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Cospace

 

Imagine building a network, meeting professionals, finding job opportunities, and recruiting the right candidates with augmented reality

 
 
 

Independence Project: Joyce Chiu

Responsibilities: UI UX Design Lead, Concept Development, Conducted Research, Wireframes, Interface Design, Prototype, and Visual Design

Timeline: 14 weeks

Illustration: Ella Lee | Illustrator

Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Flinto, Torch, and Keynote

 
 
 

Cospace

Cospace enables users to connect in person to discuss professional opportunities in gathering places such as coffee shops, events, and conferences. Cospace leverages AR to help users to identify people and opportunities around them. 


 

The Challenge

 
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Technology has made us more connected than ever, but it has also made us forgot real human connections and become less communicative. The same problem can be discovered in today’s networking.  

In professional settings, over 70% of jobs are landed through networking. Networking allows us to meet professionals, but it can be time-consuming and sometimes hard for us to tell if they are the right people. 


Opportunity Space: Augmented Reality

I am inspired by Pokemon Go - an augmented reality mobile game, players are required to interact with their environment while engaging with other players to catch Pokemon and battle. This game scratched the surface of what AR can do to enhance human connections by making people go out and have physical interaction with the others and the environment.

So can we enhance the physical engagement and increase the quality of connection in networking platforms with AR?


 
 

How can we combine the potential of AR with our smart devices to bring back real human connections in networking without it being too time-consuming?

 
 
 

How Cospace Works?

 

 

Cospace Key Features

 

 

Meet the Users

 

 

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Cospace Business Model

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Research

 
 

Research

Online Networking Platforms

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85% of professionals use online network platforms to expand their connection, but 27% of networkers experience uncertainty when it comes to meeting new professionals online.

Networking Events

72% of professionals attend networking events because they value face to face meetings and this will lead to meaningful business relationships. But 41% of professionals don’t have the time to attend network events.

 

 

Learning from Professionals

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Interview Goals

I interviewed professionals from different backgrounds to gain a deeper understanding of their work routine, how they meet with other professionals and their online and offline networking experiences.

Key Findings

  • Many professionals like to work in coffee shops and Wework

    “A lot of freelancers include myself like to work in coffee shops or Wework.” - Alice Yu

  • Online networking allows professionals to connect with others globally easier and faster, but it loses the quality of connection.

    “But I don’t know all of them in person and it is hard for me to know how to work with them.”  - Alice Yu

  • Offline networking allows people to build trust, but it is time-consuming. 

    “I think face to face meetings allow us to build trust. The negative thing about networking offline is that it is time-consuming.” - Demi Lan

  • It is sometimes hard for an entrepreneur to build their connection and find the right candidate. 

    “I tried to look for candidates online, but it was hard for me to know their personality without meeting them in person. So I tried attending networking events, but not everyone I met there was looking for a job.” - Maggie Levine


 

Learning from Wework

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Interview Goals

Wework is a company that provides shared workspaces for freelancers, small businesses and large enterprises. I interviewed Michael Delamadrid (a community leader) to learn about the stories and insights behind the setting of where our users will gather to work.

Key Findings

  • Professionals use Wework as a place to grow their networking and at the same time expand their connections.

“There is a photographer at Wework who has met all his clients here!” - Michael Delamadrid

  • When all professionals are working in one place, they will connect and collaborate with each other for business.

    “We see two startups become one. We see collaboration. We see people get more job opportunities here.” - Michael Delamadrid

  • People spend time on commuting for business

    “Some of our clients have to commute for an hour to Wework and they wish Wework is just right next to where they live.” - Michael Delamadrid


 

Insights

Based on the findings through research, interview, and onsite research; I was able to crystallized and validated the problems which then lead to design solutions. 

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Online Networking Problems

• Loses quality of connection

• Not trustworthy

• Uncertainty

• Lack of communication

• Hard to maintain a connection

Offline Networking Problems

• Assigned location and time

• Time-consuming

• Not knowing others’ motivation and goals

• You’re outside your comfort zone

• People who visited weren't being followed up

 
 

Design Solutions

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• Increase the “quality” and maintain the “quantity” of professional connections.

• Create a platform where user can build their networking whenever and wherever they want.

• Meeting professionals in person will build trust and increase the quality of communication

• Public places: coffee shops, events, and conferences are normally where professionals gather the most to work and talk business. How can we improve the connections there?

• It is more efficient if professionals knew everyone’s purpose for networking before connecting

 
 
 
 

 

Competitor Analysis

Cospace achieves users’ needs from both online and offline networking.

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Design Process

 
 
 

Ideation Sketches

I began the ideation process with the findings and design solutions in mind. I came up with ideas for new features that will meet the design goals.

 

 

Ideation to Features Highlight

I managed to come up with design features that can meet the design goals to enhance the networking experience with Cospace.

Explore

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Design Goals

• Discover professionals nearby

• Able to know everyone’s purpose for networking before connecting

• Find the match professionals based on users’ purposes and needs

Explore AR

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Design Goals

• Increase the quality of connection

• Build their networking whenever they want 

• Improve human communication


User Flow and Task Breakdown

Based on each user types’ roles and needs, I created user flows that help them to achieve their goals with Cospace.

 

 

Wireframes

 

 

Ideate + Validate

The goal of the usability testing was to test the concept and clarity of components. I made a paper prototype that demonstrates the key user flow of the Cospace app to test with three professionals (networker, freelancer, and an employer) where I recruited them at coffee shops. 

 

 

Visual Design

I developed a visual language for Cospace. I wanted something that felt simple, clean, professional, social, trust, and collaborative.

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Onboarding

Users can use their LinkedIn or Upwork account to sign into Cospace.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Newsfeed

Users can stay connected and updated with their connections through the newsfeed. 

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Explore

Explore helps users to find the right professionals they are looking for and shows where they are currently at. Users can choose to meet with the people who share the same purposes and motivations. For example, if William is looking for employers in Explore, he will tap on the “hire” button and a list of employers who are hiring will show up. The employers with tick marks are matches.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Explore AR

Explore AR helps users find out what types of professionals are currently in a location by scanning the place with AR. Users can see other users’ profiles and pins inside the space.

 
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Wave

Users can greet the people who they would like to meet by waving at them through the app. When both users wave at each other, they are ready to meet in person! 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Schedule Meeting Chatroom

When users are not in the same space, a chat room will be available to facilitate scheduling a meeting.

 
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Busy Mode

When both users wave at each other, Cospace will change the users’ statuses from available to busy in order to inform other Cospace users that the user is currently occupied.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Connect

The connect button will only appear when both users wave at each other.

 
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Job Pin

Employers can post their job offers in the job pin. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Drop A Job Pin

Employers can drop their job pin into the hire pin in a location through AR. 

 
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View Job Opportunities

Job seekers can tap on the hire pin to view the available job posts through explore AR. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Matched Candidate Notification 

Once the job pin is dropped in a location by employers, Cospace will notify the matched candidates about the job opportunity when they enter the room. 

 
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