Meetup Match Making tool for Venue and Organiser — Case Study

During my study at General Assembly for the UXDi course (User Experience Design Immerssive) I was tasked with designing a new feature for Meetup.com.

The Brief:

  • Organisers should be able to find prospective spaces and reach out to their point of contact.

  • Hosts should be able to promote their space to organisers.
  • Organiser and Hosts may be able to identify one another based on shared interests.

Who is the future of Meetup?

During our research, we found that there are millions of venues available too, and Meetup should help to match the perfect venue with the perfect Meetup group.

Who are Meetup users cur- rently?

We found it is has over 20 mil- lion members of all shapes and sizes with a broad spectrum of hobbies and interests, with over 130,000 meet ups a week.

 

On the left, we can see Kristin she is a meetup organiser and she wants to find cool and affordable venues, but her living room is a bit too small to welcome her members. She is currently looking on the internet to find a venue, but bored of the fact that she has to search all over the internet to find a suitable venue.

On the right is Sophie, she is the Manager of a really trendy in Camden venue, but it’s often sadly empty. Like Kristin she does not know where to go to find suitable events to host.

Our proposed solution is a matchmaker that would help connect suitable organisers and venue managers.

Competitive Analysis

We looked at possible competitors and we discovered that the market is actually divided. On one hand, there are websites where it is possible only to organise meetups and on the other hand, websites where it is only possible to list and book venues. There’s a clear gap in the market where Meetup’s new feature will sit.

User research — Survey Key Takeaways

One of our key takeaways of the survey is that hosts would predominately use social media to promote their space, and actually organisers also mostly use social media to plan their events.

 

 

This chart is showing us what the hosts want on their profiles versus what the organisers want to see on it. Location is a key piece of information for both and for organisers reviews was also very important and we will explore that point further in the report.

User research — Interviews key takeaways

We have interviewed 13 people from the Mom’s Meetup organiser to the Event manager of a big trendy co-working space in Camden. They all had lots to say and from what they told us we found some shared needs.

Primary Persona

We gathered all the information from the survey and the interviews to group our findings into three separate sections, which helped us to form 3 personas for both organisers and hosts. Personas are representative of the key user groups on Meetup and our propose new feature. From all our personas we chose we focused on two, Sophie our host and Kristin our organiser. They are our primary personas because they are the most demanding users and by meeting their needs we will meet other personas needs. In addition, they would really benefit to be matched. 

Sophie is our primary host she is managing a trendy co-working space in Camden. She wants to Promote her space, find trust worthy organisers to build a strong community, and she finds it difficult to find events relevant to her venue.

Kristin our primary organiser who is the perfect match for Sophie. She runs a Meetup group called “Coding Ladies” and she wants to be able to quickly find a relevant and affordable venue.

Kristin Journey’s

Organiser’s journey

Kristin’s journey highlights all the pain points and the good moments while choosing the venue and getting in touch with the venue owner. As you can see there are two main stressing point in the journey:

1- The organiser feels in trouble while looking for information about possible venues on the internet. There is too much information and it is spread over lots of different websites.

2- Another big stressful moment is when the organiser needs to get in touch with the host. She would love to have a quick response from the host and book the venue as soon as possible so the invitations can be sent to the member group.

Based on this information, we were able to create a list of recommendations to help our personas achieve these tasks.

The Prototype

You can try our proposed concept for the new feature here.

Rome wasn't built in a day and we came to a prototype only after 4 rounds of user testing and iterations.

From Paper to Digital

The search screen:

It was important for us to remain true to Meetup’s current design. Our first sketch was extremely close to the current profile page on Meetup.

However, during testing the users pointed out that the space they had to search for a venue in was way too narrow, therefore, we decided to test the site with a two column grid instead of three.

As we have seen earlier location was a really important to users and from our research, we found the map feature to be key in aiding our users to make a decision. We also found, during our interviews, that people searched for venues in many different ways. We knew it was essential for users to be able to refine with some specific criteria like availabilities, facilities and price.

Digital

Through testing users told us that they found the tab confusing, so we tried using radio buttons instead. Users’ feedback was good; they found it much easier.

Finally the position of the map was not ideal. The user pointed out that they had to scroll back to the top of the page to see the map, and it was not convenient. We moved the map just above the search results and made it possible for the user to hide or view it.

Where this feature would live on the existing website?

The site map of the Meetup website would be improved by adding two new features:

  • A new profile page for the hosts, with a smooth on boarding process to help guide the user through the setup.
  • A new feature under the “Start A Meetup” page where it will be displayed the new search engine where the organiser can search easily for a venue and match all the criteria they need before they “send a request” to the host.

Conclusion and Next Steps

This feature will not only benefit the organisers by helping them to find the perfect venue and vice versa for the host, but also Meetup members will be able to check the venues of their events directly on the Meetup website. Meetup will become a one stop shop.

By doing so Meetup will also grow thanks to a complete new range of users (hosts) but it will also provide a better service for its existing users.

 

Next Steps

For the Feature

1- We need to build this feature for Meetup’s mobile app. For the desktop app we stayed true to Meetup’s layout and branding and it will be the same for the mobile app.

2- From user research, we have discovered that it was worth considering building a payment platform directly on Meetup.com’s for organisers booking a venue.

For Meetup

During our interviews a few users pointed out that they found Meetup.com current layout confusing. We would recommend to review the website information architecture and layout to make it more intuitive and more modern.