Connect is a hypothetical international design conference that explores the relationship between culture and design. More specifically, Connect uses the theory of Anthropological Design to help curate a series of talks, workshops, and events that inform and inspire both upcoming and experienced designers.
To develop and brand a conference that is specific to designers and creatives, which cultivates the sharing and understanding of human cultures and how they relate to design.
Black and white photography gives the conference a timeless feeling and ensures images stay close to the color palette of the brand.
Each attendee recieves a wristband to wear inside of the conference, which includes a QR code that links to their personal account within the mobile app. This code can also be used to unlock special interactive experiences during the conference. The QR code can also be accessed digitally.
Because the conference is international, bluetooth headphones are available to conference attendees if they would like to attend a talk given by a speaker who does not speak their native language.
To help customize the user's conference experience, as well as make networking with fellow designers during and after the conference easier, I designed a mobile app that would gather information about the user and then recommend connections and specific conference events and workshops that are unique to the user.
By looking at existing networking apps, I found that nearly all of them place the responsibility to set up face-to-face meetings with fellow designers on the user. Creating a networking app that is unique to the Connect conference provides the user a neutral meeting ground to help establish relationships with other designers.
To establish my long term goal, I began by asking myself a series of questions related to the app.
Creating a user flow map helped me determine which screens and features must be included in the app.
This user came from interviewing fellow designers who are just graduating or in their first few years of their career. This user finds it difficult to network with other designers, especially seasoned professionals.
During the first round of usability testing, I realized that the sign-in process was taking too long and felt redundant, especially if the user creates an account using LinkedIn.
I moved into wireframes to solidify my userflow and begin testing some basic UI elements. I realized I needed to increase the overall type and button sizes, and make sure the elements were consistent so that the user isn't having to relearn app functions as they use it.
The user can login using their LinkedIn account information. The app will connect to their LinkedIn and gather data to begin building their Connect profile.
Selecting interests and goals allows the app's algorithm to later suggest connections and events to the user.
The app recommends connections and events for the user during initial profile setup to help get them started.
Once the user completes the initial setup, they are taken to their profile. From here, the user can access the home screen of the app, which includes conference news and updates , their connections list, events, and a limited chat interface that allows them to message other attendees.
As part of the conference, an interactive experience installation was developed to "game-ify" networking and serve as an icebreaker between two conference attendees.
Players get 10 seconds to answer each question. Questions are broken up into three categories: Pick One, This or That, and Would You Rather. Questions are randomized and change every round the game is played.
Results are calculated as a percentage. Sound and animations are used to reflect how the players did, in correlation with their percentage.
Players can view their answers and see where they relate. Mutual connections appear on this screen as well, and players can then choose to "Connect." This will automatically add players to each other's connections lists within the mobile app.