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The story behind Uniyo’s new interface

From UniYu to UniYo… to Uniyo

1. February 2017: we announced the shutdown of UniYu, the classnotes sharing platform that met a huge success in Montreal.

2. March 2017: we announced the launch of UniYo which was introduced as an easy and intuitive messaging app for education, to reinvent campuses.

In only 3 weeks, 20% of HEC Montreal were active users.

3. April 2017: We moved to The Refiners for 3 months. The Refiners is an accelerator program based in San Francisco, which was founded last year by Geraldine Le Meur, Carlos Diaz and Pierre Gaubil. And guess what we did there? Well, since we were in California, we baked some donuts 🍩🍩🍩😋

Our donuts factory

Introducing Uniyo 2.0

“Thank you Alfredo, let me give you 10 donuts”

During those 3 months, we thought long and hard about our product. Why do we do it? What do we want to achieve? We rebuilt our entire interface around 3 components, inspired by a French VC (canvas NPE):

— The narrative: our narrative is centered around students’ academic reputation on campus. Our goal is to foster a “mutual instruction” system, where students succeed by helping one another.
— The primitive: our primitive is embodied by the “donut”, which is our rewards and gamification tool. The rule is simple: everyday, each student can distribute up to 50 donuts to reward other students and to reward relevant content.
 — The enabler: our messaging application is only the enabler of the students’ reputation on campus. It is the medium of communication through which all students will communicate in the future.

Donut as a primitive: how does it work?

When looking for a new recommendation tool, we asked ourselves 3 questions:
🍩 How do we measure the value of content?
🍩 How can we identify “top users”?
🍩 How can we foster new interactions between students?

Our goal was to find the right way to measure value and make sure the best content comes out on top. A simple “like” had its limitations. It shows how many people thought the post was good, not how good it was. We are introducing donuts as the most meaningful way to show appreciation. The more you give donuts to a contribution, the more you show how much you liked it.

Based on the number of donuts, we’re now able to curate content for our users. The “Hot” section, on top of the newsfeed, serves this purpose. It helps the content that matters most rise to the top.

Publications with the most donuts are displayed at the top of the newsfeed in “Hot🔥”

We’re also able to identify the best contributors. You know you can rely on the contribution from a user based on how many donuts she/he collected. It creates a trust system that has multiple implications from an academic standpoint. Remember, our ultimate goal is to make sure all students succeed!

Finally, our system also helps break silos on campus. We want to help students to build a stronger network while in college. Donuts is a new and easy way to ping other students on campus, even if you’ve never met them.

We want to push students to be more collaborative. We talked to hundreds of them who said they were ready to help other students under one condition: gratefulness. This is how we came up with donuts, as a reward system on campus. they’re the new GPA of student life.

Thanks for reading this medium post. If we were on Uniyo, I would definitely give you my 50 donuts 🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩😜

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