Meaningful connections.

Finding Your Way
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where you were so excited by the first few chapters that all you wanted to do was skip to the end to see how it turns out? This is how I imagine visionary people to be with an idea that drives their passion.

In the case of HUBL, that passion had lead to 8 months of hard work by talented development teams resulting in an MVP that was difficult to use, tested poorly and nearly scuttled the burgeoning company.

Hppy Hour was part of an ambitious project to redesign the HUBL experience. To bring creativity and structure to raw ideas and concepts.

Connecting Professionals 

Screenshots of HUBL app
The Challenge.
Meeting new people at networking events is often awkward and without something or someone to act as a social catalyst you end up either clinging to people you already know or giving up and going home early. HUBL bridges that gap by finding like minded people at an event and giving them the ability to form meaningful connections with each other.

Our goal for the project was to break down the high level concepts around this interaction and to find a navigable path around the social awkwardness of new connections. We knew that this endeavour was much more complex than it seemed and our ambition was to create a strong foundation structured in rapid testing and iteration to aide in discovering that path.
Screenshots of HUBL wireframes
Our Role.
We took the product team back to first principles, looking at the problems that they were actually trying to solve without being distracted by whether or not their development team could do it or how fast it could be done.

We used design sprints to rapidly understand and define the problem the product was to solve and to create interactive concepts to test our design theories.
Screenshots of HUBL app
Learning Curve.
With the existing system, a lot of effort is spent up front getting a new user set up having to answer mostly simple boiler-plate questions in a multi-step interface.We posited that much of this information can be retrieved from a person's existing LinkedIn account and since the user base consisted primarily of corporate event attendees, it was a safe bet that most would have an existing active Linkedin account.This took an eleven step new user sign-up flow (which took on average around 3 minutes and 40 seconds) to one single step that took, on average, less than 10 seconds to complete.
A New Beginning.
The test group feedback revealed that the transition from the lengthy initial sign-up flow to the “home” screen was also quite jarring. Having little direction by way of text labels or any kind of on-boarding, the test group overwhelmingly felt lost and either abandoned the app here or was unable to understand the purpose of this screen in general and the app as a whole.

With some simple on-boarding to set the tone that this was an event’s based app, we were able to mitigate some of the confusion. Reinforcing this by allowing you to browse nearby upcoming events and purchase tickets for them allows us to also build an audience for the app before an event had even begun.
Screenshots of HUBL app
At the core of this app is the ability to forge meaningful professional relationships but, initially, this merely consisted of a chat interface with nothing to ease you into the conversation. Although the technology behind the scenes made a calculated match based on dozens of complex factors, you still didn’t really know why you were talking to someone and you’d be left to discover on your own things to bond over.

Surfacing helpful information about a connection effectively gives you a cheat sheet of topics to discuss and alleviates the difficulty of reaching out to someone new.  The intelligence of all the backend systems can be seen to be at your disposal and provides a sense of confidence in the connection you’ve just made.
Screenshots of HUBL app
Their partnership, collaboration, and flexibility were most impressive.
The Impact.
Our month long engagement with HUBL rejuvenated a product team that was close to disbanding, breathing in a renewed sense of determination. Three months after the projects completion, the HULB team has incorporated as a company, secured $2+ million worth of initial funding and is well on their way to building out their vision.