User Experience & Strategy

Espresso by LinkedIn

User Experience & Strategy

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Project Story

This was a student project. We were given the opportunity to propose an innovative solution for an existing brand that we choose. Based on its area of opportunity, we needed to not only develop a solution but also choose an appropriate platform that will solve problems for our target audience. 

 

Our goals were:

  • finding an area of opportunity for a brand we value

  • developing the site or application with technical feasibility in mind

  • ensuring our users have a delightful experience with the best UX practices 

Type

New Product Discovery

Product Designer

Role

2 weeks

Duration

Stakeholders

LinkedIn or Any Potential Networking Entreprises

Business Objective

New Product/Service

Project Proposal

If you have the freedom to design anything you want, what would it be? From Don Norman's Living with Complexity, I learned that the most difficult part of design is to "collaborate", especially in a team setting. To come up with an effective project proposal, my teammates and I spent hours of brainstorming and eventually we found our shared interests — expand our professional network!

 

After some quick interviews with friends and families, we learned that LinkedIn is the number one place people use to connect with professional contacts; therefore, we decided to work on an appliaction based for LinkedIn.    

— some of our initial assumptions —

Competitive Analysis

To come up with a networking application that will help people connect, we first needed to analyze applications that share similar functionalities. I analyzed the feature and layout while the rest of my team worked on user flow and heuristics evaluations. Based on these analyses, we were sure that LinkedIn would be a good brand for our application, given it's got existing credibility and networks, so now it just needs a new application to encourage more professional networking to happen.

— heuristics evaluations —

— layout analysis —

— feature analysis —

— layout analysis —

— screen flow analysis —

Interviews & Survey

In total, we conducted 14 interviews. Throughout these user interviews, we were able to validate our idea of the usage of Linkedin and the desire of young professionals wanting to expand their social and professional networks. In fact, when we asked people how do they usually initiate a conversation, most people said they asked to grab coffee. As a result, we decided to name our product "Espresso by Linkedin". 

 

We also sent out survey and received 39 responses. The two main takeaways from the survey was 1) more than 60% of people use text messaging application as their main communication tool and 2) more than 78% of people only use Linkedin as their main source of networking platform.

— user interview in session —

Synthesize & Define

The synthesizing process gives us more clear direction on who we're trying to design for. Especially during such short timeframe, we needed to know what features are must-haves while some could be developed in future iterations.

— synthesizing session —

— personas we categorized —

Ideation & Prototyping

After hours of design studios, we took our learning from our competitive analysis and came up with an App Map and User Flow that helped us focus on the features needed for our initial prototype. 

— User Flow —

— App Map —

— low-fidelity wireframe —

MVP

After many iterations, below are some screen mockups of our minimum viable product!

A
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D
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F
Next Steps

There are many many things we wish we could have done but couldn't due to the short amount of timeframe we had for this project. We certainly learned that designing a completely new product from scratch is way harder than implementing a feature to an existing product. As a result, here are some next steps we would like to take

 

  • continue information architecture study on the roles and industries for the initial setup screens

  • minimize onboarding steps

  • analyze gamification features (e.g. rewards, point system) which we initially wanted to add to incentivize users to connect

  • study privacy concerns on location proximity

  • study the definition of organic conversation

  • design brand guidelines

  • conduct more user testing with all the points listed above

Last but not least, we would love to pitch this idea to LinkedIn when we're ready!

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