Redesigning Bizzabo’s Event Community
For event organizers, providing event attendees with an online networking community is important for creating added value to attendees, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers.
Since the very beginning, Bizzabo has included a powerful event networking platform that helps to provide great value to all event goers.
But recently, we decided to overhaul the community to make it more modern and more user friendly.
The community is where the event attendees engage, learn more about possible leads and set meetings. It’s also something that can be embedded in our event websites, which provide event organizers with seven different slick looking templates, though the old community incorporated the same old design no matter what template was selected.
Designing a community that fits many event websites was a big challenge, but when Boaz Katz, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Bizzabo suggested we redesign our old community, I was excited.
Bizzabo is the world’s first event success platform. It helps organizers create successful events by empowering them to build amazing websites, sell tickets, grow communities, go mobile and maximize event experiences – using a beautiful, user friendly platform.
When we first designed the community in late 2013 it was a stand alone product, so the design was not related to any other event page.
The event organizer used to publish a unique URL of the community and that was it. Back then the stand alone community was fine, but since we vastly expanded our whole product offering, we needed something more robust to compliment the new functionalities we now provide organizers.
In short, the old community had a number of issues that we were trying to solve, at other companies these issues might have been over looked, but at Bizzabo we are committed to always improving our platform. So, when I set out to build an even better event networking community I wanted to make it:
- Mobile responsive
- Correlated to the designs of our different website templates
- Look sleek and modern
- Flexible, so that it could accommodate the visual requirements of different brands.
Starting The Process
At first I thought maybe we can save some time if we leave the page structure as is and just give it a few new design touches. After a quick iteration we soon realized that this wasn’t going to work – we were going to have to start from scratch.
So I went back to the drawing board, in cases like this, I always go to Dribbble, Behance and Pinterest to get inspired.
This time the biggest inspiration came from the music world, platforms like MySpace, Spotify, Xbox Music, 8tracks and more have a great experience.
I created the mood board you see above to provide continual inspiration and guidance as I built Bizzabo’s new community.
Many designers start their process on a whiteboard or paper, I go straight to my Mac, usually I have a vision of the final result in my mind, but this time I had only 4 guidelines that I was going to follow:
Going Wide: Half of our users use a big screen to view the community, we have to give them the whole screen, but the mobile experience got the same attention too. (Responsiveness, check).
Search Center: In the old version of the networking community we had 3 places for filtering and searching. Now we’re replacing that confusing experience with the simple but powerful Search Center, which is accessible via a left menu that provides users with search options.
Brand Awareness: The community gets the color & style from the event website, now the event community will take on the event organizer’s desired branding.
Moving To Cards: The community is a place of engagement, so I wanted to make it more fun, no more boring list views. Now the attendees are in the center, each one of them gets better visibility, and more space, creating a better user experience.
Thanks to the perfect integration between Sketch and Invision the whole process was very quick, after 3 rounds of designs, I got great feedback. Afterward, I shared my latest design with current Bizzabo users to get more feedback. Bizzabo customers reported that they really enjoyed the new community.
The Final Result
Mission Completed, Zeplin helped me a lot with pushing the design over to the dev team, I’m sure they’ll share their development story soon in another blog post 🙂
Above is the final result, a new event community that is mobile responsive, modern, flexible and well suited to the event websites that Bizzabo’s event organizers are creating.
Customer feedback shows that people truly love our new community, so much so, that they are clamoring to have their old communities updated to the new design.
Want to join me in building an award-winning SaaS platform. Good news, we’re hiring developers and designers.