The first and only coming-soon app that is dedicated to entrepreneurial women
The platform will help reduce the feelings of experiencing overwhelm, isolation, help increase productivity and track wellbeing. Due to funding, the application did not launch which led us to adopting a strategic shift towards the establishment of an online community platform.
Our process for this project was based on the Double Diamond Theory. I incorporated the key phases of Discovery, Definition, Ideation and Development. I did not get to the step for Deliver because the contract ended before heading to this stage.
Understanding the Problem
The objective is to build an app that helps women improve their productivity, help with stress resilience, and improve women's mental and emotional health.
Goals for this project:
Identify main users
Design a space for users to connect with others, while keeping in mind of the demographics using the product varies in knowledge (finding balance is key)
Design click through UX prototype
Primary Research: Empathy Mapping
The founder had a network of female entrepreneurs across North America. We decided to use the research method tool, empathy mapping to gain deeper insights from these entrepreneurial women. These interviews were conducted one-on-one. I summarized pain points and opportunities.
Women used Facebook to connect but overwhelmed by numerous groups
Feelings of isolation in rural areas especially when there are lack of access for real-time connections
Online meetings weren't the same in person
Seeking genuine & authentic connections
Online platform catered to connecting with other self-employed women
It was great hearing the stories shared by many female entrepreneurs. After analyzing the data, a significant factor that stood out was that women were seeking a way to connect with other entrepreneurs who are on the same path in their business journey.
Based on the pain points and opportunities, I worked towards creating wireframes on how entrepreneurial women can connect with others, either in groups or one-on-one.
As a team, we decided to include these four features to start. We noticed that women connect in different ways, whether it is communicating with groups or 1:1 interactions with someone.
Next was to build out the wireframes for the features, I started with events and took inspiration from IRL app because of their clean and simple navigation.
The design of Groups was inspired by Facebook because of it's familiarity
My intentions behind the Counseling section was to provide an easy way to search for specific therapist or health professional.
This section was inspired by Tinder because of it's intuitive design of the swiping feature. I added another screen for basic information on the profile.
After interviewing the entrepreneurial women I reconnected with them to see if they were interested in our clickable prototype. I found that many of them were looking for an accountable friend, particularly one that they can relate to and that is on the same business journey as them.
In our testing round, 16/22 entrepreneurial women chose to check out accountability buddy first because it is something that is not offered on other social platforms. They mentioned they would like to have an accountability partner.
I decided to spend more time on this feature.
Connecting With An Accountability Buddy
I looked at platforms that use a form of connection such as Facebook, Meet Up, and dating apps. With a tight knit team, we collaborated on the idea of forming a connection like on dating apps except it would be dedicated for female professionals. The term “Accountability Buddy” was used to describe finding the right partner.
After a few sketches I formulated a user flow of when the user opens the app and heads to the Community section to connect with an Accountability Buddy.
User Flow Steps:
User opens app and start with Community page
User taps Accountability Buddy
User taps on chat icon
User sends a message to an Accountability Buddy
When asked which of the 4 features they would be most interested in checking out, they were most curious about checking out Accountability Buddy. Why? Most women felt that they did not know anyone else who were going through the same struggles. Especially for those who lived in rural areas. Below are the indications that the women suggested on improvements.
Profile picture was too large, suggestion was to have more capturing information and to keep in mind this is not a dating app where a photo is not the most important part.
Include what user is looking for in an Accountability Buddy
Include all necessary information on first screen
Profile picture is too large, need to have more capturing information
Include what the user is looking for in accountability buddy
Community Home Screen
I used stock images but decided to use graphics instead. I chose this because the graphics are well on-brand with resurgo theme colours. I wanted the images to be relatable but abstract in regards to something that is not too literal. We received great feedback on the graphics that were used.
Adding UI Elements
After completing wireframes the following steps were to add in UI elements to other community feature screens. Shown below are the Events and the Counseling features.
For women who wanted to make connections in groups I included events, where women can network, interact and meet other entrepreneur women.
I included a video introduction so that users were able to get to know the health professional beforehand
Research participants wanted to see reviews before booking a session, we included a swiping feature to look at the reviews
Learning Outcomes and Next Steps
During the “Discovery” phase, I wished I dived deeper into the competitor analysis and perhaps used the SWOT framework. This could have helped me with gaining insights into market trends and existing services for women.
Getting to Know the Community
I had the opportunity to speak to many entrepreneurs and learn what setting up a business entails. I was fortunate to get a glimpse of what an entrepreneurial journey was like. Later, I took on a role as Community Manager.
Due to funding the product did not launch. Our next opportunity was to launch a community platform on circle.so.
Laurel Ann Stark
Founder of resurgo
"I received more than one unsolicited set of compliments on Esther's communication skills. In addition to the design process being pleasant, we have an absolutely stunning, well-thought-out, and functioning prototype as a direct result of Esther's skill, dedication, and expertise. I would not hesitate to recommend Esther to anyone seeking a UX designer."