01. Project Brief
Project timeline

Nov - Dec 2021

Project Type

Concept mobile app design project as a part of my UX/UI design course


Veronika Vakker, solo designer

Event and Activity Centered Friendship App.

A startup company has launched a product that helps people meet new friends. The goal of the product is to create a social user experience that will help users get out and do activities in-person. Friends keep us company through the difficulties of our lives and help us grow, but when people move to a new city or town, fear and social anxiety can keep them from making new friends. How can we help people who have social anxiety step out and make new friends?

Design Challenges

The business team has identified a problem in that the number of people who say they are going to an event is significantly higher than the actual number of people who attend. The company’s location data shows that, on average, 20% of people who say they’re going end up attending events.

Business Goal

Increase the conversion of accepted invites to event attendees.

Project Scope
  • Phase 1. Discovery UX Research, Competitor Analysis, Persona
  • Phase 2. Design Ideation, Low Fidelity Prototyping
  • Phase 3. Validate Usability Testing (first round)
  • Phase 4. Design Feedback incorporation, Hi Fidelity Mockups
  • Phase 5. Validate Usability Testing (second round)
  • Phase 6. Design Final Design Deliverables
02. Persona

Malik Pimenov

Social Status

Middle Class






50 phone/ 50 desktop

I moved to Newcastle 2 years ago for a new job just before Covid-19. I expected to meet some cool people here but instead, I spend all of my time alone in an empty apartment with my dog, working remotely. I feel so awkward trying to make friends as an adult. Moving to a new place with no friends appeared to be hard and I’m looking for a friendship app to fix this and make new local friends, not virtual ones.

Meetup, Facebook and Eventbrite are 3 biggest platforms for finding and building local communities

I have created 4 artboards with crucial screens for 3 main competitors analysing their strongest design decisions and solutions to the same problems.


  • You can see the list of attendees with real names, photos & interests, which makes it more personal and creates a bond.
  • Some events require sending a request to join an event. In such a case the host can make her decision based on your track of history: how many events you attended, what are your interests and which groups you joined.
  • Some events contain very limited information about the event. Usually, such events have the smallest number of attendees. People who are not looking for big crowds might be beneficial to know more details even if it’s a simple walk in a group of 5 people.
  • UI lacks a positive tone and looks too formal.
  • Creating bond
    Event hosts can require their acceptance for the user to join the event. In such case, the host can contact the attendees to ask any questions, which will create a bond between the organiser and the attendants and can positively affect the attendance rate
  • Transparency
    Meetings are very transparent - you can see the information about the number of attendees, their real names, photos,  interests etc.


  • You can contact the host easily, edit your attendance and always track on the number of participants.
  • You clearly see that your request has been accepted and when the event will happen.
  • You can reach out to any of the attendees, which is unique.
  • Ability to bring guests with you without them registering for the event.
  • I don’t see the option to add it to my calendar.
  • It would be good to be able to call the organiser of the confirmed event. When you can contact each other by phone - it adds commitment to the event, when text messages you can simply ignore.
  • Contact all attendees
    You can contact everybody who attends the meeting in a private chat.
  • Flexible guests invitation
    The user can bring guests without an additional registration process


  • Repeated meetings allow you to choose the best date and create a circle of friends you can see regularly.
  • The number of participants is not limited.
  • For some specific events, it’s possible to organize some additional activities such as renting equipment.
  • No info about other attendees: number of participants, photos, names, interests are not available.
  • No chat space to discuss the event.
  • Most events are not free, and you need to pay for the ticket to attend them.
  • Sharing contact information
    You require to provide a full name and contact number that increase your commitment to the event.
  • Good reminders
    The app can automatically add your event to your calendar. Tickets can be saved in mobile wallets.


  • Smart use of icons make good touch targets and help save space.
  • Events suggested structure is simple to use and helpful in filtering events
  • You can easily organise a meeting yourself and invite some specific groups such as the community of people with similar interests or with a similar country of origin.
  • It’s hard to find any free meeting in the browser. Browser shows only organised events where you have to pay for the ticket. Private events are more likely to be discovered in the group news. People who recently moved to a new city most likely haven't joined a lot of groups yet, so their event's feed might be poor.
  • Creating private meetings
    The user can easily create their own event and share this information with some specific communities they want to see on their events.
  • Visibility
    All private meeting attendees can view your profile and the profile of other attendees which makes it more personal.
04. secondary research

Discover the problem space and learn

Given the time and resource constraints, online secondary research was the best option for this project.

Thinking about the problem space  and the business goal we were given, I defined 4 research questions to be answered:

Why users skip accepted meetings on friendship apps?

  • Why people don’t show up at the accepted events?
  • How to increase commitment among attendees?
  • How to communicate effectively with the users about upcoming events?
  • What cost-effective incentives we can offer for the user to attend the event?

Hypothesis 1. Users are not getting effective communication about the upcoming events

Ideas for solution
  • Communicate early and often using strong CTA in emails and reminders.
  • Send reminders to organizers to greet attendees and open discussions about relevant topics e.g. food preferences.
  • Relevant content about the event: time, place, number of attendance and what do you need for the event.
  • Add an option to share the invite with your friends and save it to your calendar.
  • A quick link to contact the organizer (through the app or the invitation/ticket).
  • Notifications about newly scheduled events from your groups.

Hypothesis 2. Users need an incentive to attend

Ideas for solution
  • Reward loyalty with points and badges.
  • Help event organisers to make events more personalised and attractive by providing tips when creating an event:
    - Offer classic freebies
    - Add a clear agenda
    - Share event photos
    - Send personalized messages
    - Pay attention to first-timers
    - Greet everyone
    - Get them involved online.
  • Create a fear of missing out by distributing an event promo and making a strong CTA.
  • Allow leaving feedbacks and no-show statistics.
  • Encourage users to create their own meetings.
  • Encourage guests to make an additional commitment.

Hypothesis 3. Users don’t feel confident
when meeting strangers

Ideas for solution
  • Allow reaching out to any of the attendees and encourage discussions before the event.
  • Create additional activities to let participants know each other beforehand, like online quizzes, polls, discussion about dress code, food, food allergies/preferences.
  • Ask organisers to contact (call or text) attendees before the meeting, especially first-timers.
  • Make it realistic by using real names, encouraging photos and profile descriptions, links to social networks.
  • Add profile verification and allow creating events only for verified people who live near you or for participants of some group by interest.
  • Create a feeling of belonging to a community by sharing local news exclusively for people who verified their addresses.

Decision-making approach

This case is an excellent demonstration of how the interview stage could simplify our life. I came up with three hypotheses of how to reach our business goal, but none of them was confirmed, given the project's specifics. If we could talk to our target audience, we would likely discover where the primary focus should be.

The same story is with the ideation stage: each hypothesis can have multiple solutions. But we need to prioritize ideas to be tested first. The ideal instrument for prioritizing possible solutions would be to map it with user goals and frustrations (empathy map) and user stories (also easily derived from the interview stage).

Given this design challenge, my design decisions were based on the following criteria applied to each idea:

  • Does it help in increasing the conversion of accepted invites to event attendees?
  • Is it relevant to the persona information available?
  • Is it a cost-effective solution for the company?

To synthesize the research, I narrowed down the results to 3 main hypotheses that should be tested. Below I listed these three hypotheses and ideas on how to solve these issues.

05. solution


Imagine an app that always inspires you for a new experience, helps you bond with the local community, and motivates when you need it most.

Event dress code, chats and polls to get you inspired.

Real people, real names and real events - you can’t miss out!

Effective event management and flexibility are just for you.

Navigate, save and share the event details to be absolutely ready.

Transparency at every level to meet your expectations.

Follow community rules to discover more opportunities.

Share fun with your loved ones

Feel belonged to a community by chatting and asking questions.

Your activity, badges and  reviews as an incentive to stay social at all  times.

06. design process

Low Fidelity Prototyping

Designing the user flows, I was trying to find the right balance between providing flexibility and freedom to the user and implementing features that can help us increase users’ commitment to avoiding no-shows.

07. Validate

First round usability testing

We test the prototype with the users to get their actual reaction of them and to discover opportunities for further improvements. I remotely tested the prototype with 5 users who recently moved to a new country/city.

Tasks assigned
  • Scenario 1.
    The user needs to find an event he’d like to participate in and apply for it.
  • Scenario 2.
    The user receives the app notification that the host has accepted his event request. The user wants to go to the event and need to learn more about the event.
  • Scenario 3.
    The user has a question about the location and needs to find the answer.
  • Scenario 4.
    The user has received a notification about new voting and needs to vote.
  • Scenario 5.
    The user received a notification from the calendar that the event was starting soon. He plans to get going. What would be his actions?

Key findings and recommendations

  • For the voting feature to hide results before voting to stimulate people to vote.
  • RSVP function can be simpler and more recognisable e.g. going vs not going.
  • Simplify the event feed structure: stick to events or groups per screen instead of mixing it.
  • Allow users to leave feedback to event hosts and read reviews from past events.
  • Improve messenger features by adding emojis, reply options etc.
  • Separate editing RSVP and editing submitted guests because it's 2 different decisions.
08. design

Creating a brand that resonate in people's hearts

After incorporating feedback I started designing the Hi-Fi screens. But first, I needed to create a brand and design a UI style guide.

Fresh and friendly moodboard

Modern and simple UI KIT

Succinct and accessible Typography

Designing High Fidelity Mock-ups

The result of my work was High Fidelity Figma Prototype that you can access here.

09. validate

Second round usability testing

I repeated the usability testing with 5 new participants who recently moved to a new city with the same tasks assigned. It helped us confirm that we are moving in the right direction and identify further improvements.

Further improvements

Show, don’t tell: below I demonstrated the key tweaks I made to improve the app design after analysing the received feedback from the users.

  • Simplified the IA for the group's page. Enhanced on progressive disclosure.
  • Added yes/no labels to support tumbler in action.
    Improveed readability and added a negative space.
  • Added #hashtags to describe attendees in 2 words.
  • Improved contrast.
10. next steps

Test hypotheses on real users

For the purpose of this made-up project that I designed for my design course, I made 3 assumptions for the reasons of  ‘no-shows’ on this app, which is poor communication, a lack of incentives for the events, and a fear of meeting with complete strangers. Based on those assumptions, I built out my solution.

However, in a real case scenario, these 3 assumptions should be confirmed first by talking to real users who ideally skipped events at least once.

Another next step after implementing the new design would be A/B testing to track which design solutions are actually helping to decrease the number of ‘no-shows’.