Expanding BRIDGEGOOD Beyond Oakland
BRIDGEGOOD.app — a way for designers to chat, connect and collaborate no matter where they are.
Time
3 Weeks
(July - August 2022)
Deliverables
Responsive Website
Role
Team Lead
UX/UI Designer
UX Researcher & Strategist
Background
BRIDGEGOOD is a nonprofit design agency based in Oakland, California.
The organization provides accessible design resources for creatives including a portfolio builder, job board, apprenticeship program, creative community, VIP events and more.
As the nonprofit continues to grow in influence and recognition, BRIDGEGOOD works to expand their brand to #DesignForSocialGood beyond the Bay Area.
Objective
Using Google’s Design Sprint framework, design a completely new product — BRIDGEGOOD.app — for desktop, tablet and mobile screens in three weeks.
My Role
I led a team of three UX Design Apprentices (Krishelle, Maritza and Sophia) to conduct user and market research, ideate solutions and design a working prototype for developmental review.
In addition, I collaborated cross-functionally with BRIDGEGOOD’s Product Lead (Shaun) and Lead Engineer (Albert) throughout the entire project.
Problem Space
Key Insight
Following 14 surveys and six user interviews with BRIDGEGOOD’s target audience, we discovered that young designers lack access to design communities and ways to network.
And by young, we don’t mean in age but in experience. So this includes people of all ages who are just getting started in design.
Problem Statement
Our problem space was defined by the current obstacle for young creatives to network with people in the design industry.
This means they struggle to find a community to foster career growth.
Opportunity
There’s an opportunity to help designers connect, and thus improve networking and community building among users.
Solution
By facilitating virtual coffee chats with fellow designers.
We’ve created a product for novice designers who struggle with having a community to network with.
They need a better way to chat, connect and collaborate with fellow designers. With BRIDGEGOOD.app, they can now achieve their goal because it connects designers through coffee chats.
Impact
In order to see our product's growth and impact, we worked with our Product Lead to create trackable success metrics ensuring to include data from user and stakeholder interviews.
Users can connect with people no matter where they are, which eliminates costs to physically expand and keep up with multiple locations.
By expanding BRIDGEGOOD beyond Oakland online, we successfully targeted both our user and business goals to encourage networking in a sustainable way.
User & Market Research
Our Users
We began our design sprint by conducting user interviews to identify key pain points in the growth trajectory of entry-level designers.
Through these discussions, we could better understand what designers need to gain the confidence and skills to advance in their careers.
Key Insight
Following 14 surveys and six user interviews with BRIDGEGOOD’s target audience, we discovered that young designers lack access to design communities and ways to network.
And by young, we don’t mean in age but in experience. So this includes people of all ages who are just getting started in design.
User Persona
We combined user data to create a persona that reflects our target audience, young designers at the beginning of their careers. We also created a secondary persona for career switchers.
Stakeholders
Then, we interviewed key stakeholders to discover business goals and ways our product could benefit BRIDGEGOOD with minimal cost.
Shaun Tai - Executive Director & Product Lead
Yudy Herrera Orellana - Program Manager
Elisa Feng - Program Coordinator
This is where we first learned that BRIDGEGOOD wants to expand the organization beyond Oakland.
Goals
Following both sets of the interviews, we were able to target the right balance between user and business goals.
They align in the community-building aspect.
Ideation
Finding the right solution for young designers presented a bit of a challenge.
We started broad and realized that while we want to be able to address every single pain point young designers have, we have to tackle them one at a time.
So we narrowed our focus down to 1-on-1 interactions for creatives to build their network.
Crazy 8's
We used our personas to craft Crazy 8's. These sketches allowed us to quickly visualize potential solutions for our users' pain points.
Core Feature
When pinpointing our core feature, we started broad. Initially considering forums and design activities for creatives to participate in and build their community.
However, after going back through our user interviews, we discovered that young designers want to hone in on their individual connections with designers.
After we finalized our core feature, we conducted another round of Crazy 8's to get our team on the same page visually. Once we had a rough visual of our product, we began to build it.
Design
As a team, we decided our first step in the design process would be to create a rough draft of our sitemap.
Information Architecture
We started by focusing on pages the app needs to function and worked outward to understand how they would relate.
Next, I finalized our sitemap to include each page and its interactions. This established our app's navigation for the remainder of the sprint.
Interaction Design
Using the sitemap, I built a task flow of the signup process for BRIDGEGOOD.app in order to understand our ideal user path.
Next, I illustrated three major routes users can take to accomplish this task.
Adding Style
Prior to our design sprint, I worked in a separate group to consolidate and reimagine BRIDGEGOOD’s exisiting design system.
We used the updated design system to build our product visually and integrate the proper tone that is consistent with BRIDGEGOOD’s identity.
We also established design principles and key characteristics for our mission and focus — centered around how users view the BRIDGEGOOD brand.
Prototype
After solidifying our sitemap, we moved to Adobe XD to import our design system and begin creating wireframes for our low-fidelity prototype.
Responsive Wireframes
We started with the Network Page for desktop, tablet and mobile to establish the core of our product visually. We created a profile card design that would show each person’s profile picture and list details such as profession, location and a short description.
This way, users can look for specific people to network with based on key characteristics.
Task Flow Wireframes
Then, we created wireframes for our product’s key screens that help complete the task of networking and scheduling a coffee chat.
Responsive Design
Once we finalized the general interface of the product, we began adding visual assets and components inline with our design system.
We first created responsive high-fidelity designs of the homepage and Network Page for desktop, tablet and mobile.
Task Flow Design
Then, we finished designing our product’s key screens. We made sure to connect each frame for seamless navigation when interacting with our BRIDGEGOOD.app prototype.
Prototype Presentation
Once we finalized our high-fidelity prototype, we had the opportunity to present and walkthrough our product at Twitter HQ - San Francisco for feedback.
Our audience appreciated the simplicity and direct mission of our product.
Walkthrough & Final Version
Watch the video below to see how BRIDGEGOOD.app can help Brian achieve his goal.
Reflection
Following a successful design sprint, I've had time to reflect on my role as team lead. I had to really understand our individual strengths to ensure optimal productivity and progress.
I was able to realize that the difference between a good leader and a great leader is not only judged by organizing the team and delegating tasks, but how they uplift the voices of each team member and really hone in on the variety of skill sets within the group.
Improvements
Given the three-week time constraint on our sprint, we didn't dive deep enough into usability testing and feedback from users.
Prioritizing more time for user testing sessions is something I would implement next time.
Thankful For...
Overall, my team was able to create a complete product that met user's needs reflected in the interviews conducted early on and it really showed the value of research.
Throughout the sprint, we were able to validate and improve on our decisions based on the initial research gathered but also research conducted throughout. It really showed us that the design process is not linear but an iterative and cyclical process.
Having the opportunity to design a new product without any foundation or specific prompt highlighted the creativity and intelligence of our team.
Through BRIDGEGOOD, I learned what it means to design with community in mind.
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