The messaging team builds features support conversation between LinkedIn members. However, relationship building between members doesn't only happen in chat. In fact, a large portion of messages relate to finding a time to meet or speak realtime.
With this observation, we set out to build a feature to support member interaction both online and off.
I was the designer on the project, and worked alongside our product manager and engineering team. My responsibilities included guerilla research, wireframes, prototypes, high fidelity designs and final handoff specifications.
To define the goals of the feature, I split the ritual of finding availability into two models. The recruiter model, where the recruiter offers all their available slots, and the job seeker books one. And the mentor model, where it is up to the mentor to offer time to the mentee. As the consumer messaging product targets the networking needs of the wider public, and no just job search, we chose the mentorship model.
At this point, I created several low fidelity mocks to align with engineering on rough scoping. And understand technical limitations we might face. We aligned on designing a time selection interface, where the resuling selected times would appear in text form, which the user could send into the chat.
I explored 4 options for the time selection screen:
A: Time is selected through the default time picker interface.
B: Time is selected from a carousel, while the user's schedule is displayed beneath.
C: Time is selected by tapping on a calendar interface which also displays the user's schedule.
D: Time is selected by tapping directly on the schedule, and 3 days are displayed instead of 1.
It was immediately apparent option A was slower than typing time as text, and so it was eliminated. I created high fidelity versions of the rest for guerilla testing. The large carousel of B proved to be cumbersome, and the multiday interface of D showed too much information at once and was confusing. We settled on C for further iteration.
As the calendar interface did not exist in our design system, futher alignment was required to make the design fit with the Linkedin system. Color variety was also reduced to bring more clarity to interactive and non interactive parts of the interface.
As send availability is a time saving feature, designed to reduce the amount of back and forth between you and the counterpary. We could not use our usual overall message sent metrics to measure success. Success of this feature was measured in terms of proportion of messages sent and public perception (verbatims).