UX Designer & Advocate
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ClassBlast

ClassBlast

 
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A platform for NYC tech professionals to accelerate their growth by finding and attending tech classes, events, and meetups in their skill/career vertical.

 
 
 

ROLE

Founder & UX/UI designer.

proficiencies demonstrated

Entrepreneurship. Product roadmapping/vision. Information Architecture. Sketching. Wireframing. Iteration and refinement. UI Design. Prototyping. 

hypothesis

The tech community is frequently cited by executives, founders, and thought leaders in the space as a powerful vessel for professional development and growth.

I want to empower NYC tech professionals to discover and attend more of these community-based events by aggregating a diverse range of professional development opportunities to meet the specific skill & career verticals of each user.


Proof-of-Concept: Creating a Minimum Viable Product

Before investing significant resources in the development of a web or native app, I want to validate that my target audience is actually interested in an aggregation of tech events. 

To test the validity of this hypothesis, I will be launching a monthly email newsletter featuring a curated list of tech events in NYC. I will generate signups via a Google Adwords campaign and other social/digital marketing techniques, funneling users to a landing page where they can learn more about ClassBlast and sign up to receive updates about tech events near them.

An effective landing page, optimized for both desktop and mobile, will be crucial to converting visitors into newsletter subscribers. 

The goal

Cultivate and retain a community of 100+ newsletter subscribers.

landing page wireframes (desktop & mobile)

 

high-fidelity landing page mockups

 

NATIVE iOS APP DESIGN

I determined that a native iOS app would be the ideal way to architect this product because I want to leverage device-level controls such as push notifications, and location/GPS. I recognize that there are likely serious budget issues that would have to be addressed in order to finance the development of an iOS app; but hopefully a large subscription base can convince outside investors of the viability of this solution.


IDEATION, INFORMATION, AND ITERATION

Feature prioritization

Must-haves: Event list(s), event descriptions/details, ability to RSVP

Nice-to-haves: Map view, search, filter, user reviews, user profiles and persistent settings, Venue profiles, in-app eTicket for class/event access, in-app purchasing for premium/paid events

information architecture

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SKETCHING

These three screens represented here reflect the structure of the navigation bar. All actions taken within the app are routed through one of these screens (or via the hamburger menu).

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These sketches depict two key points of user engagement: booking an event, and reviewing it after attending.


DESIGN DECISIONS

 

ONBOARDING

It is important that users don't feel blocked from being immediately able to access and use the application. I made a conscious effort to permit users to begin browsing events without creating an account by opting to make "DISCOVER" the Primary Call-to-Action on the app landing page.

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Upon clicking "Discover" the user is redirected immediately to the Discover page where they can view results in a map or list view. 

To further refine the onboarding process, I made the decision to demonstrate exactly why the application is asking for permission to use device location, and how that will benefit the user. Research has shown that users are far more likely to consent to requests like this when there is a clear reason for, and benefit from, the request.

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If the user still is not comfortable providing location data, they can view results as a list.

 

FIGURING OUT FILTERS

A key feature of this application is the ability for users to filter the list of all tech events to seek specific events that are of interest to them.

Version 1

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The key filters I initially identified were the Event type, Area of focus, and Date range.

I wanted to optimize these filters for the mobile experience so I used large multi-select buttons that the user can toggle on and off, and a thumb-friendly slider to handle the date range.

Version 2

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After additional consideration, I determined that the toggle buttons wouldn't scale well to additional filter parameters.

By switching the pattern to a checkbox I was able to make much more efficient use of the screen real estate without compromising the user's ability to filter their results.

Version 3

Filter 3.png

I realized that there are use cases for people continuing their development in a given skill vertical, as well as those starting a new skill for the first time.

I wanted to allow users to be able to sort by skill level, so that a user who is interested in an introduction to a skill like front-end development wouldn't feel overwhelmed by advanced skill-level events.

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To communicate to the user that a filter is applied to the results they are currently viewing, I implemented an orange dot next to the Filter action.


ADDITIONAL SCREENS

Home page

Users can see stats about their event attendance and skill development.

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Event page

Users can learn more about a given event prior to committing. Strong Call-to-Action here via an anchored "Attend" button that will allow users to reserve a slot for the event.

 

NEXT STEPS

A clickable prototype that can be used to test with potential users and uncover inefficiencies or frustrations with the current UI & navigation.

Further iteration is a certainty, but the good news is that the newsletter MVP will help in finding willing test participants in my target audience.