PROBLEM

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.

 
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MY ROLE

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.

The #LinkedInLocal concept is a great idea. I hope to see a mobile app at some point where we can easily manage our events and stay connected with attendees and other hosts.
— Priya Dwahan, Host from India

UNDERSTANDING THE USERS

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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.

 

Key Tasks:

- setting up her first event
- reaching out to her contacts
- managing the event online
- connect with new contacts

Motivations:

- career advancement
- personal development
- meet new people
- increase her network

Considerations:

- 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:

The  New Event  page would help our host set up their event.

The New Event page would help our host set up their event.

If the host wanted to  View Events  they created for the future or in the past, they could find that information here.

If the host wanted to View Events they created for the future or in the past, they could find that information here.

It was important to our hosts to receive  Event Feedback  from the attendees after an event so they could improve for future events.

It was important to our hosts to receive Event Feedback from the attendees after an event so they could improve for future events.

 

Screens that the Attendees found most important:

Signing up with LinkedIn would let Attendees see which LinkedIn connections would be attending particular events and later on create an attendee list if they decided to be a host.

Signing up with LinkedIn would let Attendees see which LinkedIn connections would be attending particular events and later on create an attendee list if they decided to be a host.

Search Results  page would default to their current city but they would have the option to search anywhere in the world as well as search for a specific event or host.

Search Results page would default to their current city but they would have the option to search anywhere in the world as well as search for a specific event or host.

The  Event Details  page would have a clear CTA button if there was a charge for the event as well as options to view attendees, favorite the event, copy the event link, and share the page.

The Event Details page would have a clear CTA button if there was a charge for the event as well as options to view attendees, favorite the event, copy the event link, and share the page.


ITERACTIVE PROTOTYPE

I created a clickable prototype in Principle to give stakeholders and potential developers the chance to provide feedback.

 
 

Lessons Learned

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%:

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Last night was MAGIC. Every single person came in and connected IMMEDIATELY...like everyone had known each other forever. I am so excited for this community that we are growing here in Dallas and across the WORLD. The #LinkedInLocal Movement has brought me to the most amazing people. I am forever grateful for that.
— Katie Wallace, Host from Dallas

Want to learn more? Let’s chat! Or you can check out my other case studies.