During a 6-month period, Fredrik worked at Xing, the leading online business network with 13 million members in German-speaking countries, to help develop the product vision, UX concept and visual design for Campus, a fledgling product for students.
Our small product team soon realised that in the pursuit of quickly meeting KPIs based on subscription rates only, the need to define a real product concept had previously been largely neglected.
Previous attempts at creating a vision and shaping the product had been based on the finding that students feel apprehensive and overwhelmed when approaching or signing up to Xing: “I’m just a student and this is for professionals!” Focus was on building and designing loosely connected features that looked and acted differently to the platform. There were serious problems and limitations to this approach, both from a user experience and from a brand point of view. And it also made it very difficult for the product to work with the platform-wide pattern library and code base, meaning the cost of implementation was high without any perceived added value.
Rethinking the product strategy altogether, we came to the radical conclusion that Campus is not a destination or special area on Xing, but rather Xing experienced as a student. The task became clearly defined as building a dedicated and continuous on-boarding experience targeted at students. Our approach was to combine a conversational interface with student-specific content injected into the core areas of the platform, such as the Profile, Jobs, and News sections. Carefully adjusting and adapting the Xing experience in order to communicate at eye-level with students.
Design-wise we re-aligned with the platform, while creating Campus-specific patterns for the conversational widgets that we envisioned would drive the activity of students, such as polls, form-based mentor tools, etc.
We also reconsidered the relation between product and marketing as the user journey often starts via social media, and Facebook in particular. Bringing product and marketing closer together by defining and sharing ideas about visual design, tonality, etc. resulted in an immediate and significant increase in registrations and activity.
By investing time and effort to creating a long-term product strategy and defining a medium-term roadmap, we managed to exceed short-term goals.
With: Anna Winter, Rainer Rösing, and the Campus team.
Product strategy and design, Creative direction.