Groups Page Redesign

Redesigned the groups home page to help empower organizers and members.

Hero Image of Venmo Groups

Overview

Context

Groups pages on Meetup are one of the most viewed pages - roughly 1 million views per month - on the platform due to the numerous tasks that members and organizers can accomplish there. Part of my task was to restructure the IA so that members and organizers had better access to the things they look for from their groups, along with integrating updated components from our new design system. Working with John Merlino, my part of the project took about a month to complete.

Outcome

This project was less about moving numbers and more about setting up other teams, such as our Organizer Success and Member Acquisition teams, for future success. Of course, having an improved IA increased RSVP's and showups in the single digit percentile, but the main goal for this project was allowing other teams to be able to iterate on the groups pages with other important features in a faster, streamlined way.

The updated design received better reviews from users overall as per our customer support feedback and also has become the baseline framework for other designers and engineers to work off from.

The full rollout went live the first week of January 2019, where 5 million monthly users will be able to use it.

Problems

Some key issues members and organizers brought up about the page were:

  1. Members not getting a clear idea of what kind of events a group hosts due to them being poorly highlighted.
  2. Little recognition for organizers as well as ease of access reaching out to them if you are a member with questions.
  3. Difficulty gauging activity of a group for prospective members to properly decide if a group is dormant or highly active.

Constraints

  1. Legacy tech stack prevented us from exploring more robust layouts and integrating our new design system faster.
  2. My team had a time constraint due to this project being an intermediary project, so less time was spent refining and iterating on feedback post split test. We also needed to conclude the 2 week split test before Q1.
  3. Other teams were running their own split tests, so we had to refrain from certain planned changes in order to not bias or influence their tests. Implementation of these changes were out of scope for me after the split test concluded.

Solutions

Highlight Upcoming Events

Part of the issue for members not being able to get a feel for a group is due to the lack of importance being placed on events. While members do join groups to get a taste of the community, they mostly come to see what events they can attend. The old design structured the closest upcoming event to be a full-width component on the screen, but then pushed any further upcoming events to the side, which many users missed. This was a problem since many groups had a wide flavor of events, so members found it hard to correctly judge what a group was about, which lead to high churn and bouncing.

Image of old Meetup Groups design

Previous design of Meetup Groups pages.

Image of old Meetup Groups design

Updated design of Meetup Groups pages.

People First

An issue organizers had was not being given the proper attention they deserve, both visually and as a resource. Part of the reason was because the same organizer component had different syling being reused throughout the page, and the members components were stuck in the middle of the page content. To fix this, we modified the right column of the page to be all about people. We show the organizer first as well as emphasizing the message button better, allowing members to easily spot it and ask organizers questions.

Comparison of old and new people components

Old components (left) and updated components (right).

The members components were stripped down because some valuable feedback we received stated that, while seeing the members of the group are nice, ultimately most of them are strangers, and the previous information we were showing them were not helpful to members nor did it have heavy influence in their decision when joining a group.

Takeaways

Prioritizing the Middle

Due to our legacy tech stack, shipping products are slower and more cumbersome than we'd like it to be. This type of product environment calls for many tradeoffs, which I call the "middle area". The area between where you are and where you'd like to be. It's up to product teams to decide if they roll out in a piecemeal manner or all at once.

Due to our team's time constraint of concluding the project before end of Q4, we knew we had to go with the piecemeal proccess. During this, it became critical when deciding which pieces of our ideal vision we had to strip down and still serve the user problems. This was valuable in that future prioritization became more efficient.