At the outset of the redesign, we challenged ourselves with a dream assignment: imagine you’re creating Meetup from scratch and build an experience that lays the foundation for the future of Meetup. This was a rare opportunity to create a cohesive end-to-end experience designed to serve member and organizer needs.
The most important step at the outset of a project like this is formulating the right questions since each answer introduces constraints that shape the final outcome.
First and most importantly, the team decided to focus on the Meetup apps for iOS and Android. We’re not delivering on the core promise of Meetup if we’re not using location information and notifications to enrich and enhance the in-person Meetup experience. People want and expect a great Meetup app, and our team was ready to realize the possibility of Meetup as a mobile first product.
Beyond the first clear-cut decision to design mobile-first, the team probed to understand member and organizer motivations and behaviors. We conducted an expansive research phase including user research with our members and organizers, stakeholder interviews, and a company-wide survey to solicit input.
Starting the design process:
The research phase concluded with a design-led offsite involving representatives from every team. We worked in small groups to dream up product solutions to address the different phases of the member journey. In an afternoon, those dreams became paper prototypes, and that same evening, we visited Meetups all over New York City to get real-time feedback from members and organizers.
With some new insights uncovered, we could crystallize why people are drawn to Meetup, and what our app could uniquely deliver.
An Answer We Could Build On
We learned that people love Meetup for the variety it offers, and ultimately because a Meetup group becomes an outlet for the things that matter most to people. That can include learning a new language, writing that screenplay, running a faster mile. Meetup offers access to worlds by expanding possibilities for our members.
When we mapped this project focus to the member and organizer journey, it was clear where we had the biggest opportunity. Whether you’re a new member, or someone who’s been on the platform for years, there’s something (probably many things) in our network of Meetup groups that would capture your imagination. How could we expose the best Meetups for each person? How could we get more people to join, and go, so they can have the kind of life-changing experiences that happen when people pursue what they’re into? It’s obvious why this is important for our members. But it’s equally important for our organizers, too, because it helps them attract more engaged members to their groups.
So with this redesign, we aimed to expose the breadth and depth of the Meetup network, and unlock the best of Meetup by connecting more of our members to the right experience for them. The new Meetup:
- Shows what you’ve been missing — what’s new, trending, or happening soon
- Makes it easier than ever to join and start a Meetup
- Exposes the breadth of Meetups available in 24 categories
- Seeds Meetups around what people nearby are interested in