RD Network App Feature 

UX Research

An upcoming social media application that focuses on connecting Registered Dietitians with other nutritionists to easily collaborate, find job opportunities and make connections with each other and healthy food brands for exclusive offerings.

Task

Originally, the founder of the app wanted to hire a UX Designer to help bring her ideas to life. I was given one feature of the application to work on: Network feature. The task was to ensure that from beginning of production to the end, the feature's main focus was on its user's experience and to reflect popular social media today.

My Role

I was offered a position as a freelance UX Designer to help navigate the flow of the future application and determine the best possible way to set the frameworks for how the experience will interact with users, starting with the Network feature. Through research and creating user personas, explore journeys and information architecture, I was able to completely finish the feature I was assigned. 

RD Network Overview

As mentioned, RD Network is an upcoming social media application that focuses on connecting Registered Dietitians with other nutritionists. Though there are other social media professional networking applications that nutritionists can connect on, RD Network strives to create a platform that provides opportunities specifically for dietitians like collaboration, job opportunities, exclusive offerings with healthy food brands  and access free, educational, career-enhancing resources. RD network understands the current needs and how to innovate for the future landscape of the dietetics field. 

With access to more knowledge, connection to peers, and opportunities with other brands, RD Network solves the problem that all dietitians face: low pay and low recognition. Their mission is to elevate Dietitian's professional standing and to provide the space where RDs can flourish.

Features

RD Network contains 3 features:  Network, Discover & Learn. My task was to provide research, user flows and original sketches for the Network feature. 

Network

The Networking app feature is where Registered Dietitians connect, message each other and create an online community. The experience reflects popular social media aspects with an emphasis on ease of navigation and simple, yet sophisticated design.

Research Process

Read about Dietetics

Analysis of inspired applications

Getting to know my audience

Ideation & Creativity

Sketch & Design

Best Practices & Inspiration

Though there are many networking applications that Registered Dietitians could use such as LinkedIn and Shapr, the purpose was to create a centralized app based on the nutrition industry. It was still a helpful experience for me to analyze networking apps to implement some features into RD Network. 

1. LinkedIn

The fact that LinkedIn is a professional networking application is what inspired RD Network in the first place. This helped with the overall setup of RD Network, because of the professionalism and aspects that LinkedIn offers such as job searches, professional opportunities and educational articles to help workers.

Creating connections is one of the features from LinkedIn that is implemented into RD. Being able to search, have choices (People you may know) and connect is an interface that RD wanted as well. 

2. Shapr

Shapr is a professional networking app who's main feature is to swipe through people to connect with. The two other features are personal profile/personalization and messaging aspect. 

The swipe feature is a fun and modern way to create connections and find mentors who you'd like to connect with. Though it is a way to start talking with people and forming bonds, you are not able to search (without paying) for people you already know to build your network list. 

3. Instagram

Though instagram is a social media platform rather than a professional networking platform, it is a way for people to build connections and discover new aspects to their interests.

The modern and fun atmosphere is what inspired RD to go down unconventional routes to their own application. While Instagram inspired RD more towards the branding portion, the search portion and personal profile is what inspired the creation of their Discover Feature. 

It was still a good plan to look through Instagram to get an overall sense of how to build the bridge between professional networking and modern social media.

Survey + User Interviews

For my research, I conducted 10 user interviews and created a survey that I sent out to about 40+ people who consisted of nutrition students, professors and actual registered dietitian professionals to get to know their goals and aspirations. I also wanted to know who my primary target audiences were. RD Network aims to hit registered dietitians and I wanted to get to know them in order to create a product that centralizes around  their emotions towards their line of work. 

age

goals

Top Answers:

18%

43%

32%

6%

18-22

32+

23-27

28-31

gender

60%

Female

Male

40%

"To find a job I'm passionate in." 

"Exploring professional opportunities"

"Learn from other people & implement to everyday job"

"Grow network + Connect" 

"Find others like me, easily" 

"Create a healthier world" 

"Share on more platforms"

"Post my food and facts!"

"Have fun with everything that has to do with my job"

Proposed Solutions

Based on my research on other professional networking applications as well as the feedback I got from my user interviews and surveys, I proposed two systems to implement for the Network feature of RD Network. Since the goal is to create a fun and modern twist to professional networking whilst making connections, I wanted to create a process where the users would have as many choices as they could. 

Featured Profiles & Preferences

With different user profiles you can browse from, a search bar to look for specific profiles and preferences to filter the type of person the user is looking for, this component is one of the ways that dietitians can find each other throughout the app, and add to their connections. 

Swipe & Message

Through this "Swipe-match" portion the network feature will enable users to have another choice on building their local connections. Whereas the featured profiles will enable users to connect with users nationally and globally, this swipe-match feature will enable users to connect with users locally, to meet up for coffee and collaborate

Target Audience

Based on user interview and survey goals, I came up with three types of primary user groups and one secondary user group that will all take a part in using RD Network:

Primary

 

Business Professionals who...

1. Networking for a new job

2. Looking to build connections through Mentee or collaboration

3. Recruiter to hire employees

Secondary

 

Students who are looking for mentors or health inspirations

User Personas

Based on user interview and survey goals, I came up with three types of primary user groups and one secondary user group that will all take a part in using RD Network:

Lesly Volpicelli
Paige Johnson
Christina Lee

Information Architecture

Network Feature Flow

These flows will include the task flows along with wireframe sketches at its very lowest fidelity.

Stage 01 Mockups

01 Featured Profiles & Preferences

02 Swipe Feature

02.2 Messaging

Conclusion

Through this experience, I've learned a few things that I've never really fully considered before. I also go to think about UX Research on a whole other level, as the importance of centralizing empathy throughout the design of the whole experience. 

This was just one of the two features that I had completed during the duration of my contract with RD Network. I was not able to extend my contract due to school and work obligations. Again, RD Network has about 3 features on the app as a whole and has not come out in stores yet. 

Onward to the next project

  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle

© 2019 Designed by Micah Evangelista