LocalX wanted a mobile app that would help hosts set up events with their LinkedIn network without having to use a third-party site.
On June 2017, Anna McAfee from Australia wanted to meet her LinkedIn connections in person so she invited them to meet her at a coffee shop. The turn out surprised her and the #LinkedInLocal movement began and started growing internationally.
Since my joining in January 2018, the #LinkedInLocal team knew they needed some organization handling the hundreds of hosts and attendees that signed up as well as rebranding. I was tasked with the challenge of creating a mobile prototype to help hosts set up events for the rebranding to be called LocalX.
For this all-volunteer movement, I was a solo UX Designer that focused on research, interface design, and prototyping.
I collaborated with 7 remote, international team members that consisted of all volunteers, whom devoted their spare time to the movement. This project took 7 months to complete but the real challenge was syncing up with teammates from around the world. We tackled this communication issue by chatting through Slack and Asana.
Checking out the competition
A competitive analysis of event management products identified what competitors were offering.
Our organization realized that many people might have over hundreds of connections on LinkedIn but didn’t know them in real life. So we had the idea to create a product that would help bridge the gap of creating events and inviting your LinkedIn network to attend that event. The product would also allow hosts to set up a payment system and involve potential sponsors and charity givings but we had to make sure first that no other competitors offered the same features.
We found that Meetup was the preferred method of setting up an event but had no way of inviting a host’s LinkedIn connections. All competitors did not offer this feature.
CHATTING WITH the users
Contextual Inquiry helped us find out how the host or attendee experience had been so far.
The organization had many hosts and attendees and that number was growing everyday. The LocalX management team was flooded with requests from hosts about their wants/needs but couldn’t quickly respond back to them. So I set up one-on-one Skype calls with 6 hosts and 6 attendees to find out how their experience had been so far, if they would add/change anything, and if they would host/attend another event.
We learned that they were mainly using Meetup, EventBrite, and Facebook to set up events but found them limiting since not one platform had all the features the hosts were looking for: setting up and managing an event, payment handling, and syncing to LinkedIn connections. So we knew our product would have to offer these three key features.
UNDERSTANDING THE USERS
Based on contextual inquiry we identified 3 main users, but focused on the Host, since events can’t be created without them.
Meet our Host, Jenny.
Jenny is a Public Relations Specialist who works for a small company and is ready to move up in her career. She knows she needs to meet with her connections but doesn’t have time to meet with each person individually in different locations.
- setting up her first event
- reaching out to her contacts
- managing the event online
- connect with new contacts
- career advancement
- personal development
- meet new people
- increase her network
- where to find event guidelines
- when to contact the LocalX team
- review brand assets
- how to find a host mentor
IDENTIFYING KEY USER FLOWS
Based on understanding the needs of the hosts, we created a site map to reflect the key needs of creating events, managing attendees, and accepting payments.
After talking to our Hosts, we heard several ideas from them about what they wanted to see in a product to better assist them with creating and managing events. These ideas turned into a features list which the CPO and I sorted through and determined which items would be apart of the first release. We had to consider the most basic features for our MVP from a host perspective. After we had this refined list, I sorted the items into a site map, to help me visualize which pages we would need to have designed.
Designing the mvp
When the MVP site map was complete from a Host perspective, we focused on designing 3 key areas.
I learned that many of the features and the layout could potentially change since we hadn’t acquired a development team. The final design had very limited functionality compared to what our users were looking for but we assured them that this was just a first version and that future updates would have additional features.
Screens our Hosts found most helpful:
Screens that the Attendees found most important:
I created a clickable prototype in Principle to give stakeholders and potential developers the chance to provide feedback.
LocalX is still trying to acquire Investors and Developers but the hashtag movement is still quickly growing. When I joined in January 2018, they had: 40 countries, 250 cities, 380 hosts, and 610 events. Even without certain resources, the movement has grown over 47%: