UX Designer
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Sinaps

UX / Product Design Case Study

 

Sinaps is a mobile skill sharing app that connects tech professionals who have complimentary skill sets. 


 

The Challenge

The world of technological skills is ever-evolving, and learning a new skillset outside of one’s particular strengths can be time consuming, expensive, and inefficient depending on individual needs and goals. University degrees, bootcamps and online courses may be out of the question for working professionals, especially those who need to hone in on a particular skill rather than committing to months or years of time and money.

Complimentary skill sets abound in the technology’s booming workforce, but without a matchmaker, people will default to popular methods, taking unnecessary time out of their lives to learn more than they need. How can we streamline the matchmaking process to inspire the exchange of useful skills based on complimentary goals and know-how?

Streamline the exchange of digital skills in a rapidly changing market

My Approach

Rather than building a well-defined structure for the app based on its presumed role, I started by approaching the problem space in a holistic and open-minded way. Market and user research occupied key roles in the early ideation and user testing.

To carve out the app’s niche, I had to examine existing skill-sharing apps in relation to contemporary learning methodologies such as bootcamps and online courses, and figure out how professionals with diverse needs and skill sets might meet up and teach each other as fruitfully and enjoyably as possible.

LEAN UX

I used a lean design process, including sketching, prototyping and user feedback at every step. This allowed for an iterative design that was responsive at all levels of development.

 

Existing Solutions

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Too many people posting crappy virtual junk with no actual content.
— Simbi User
My account was deactivated and when i discovered they told me it was flagged for asking people to video chat when I never did that at all. So if someone doesnt like you they will flag you once and you will lose your account.
— Simbi User
 
 
I’ve tried finding coding lessons on Craigslist. I had to sift though irrelevant posts – Krav Maga, Hindi, English to name a few. When I finally found what I was looking for and sent an email, I didn’t hear back. When I emailed the tutor again he responded that he’d accidentally deleted my first email.
— Craigslist User
 

Insight:

Irrelevant content and disorganized communication are the biggest hurdles

By looking through positive and negative reviews of three major skill sharing avenues - Craigslist, Tibba and Simbi - as well as interviewing five full-time tech professionals, I was able to identify major paint points and consolidate them into two primary personas:

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Solution:

Structure the digital skill-sharing process

Guidelines:

Efficiency: Focused content

Trust: A reliable rating system

Mutually Beneficial: Optimized matching to avoid needless searches

Safety: Connection via social media to ensure trust and safety

 

Round 1

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Round 2

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Detailed Design

Introducing Sinaps

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Create Skill Bins

Organize the skills you have and the skills you need help with according to three levels: basic, intermediate and advanced.

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Build your Profile, Refine your Search

Create a bio and a status. Connect to your linkedIn and show off portfolio pieces to give your matches a better sense of who you are and what you know.

 
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Browse Matches, View Profiles

Ensure trust by seeing mutual friends and a history of their Sinaps meetings. See whose skill sets are most complimentary to your own.

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Consolidate your Inbox. No emails.

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Connect

Pick a time to meet based on your calendars and the weather forecast, or suggest a time manually

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