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.
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.
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.
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.