1. Researching the market and target audience
The first step of the process was very straightforward.This
project had a very well defined target audience from
the beginning and I am included in that audience, so
what is defined as “empathizing with the user” was not a problem at all.
It is also important to mention that
while developing this project, I lived, studied and socialized with
people who also belong to the target audience.
With a considerable amount of potential users available
for research, 10 who I talked to every day for 6 months and others who I
saw less often (50 in total), I started to
where they would tell me what platform they wish existed to fit
The feedback about the project
idea was very positive and the potential users gave valuable insights
about how the concept should be developed.
At the end of all
interviews, I built personas that represented an average of all the
2. Developing user journey
user journey was a complex process due to how broad the
The first thing worth identifying was the
A. Users who are going on Erasmus in the near future
a. Connect with people who will go to the same university as
b. Connect with people who will go to the same city as
c. Connect with people from their city who will go on
d. Know more about the city they are going to
more about the university they are going to
B. Users who are now on Erasmus
a. Connect with international students who are in the same city
b. Connect with students from their own country who are
c. Know the secrets of the city where they are currently
Once the uses cases were defined, It was time to
construct the user journey.
3. Developing Brand identity and platform style
Like described in “thought process”, this platform was thought out to
be sold to a specific client, so I had to follow some
brand rules while creating
original guidelines for this new platform.
Since this project lives on an independent website and
app, I dared to create a super intuitive and simple visual language that
is characterized by having very big buttons,
plain colors and
as little information on the screen as possible.
The color scheme was created by joining two colors
previously existing in the target client logo to create a
4. Information architecture
This being a
data-driven project, it was essential to know what data
to display and the best way to arrange it on screen.
Multiple tests were made in the search menus, user
profiles, and university profiles to achieve a simple and coherent
5. User interface design
The established guidelines for
this interface were:
1. As intuitive as Possible
2. As basic as possible
The fewer time people spent on the platform (but still achieving their
goals), the better
The rules arose from my understanding
that this platform
should not be mistaken by a social media, being rather
a platform to insert and extract info that will guide
people to other social media/platforms.
At this stage, I
designed the navigation menus and gave the final
touches to the profiles and
6. Chat system design
In a conversation
with the developers,
they came to the conclusion that an internal chat system would be a
to let users get in contact inside the platform before jumping to other
social media on users’ profiles.
We decided to build a chat
system primality meant for the
first interactions between users with the
same principles and simplicity as the rest of the
Final thoughts and reflections
At this point in time (14/10/2019), this project is still in its
early phase of implementation.
Many changes can and will be made
before the product launches, so it’s too early for a final reflection.
Although, there are already a few good reflections to be made about
the whole process.
This was the first project I ever
started to develop proactively from scratch with the intent of selling
it to another company. This means that I had to think about things
beyond the design discipline and focus on
business plans and other
corporate-related topics I love.
of this love of creating concepts from scratch, I have started other
personal projects which are not yet included in this portfolio.
In this project, I
handed all my work to developers and this thought me
a toon of lessons related to UI design and web development in general.
This also got me to learn how to
communicate design ideas to people who might not be familiar with
as well as learning coding and developing concepts I
wasn’t familiar with.
I’ll be glad to answer any of your questions or give further
on any topic.
Drop me a line at
or contact me through this page.