PRODUCT STRATEGY & ARCHITECTURE

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PRODUCT STRATEGY & ARCHITECTURE

New concept for a work-based social media platform

New product architecture for the German work-related social platform

New concept for a work-based social media platform

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WHEN

2018

 

 
WHERE

USEEDS°

 


FIELD

UX&UI

Our client was a work-based social platform that operates via website and mobile app. Its information architecture and content structure did not match the mental model of its users and the content distribution on the platform did not work.

The scope of the project was to develop a new consistent product architecture that engaged users in a helpful and meaningful way. The team at USEEDS° was made by a senior UX strategist, another UX designer and me as a UX/UI designer.

 

My tasks in details

  • Definition of a new information architecture and strategy.
  • Definition of UX patterns.
  • Definition of UI designs.

The project's phases and output

Scheme01

Exploring: setting the stage

The client brought an extended user reasearch material that has been analysed and summerized by us in 6 main insights. 

These 6 insights have been presented to the client’s team as main issues for the users. An ideation workshop followed to consolidate the knowledge and start thinking of new directions.

 

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Defining: the new product architecture and strategy

Here are the most relevant aspects of the process we adopted:

  • We evaluated the research material containing the users’ needs, the industry status, the benchmarks and the best practices.
  •  We described the actors involved in the platform as personas, their inter-relations and behaviors.
  •  We then developed a set of guiding principles underpinning the new way of experiencing the platform
  •  We represented the actors and the principles in the same model.
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The concept development

The idea was based on unlocking the platform’s potential via multiple networks: people close to me, my company, my profession, my location, the different networks for my professional life. The focus was a network of networks (NoN).

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Relevance as a foundation

The presence of relevant content increases and so does the potential of new connections,  job-chances, sources of knowledge.

The users have a better control on the reach of their actions and therefore more transparency and security is perceived.

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Improved engagement 

With enhanced pertinence the possibility of interacting with an object or with the related actor in the network is much higher.

In addition the new information architecture gives the user mutiples entry points for interaction.

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New roles for the platform

The platform becomes not only a service provider but an author and a mentor.

As a curator it promotes relevant content to the users and as an ecosystem manager it creates and manages auto-generated networks that are based on pertinence.

Building the User Interface

We translated the product’s model into a new information architecture by defining 4 different scenarios of use.

 We produced an iterative concept and visual designs and then built clickable prototypes (mobile first approach, proof of concept for desktop) that we then tested with users.

 The visual design, as the concept, aimed to:

  • Communicate clearly the product structure and its possibilities.
  • Provide clarity and inclusion by guiding the users through the platfrom’s features.
  • Provide a feeling of control, privacy and safety.
  • Deliver relevant content that helps the users achieve their goal.

 Here the main aspects of the UI we tested:

  • Clarity and transparency was achieved through a clean, minimal, flat design.
  • I tried to highlight the relevance of the information and the potential of the different networks throught strong typoghraphy, combined with a fluo-coloured accents.
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The mobile scenarios

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The desktop proof of concept

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Testing: collecting users' feedback

Testing has been a key factor in validating our concept. To verify our assumptions we made:

  • 2 User tests in the exploration phase (focus: network’s understanding and onboarding). We tested paper prototypes.
  • We had a focus group when the concept was defined and designed into digital prototypes (focus: overall understanding of the Network of Networks).

The insights were evaluated and delivered to the client together with the concept.

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My personal learnings

The client demanded daily deliveries to check the progress. This took a lot of effort that we could have spent to improve the outcome. I personally learned to say no to constant but not effective exchange of work and yes to trust and to planned meaningful deliveries.

We also had an internal challenge: the senior concept designer had no real experience on mobile first approach. Wrong staffing costed us also time and effort.

The internal struggle was not clarified immediatly by the project owner and this also affected us in terms of efficiency an quality. I confirmed my belief that team conflicts must be faced and solved asap, not ignored.


Marina Caramagno   |   marina.caramagno@gmail.com   +49 15229235576