Over the summer of 2016 I had the opportunity to work on Linkedin's messaging experience as a user experience designer. I was given responsibilities similar to a fulltime employee, and was able to design and ship new features as well as create concepts for future implementation. My responsibilities spanned preliminary research, interaction design, visual design and creating design specs for development.
For confidentiality reasons, I am at this time unable to present the projects completed over the summer. Instead, below I present a design challenge created as part of the Linkedin interview process.
Pitch is a platform that allows students to pitch projects to their classmates for teammate recruitment. By supporting extracurricular activites, Pitch creates opportunities for students to build their networks. This project is a 1 week design challenge done during the Linkedin interview process.
The brief for this project was to: “Design an experience that helps college students discover and connect to their classmates, without relying on email.”
I structured research around 3 main research questions, and came up with 3 insights to carry into the final product.
Question: What does the word "connect" mean to students?
Insight: The word connect is a bit taboo. Students say they don't want to network, they want to make friends.
Question: When do students connect outside social circles?
Insight: Students don't overtly network that much, it happens indirectly through extra curricular projects.
Question: How do students evaluate who to connect with?
Insight: In the extra curricular project scenario, students are limited to word of mouth, as all students look similar on paper.
Create a product that enhances the ability of students to build their network through extra curricular projects. Enable students to use these projects as a way to highlight their skillsets and experience. Finally, allow this system to seed a complete Linkedin profile.
Lauren is a student at Carnegie Mellon (CMU). She is tired of the unhealthy campus food and thinks of a buisness idea that may help her fellow students.
Lauren’s idea: Teach free healthy cooking classes, then sell the creations of the class to students.
To make this idea work, Lauren needs to build a team. She hears about a website called "Pitch" that will help her pitch this project to her classmates.
Dixon is a student at CMU that has some freetime this semester. He browses the Pitch app, which shows him projects started by other CMU students. He sees that Lauren's Healthy Lunch project is looking for a designer. Seeing this as an opportunity to expand his portfolio, he applies through the app.
Lauren receives a notification saying that someone has applied for her project. She is linked to Dixon’s Pitch profile (a streamlined version of Dixon’s Linkedin profile), where she reviews his skills and past projects. He seems like a good addition to the team so she accepts him.
Dixon also receives a Healthy Lunch project card that links to a description and rich media about the project. This content was made by Lauren during the Pitch creation process. Dixon can choose to show this card both on his Pitch profile and/or his Linkedin Profile. As a bonus, Dixon has added his teammates to his Pitch network, and received endorsements from them for his design skills. These new contacts and endorsements are also available on his Linkedin account.
Designers understand the value of a project portfolio to display ability. Project cards from Pitch are a chance for non designers to have a portfolio as well. The value of each card increases with its ability to describe the contributions of the owner. Because of this, there is an opportunity to integrate the cards with Linkedin's content publishing platform to increase their richness.