Investa Groups

Web and Mobile

Investa Groups is a place for group communication for people to share, discuss common interests, learn and express opinions inside the Investagrams platform.

The Challenge

Investagrams' social timeline is one of the core feature of the platform. It enables people to share content throughout its user base through a public timeline. With its expanding community, we wanted to create a place for the users to share content in a community of their own through Investa Groups.

Business Goals: To expand community platform and offer paid subscription groups for premium content.

The Role

The project was a two-man team, one full-stack developer and I — as the designer, front-end developer, and product lead. I was responsible to set the direction of the of the product, agile development cycle, build a functioning prototype ready for usability testing and front-end development.

Competitor Analysis

We checked and searched similar applications, and we found out that there were no direct competitors in Philippines. However, there are existing online platform, that are not in the stock market industry, who offers the same features i.e. Facebook groups and discord. These were also the same platform that our current user use to interact with their smaller communities.

So instead, we drew inspiration from these applications that feature the design components we needed; Group types, timeline, member roles, permissions, subscriptions and more.

Groups Competitors

Feature Requirements

After we gathered the information we needed from similar applications, we invited stakeholders to discuss with us the requirements we need to develop the product. These requirements will be used as basis of our development process.

Groups Requirements

Agile Planning

Investagrams is a fairly new startup, only a few of us had experiences in agile methodologies and principles. In this project, I wanted to introduce to the team how we can apply agile methodologies in this product development. Although my knowledge in agile software development are limited, we agreed to use only what we think will work and to always leave room for flexibility. In this case, we used the Scrum framework.

With our limited resources we used google sheets as our Scrum management tool (as seen below). We laid out our backlogs based on the feature requirements and then carefully plan them in our sprints.

Groups Agile Planning

Design Decisions

Groups Design

Group Timeline

Inside each group they are presented with topics which serves as categories for each community for them organize their content. And an easy access to all other groups they joined. This will also be the page where they can manage group settings and membership.

Groups Design

Dashboard for Exploring Groups

In order for people to easily look for groups to join, we created a dashboard for them to explore. This dashboard will also be the place where you can see all the groups you joined, groups you manage, and create groups of your their own.

Beta Testing

The next challenge we anticipated during development was the community itself. Initially, this feature will come out with zero groups and it could lead us with a bad impression to users with nothing to explore. We decided to conduct beta testing. We asked the help of our marketing team to nurture several communities (by invitation) in a beta environment before we can publicly launch. We made sure the platform was already usable so we can begin sharing relevant content to several groups. During the beta period, we also asked feedbacks and applied necessary changes.

At the end of the beta period, we were able to nurture 3 groups and it showed promising engagements from the users.

Takeaway

The greatest takeaway from me in this project would probably the part where we had to build an initial real communities existing before we launch the product. Admittedly, community building was obviously not my forte. It was a different skill set that I had no experience of. However, in order for the project to succeed I had to ask help from other teams. It was a challenging learning curve and yet rewarding when communities began to thrive on their own.