What if Facebook had social networking functionality...could it be a more inclusive LinkedIn?
We’ve all used Facebook to stay connected with family, friends or just to creep on an old ex. FB has really changed the way we stay connected with each other. With its mission to make the world more open, the company continues to add features that make staying connected easier such as Messenger, Events, and Live Streaming. Well, what if they went further and decided to enter the professional networking scene?
The goal of this project was to do just that; add professional networking functionality to Facebook. We decided to build a sub-app, Facebook Professional, that would create a more inclusive professional networking experience for users utilizing their existing “Facebook Friends”.
Lead: Scrum Master, IA, Usability Testing, Presentation
Contributed: Research, Sketching, Wireframing, Prototyping
Duration: 2 Weeks
Tools: Invision, Adobe
LinkedIn caters to the top tier professionals and recruiters
Not the best for freelancers and blue-collar professionals
Naturally, the first step we took was to look into Facebook as a company and learn as much as we could about them, their competitors and users. We discovered there was a gap in the market:
Shapr and BumbleBizz doesn’t use users' personal network to make connections
Hover your mouse over each button to take a close look into my design process
Soon after, User interviews were conducted to understand the users’ views on Facebook moving into the professional networking arena
An affinity map was constructed to find the major user pain points
Spending their time efficiently
Do not want another LinkedIn
Not mixing business with pleasure
Facebook Usage: once a month
"Looking for a job is harder than I thought"
Mason (a barber) and his wife recently moved to a new town following the birth of their son. He currently commutes 2 hours to and from work. He needs to use his personal network to find a barber position closer to home.
- Find a Barber position closer to home using his network
- To have a shorter commute to work
- Spend more time with his son
- Industry is ran on word of mouth & referrals
- Not having a place he can showcase his work
- New in town, far from his loyal clients
Created to focus the design around the needs of our users like Mason: Users need to be able to choose which existing FB friends to add to their network, searching their network for specific needs, and add new connections to their network.
You have just discovered Facebook Professional. Create a new profile.
You are actively looking for a job as a barber. Using the app, search for connections who have worked in a barbershop and live in Austin TX.
You want to expand your network by reaching out to someone beyond your immediate connections. View the profile of someone from your search results and add them.
created to highlight the steps users needed to take to complete each task. This helps but more focus more on the experience.
Finally, I worked with the team to blend our ideas into one consistent design and clarify which features to focus on for our MVP
Clarifying the on-boarding process:
We used the BumbleBizz interface as an inspiration for this app, users were unfamiliar with it. They had a hard time figuring out the swiping left or right feature. To account for this we included additional instructions during the profile creation process to reduce friction
Logo & Terminology Distinction:
Several users thought that the logo change made Facebook Professional distinguishable yet familiar
Distinguishing the difference between “friends” (used for Facebook) and “connections” (Facebook Professional). Users need this explained clearly to reinforce that the two accounts are separate.
Search Capabilities for 'connections':
Users found it helpful to be able to search for connections based on name, work history, and career interests.
The ability to view potential connections' profile of 2nd degree connections helped users see the potential of expanding their network even more.
"I want to keep my personal life and my professional life separate"
QUOTE FROM USER
With Facebook making many new ventures into helping us stay connected, taking a step into the professional networking scene seems like a no brainer. Creating a separate app that leverages users' existing network of “friends” for professional networking would be filling a gap in the market for freelancers, blue & pink collar workers, and individuals with unconventional jobs. On this more inclusive app, choosing which friends to add to as professional “connections” would give users the control to keep their private lives and work lives separate while still allowing them to enjoy the benefits using their personal network for professional gain.
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