Rendezvous

Rendezvous is a social meeting app that lets you know when your friends are nearby, allows your to message them, and facilitates meetup locations between the users' locations. I was the lead product designer on the project and worked with the stakeholders through the entire development cycle.

Background

The project was initially started as a way to see which of your friends are nearby while concealing your specific location (unlike the Find My Friends app). The scope of the simple MVP design approach was not effetive enough because it lead users away from the app as soon as friends were discovered. The success metric was actually connecting two users once they discovered a nearby friend, so why not build out tools that empowered users like interactions happen naturally offline. See friend >> chat with friend >> schedule time and place >> meet at that place.

User Research

For initial tests I formulated 3 target user personas and then prepared a survey for these groups. The goal was to confirm with data our hypotheses around users' eating habits, drinking habits, and how frequently they both talked and met up with friends on a weekly basis.
After receiving the survey results I conducted interviews and mapped out the user journey of a user discovering a nearby friend, initiating a conversation, and scheduling a meetup with another user. I also mapped out the pain points and made them a key point of emphasis for further rounds of research.

Problem

Users are not able to see which of their contacts are nearby while feeling in control of their privacy. Even when they do feel comfortable it takes 3 existing apps to find friends, chat with friends, and schedule a meetup.

Hypothesis

By surfacing nearby friends while avoiding exact locations (a la Tinder) users would feel comfortable opting in as long as there were additional privacy controls (a la Facebook chat, Snapchat maps, etc).

Design (see interface designs above)

  • design an end to end flow from discovery to confirmed meetup
  • empower users to be aware of, and in control of, their privacy at all times
  • design a robust MVP that could serve as a foundation upon which a successful company could be scaled over time

Solution

Discovery: Featured as the home screen is a list of the users' contacts sorted by distance. This immediately shows the user who they are nearest to and it also allows for the user to customize the distance preferences without having to leave that screen. Conveniently located beside each displayed contact is a CTA for the user to send a message to the nearby contact.

Social: The messaging feature allows for the natural progression of how people meet up. First, the customary communication ("what's up tonight", "I had no idea you were in town", "I've got a 3hr layover", etc) takes place. Then by providing a CTA within the messaging screen the users are encouraged to remain in the app when discovering and suggesting meetup locations. By designing the entire user journey from discovery through the confirmed meetup time and location within the app it allows for less pain points for the user as well as more potential revenue streams for the business.

Challenges

A challenge in this design process was a lack of user data suggesting context for certain types of meetups. I discovered that "meeing for drinks" can mean many things on different days, at different locations, and for different users so more contextual solutions could be explored.

Next Steps

Understanding the goals of the users beyond just wanting to meet up would be key. Are users primarily meeting collegues for work related meetings, is the app used most frequently at lunchtime, do users communicate with the same contacts over and over, etc. I would also like to design tools for local venues to allow their business to be proactive in attracting groups of users in their area to their location in realtime.