users.

We decided to go for a more fresh blue in combination with black and white and choosing yellow for the superpower section and highlighting.

With the test results that our style tile looks really modern, techy and also fresh we started creating lo-fi, mid-fi and hi-fi prototypes which we tested in six iterations. After every iteration, we applied changes and tested again.

So after all the testings, we came up with a solution that our users had no problems passing their given task: Enter the event-channel — set up your profile — define your superpowers — check the social feed — find your partners in crime — connect, write and check the profile of your match.

Hi-Fi Prototype

Onboarding screens

Profile setup screens

Define superpower screens

Social feed and matchmaking screens

What did we learn during the process?

One main learning in the two weeks have been that we went too far with the sitemap. When writing down all the features comyuno already has + the features we wanted to add we wouldn’t have been able to show an iterated hi-fi prototype of our solution. So we went a step back to the MoSCoW method which we did and went only for the musts as we were building an MVP and not a final product.

Another great learning was that Figma is an amazing tool for giving users the intention of testing a real app. We had to get rid of smooth animations as the options are limited in Figma but for rapid prototyping and iterating it is THE tool. For us, it helped us to translate our idea to a broad user range.

As we were selected as one of the three finalists we went to the Hackshow (final presentations of the three selected bootcamp groups: data analytics, web developers and UX/UI designer) held in the Factory Berlin where we could present our process and prototype to an audience of +100 people what have been a great experience. Explaining our process to a broader audience forced us to explain our process to people with no background in that field.

What’s next?

As we presented the final prototype to our stakeholder he was proud and excited to see the result in action. He is now working on a strategy to implement the changing step by step.

In the meantime, we need to outwork the agenda, the profile and some more detailed screens when engaging in the social feed. Also, there is a need to work more on the accessibility in some screens.

And for consistency in the future, it is crucial to create a style guide when not even a design system.

Written by

passionate UX/UI designer

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