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Out & About

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Inspired to serve the LGBTQ+ community, my project team concepted and prototyped a curated events, resources and career services website that enables users to organically network their way toward greater social and financial stability.


Out and About caption

TEAM UX Research Leads (Rey Franco, Melissa Woods)

Market Research Leads (Caitlyn Dean, Amira Fadelelsaid)

IA and Wireframing Leads (Caitlyn Dean, Amira Fadelelsaid)

Branding Leads (Caitlyn Dean, Melissa Woods)

User Testing, Final Prototype and UI (All)


SCOPE UX and Market Research

Sitemapping and User Flows

Branding and Visual Design

Wireframing and Prototyping

User Testing

TIMELINE 2 weeks



PROJECT OVERVIEW


Background

Engaging with the prompt from Ideo BridgeBuilder 2019, we were confronted with the challenge:


How might we as people on the move and neighbors build bridges to a shared future of stability and promise?

The Ask

To narrow the scope of our solution, and in light of recent hate crimes targeting the LGBTQIA+ community, we opted to create a tool in service of the queer community. But how could we best generate a "shared future of stability and promise?

Priorities Given the ambitiousness of the project, time management and clear role designations were key. Using Agile methodologies, we identified tasks that each team member either excelled at or wanted to tackle, and created a rough schedule built backwards from our deliverable deadline. Wishing to work highly collaboratively, we checked in with each other multiple times a day to track progress and to offer assistance toward other work tasks as needed.



THE PROCESS


User Interviews, User Persona and Product Ideation

Our initial discussions hinted at a solution rooted in mutual community-based support. Subsequent user interviews revealed that "stability" required fortifying supports that are not only social and emotional, but more concrete, like robust healthcare and financial resources.


We initiated a broad market analysis of competitors in the LGBTQ+ space (like The Trevor Project, Center on Halstead in Chicago, and the Born This Way Foundation) and among other functional competitors for event listing and networking (like EventBrite, MeetUp and Bumble Friends). Crafting questions around our hypothesis of event networking as a service to the community, we conducted interviews within our target user group.


User interviews confirmed our thinking around the benefits of peer-to-peer as well as mentorship supports. For example, the majority of interviewees explained that while emotional support from family is important, that it is easier to open up to friends or a paternal figure/ mentor who is not an actual parent. While validation of their sexuality and gender orientation was highly valued, almost all interviewees also stressed the need for financial support and self-sufficiency to undergird their sense of wellbeing.


Next came crafting a user persona and problem statement to frame the task at hand.



User Persona



Problem Statement

The LGBTQ+ community in Boston needs an events resource hub to promote a regular cadence of events, thereby enhancing community bonds that contribute to social and financial stability and wellbeing.

Armed with the findings from our user interviews, and a clear sense of both the problem to solve and the user to solve for, we began ideating.



Market Research

We took a content inventory, plus/ delta and element analysis of competitors in the LGBTQ+ space (like The Trevor Project, Center on Halstead in Chicago, and the Born This Way Foundation) and among other event listing and networking sites (like EventBrite, MeetUp and Bumble Friends).


<DOUBLE DIAMOND GRAPHIC>?


Capitalizing on the high concentration of colleges and universities in Boston, we built a web-based tool with which members of the queer community could use to organically network in academic, professional and social circles, developing authentic support structures that benefit the community in multivalent ways.



Wireframing and Testing

We tested our ideas out with very low-resolution wireframes, and refined to mid-res before testing.





User Tasks

Task 1: Show me how you’d find and reserve your spot for a casual crafting meetup.

Task 2: Show me how you’d find a sexual health primary care provider in your area.

Task 3: Show me how you’d find and reserve your spot for an upcoming career networking function.


12 out of 15 users completed each task in 1 minute or under; all 15 completed the tasks within 2 minutes.


User errors clustered around the navigability of the sexual health resources, and use of pagination for browsing on the events listing pages. We changed some headers and tweaked the look and placement of our pagination, and refined our prototype further.




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