Connext Bali — Digital Networking Community in Bali

UI Design Case Study- Passion Project

Lauren Eng
Jul 4, 2019 · 9 min read

Designed by: Lauren Eng

Timeline | 3 weeks

Target Device | Desktop and responsive mobile version

Role | UI Designer

Project Goals | Build an engaging and impactful brand campaign that either promotes tourism/ music festival / event or other

Deliverables |

  • Design a website & responsive mobile
  • Creative visual directions: create 2 art directions, and pursue only one of them ( mood board, colour palette, typography, logo / branding )
  • Style tile
  • Marketing campaign: social media and display ads
  • Visual brand identity: banners / billboards

The Tools | Sketch, Illustrator, and Invision

The Destination: Bali, Indonesia

Bali’s economy is made up of 80% tourism, it is a destination everyone wants to visit!

Besides that, Bali has virtually EVERY kind of natural raw beauty. Volcanic mountains, thousands of islands full of lush greenery, black sand beaches, gigantic waterfalls, iconic rice fields, and the list goes on ...

Bali has a special place in my heart that I can never forget. Maybe because I was there when two volcanos erupted and three earthquakes occurred… I intended on staying for a couple of weeks however ended up living in Bali for three months.

Every day during my stay, I would wake up and do something exciting. if it wasn't hiking a volcano at 2 am to see a spectacular sunrise, it would be sunset surfing with the manta rays.

That is why for my last passion project at RED Academy, I wanted to combine two of my passions. Bali, and my side hustle of being an influencer, and thus I present to you my company Connext Bali.

The Brand: Connext Bali

So lets break it down,

Who | Connext Bali is a digital networking community targeting digital creators

  • Digital creators aka content creators: people responsible for creating/digitizing information through social platforms…usually
    an “ influencer ”
  • Influencers in social media are people who have an established credibility and audience in a way that engages a certain niche

Where | Where else but one of the top Insta worthy locations… Bali

What | Once you sign up to our network. Connext offers prime locations for your photo op needs, meetup / events to hard to discover places and a data base of creative individuals

Really just providing opportunities for influencers to influencers to connect.

I started my research with looking at competitors of typical tourism sites based on content and design. These specialize on just tours and highlighted places in Bali , where to eat and where to stay.

Then I narrowed it down to influencer travel agency. I’ve worked with these agencies and they connects influencers to hotels, restaurants, local brands. More business based.

On a more parallel level, there is bumble bizz, but you aren’t able to see everyone without swipping on them so its pure luck. The more organic method was facebook groups, where everyone and anyone can post when you are in bali and get travel recommendations or meet up with people.

Connext Bali was going to be much more specialized towards filling that gap.

Target Persona

Who would be using this website?

Simply… digital creators.

A twenty five year old contracted videographer from LA, this millennial is stylish and always has the newest technology and trends. Sydney is also a lifestyle/travel influencer, she is building her following by creating artsy collaborating with actors she’s worked with.

Sydney has a two month break in-between filming, she has been working non-stop and deserves a vacation away. While scrolling through her insta feed, she stumbles on an ad from Connext Bali… Curious it has been one destination that she always wanted to go to but never had the time.

“ Who would be in Bali the same time I am there?? Direct messaging people on Instagram is too time consuming and comes off creepy.” — Sydney

Goals | Sydney wants to grow her following more by exploring stunning locations, meeting creatives from around the world and creating epic content.

Pain Points | Doesn’t know where to start looking for people to connect with.

I started the planning process at the “Why” the centre of our diagram which is the purpose, the main objective, why Connext Bali exists. Outside of that is the “How” where I crafted mood boards to communicate the brand identity. Lastly is the “What” which is the execution, outcome and results.

It is all about offering a self service platform that connects two people together… not just anyone but people with the same mindset.

Being an digital creator is a job, they are serious and passionate about their work and we bring people together the rest is to see what they can create.

The mood I was going for was curious, adventurous, exploring with no map, almost like a dream, dark and heavy imagery with lots of shadows.. definitely a moody mysterious vibe.

The space, shape, and movement followed naturally with the mood I wanted to portray. Sharp structured edges, fast movement and close dark space. Colour palette was based off the ocean, lush greenery and sunlight… natural elements.

I didn’t intend on making these directions so contrasting.

Second art direction labelled: Do It For The Gram. I wanted the mood to embody the quirky, girly, friendly, curious mood. Using soft round edges to demonstrate a playful, carefree and light feel. Harmony was a word that symbolized connection, all of my design elements would be equal and come together in the middle.

why is it so feminine?

“ because 2018 statistic of influencers, 84% dominated by women.”

I decided to go with the art direction “ Do It For The Gram,” so now i’ll go into detail the design elements.

Started off with paper sketches, thinking of anything Bali related: waves, curves, cresant moon, sunsets… you know the usual.

Scratch that.

Realized the sketches aren’t hitting the target of my why, company and brand values. So the second paper sketch is where I started listing words and thinking of designs that correlate with those words.

Connection was my primary word, but how do you connect??

Well it takes two people. Hence the 2. If I start here how can I make this aesthetically pleasing, by deciding to multiple it by two because of my
‘space words:’ Harmony.

I cut out paths, and then if you look closely you can see a “C, N, and B”= These stand for Connecting Network in Bali. There are also two half circles in the design which resemble a globe because two people can meet in the middle from different places in the world.

Named Connext because you are connecting to your next ____;
either photographer, influencer, or next friend.

This logo quickly grab viewers’ attention and communicates Connext Bali’s core values in an unique way.

Coco Gothic | This typeface is a geometric san serif. It has a friendly round appearance with sharp edges and round curves just like my logo, thus it comes off soft with a minimalistic design feel. I wanted a clean typeface that is easy to identity with and read.

Regattia | A serif font. Regattia draws your eyes in, it mimics a stencil and has bold rounded lines that look hand crafted with a inviting personality.

Colours |Soft colour palette that make you feel at ease, pulled colours tones through my imagery. I chose colours with the same hue, that were also tropical, warm and relatable.

Imagery | I chose to always have someone in the photo because it could be highlighting an influencer or photographer taking it. I want to spark curiosity with users and want to aspire the FOMO ( Fear Of Missing Out) feels.

Design Elements |Orange CTA ( Call To Action) button to add that pop of colour and stand out. The secondary button is an outlined button. I still wanted it to have importance and to be shown so I designed a swirl- arrow to add some spunk and playfulness.

I went through the UX process for this project as well. I started with a rough draft of paper sketches, and these are the wireframes I translated into Sketch. I needed to be strategic with my time and focus on key pages:
— Home
— About
— Events
— Meetups
— Connect

Key Points

  • Spark curiosity and create a friendly, inviting website
  • Modern, clean look; to be breathable with use of white space
  • Draw new users to the top navigation bar by the orange CTA
  • These swirl- shapes are my branding elements which will transition into the next pages with slight variation
  • Social media bar on the left side to save space and have a minimal look
  • Used imagery and swirls to draw users eyes throughout the pages with ease

I wanted to continue the whole connection feel into my campaign.
I chose to use strong, evoking imagery of travel influencers with a slogan: “Connect to Create.”

There is a sense of adventure and community with my ads. People will be curious and click to find out more.

Future Considerations

Crazy how fast 3 weeks flies by. I am very proud of how much I have evolved as a designer from week 1 to week 12. I can definently see my progress; from not knowing the difference between a serif and san serif to desiging a full website, responsive web, logo and marketing campaign!

I would love to design more wireframes for my desktop, a log in screen, new account page and shop section for branded merchandise. Animate this on Principle would be my next steps to make it more interactive for my user.

Final piece of advice: Learning never ends, keep trying new things and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You can only go up from here.

Prototype Link

Click on the following link to be able to see the prototype.

Desktop: Click Here

Mobile: Click Here

Terima Kasih


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Lauren Eng

Written by

UI Designer from Vancouver, BC.

The Startup

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