Why we re-designed Codotto
Check out why we have redesigned codotto. What lead to us completely revamping our application to have a better UX and UI
Codotto, which connects individuals through meetups undergone a necessary evaluation leading to a re-design. This article will explore the motivations behind the update, identify the difficulties faced by our three user groups - meetup organizers, attendees, and speakers- and examine how the new design aims to resolve these challenges. Get an in-depth look at the positive impact and benefits this transformation will bring to our business and users.
Why we decided to re-design Codotto
A brief overview of the current web application
Codotto was created to be able to connect the great network of meetups, events, and conferences. We are a group of friends passionate about sharing knowledge and enabling the tech community to thrive. We believe that everyone starts somewhere and it is our responsibility to become better at what we do through sharing knowledge.
Its purpose is to bring individuals together to share ideas, network, and learn from each other in a dynamic and interactive setting.
Codotto have been launched 7 months ago and has since undergone multiple updates and improvements based on user feedback. Today it is a platform that offers a range of features and tools to help support meetup organizers, attendees, and speakers. Unfortunately, the design part is something that needed work.
Redesigning Codotto is a huge challenge for us because the current user base includes individuals from a variety of industries and backgrounds - from software developers to architects. One thing is common between them: the passion to connect with like-minded individuals, discover new events and participate in engaging and informative meetups.
The need for a re-design
There are several reasons for a redesign to happen in any website such as outdated design, increase mobile usage, improve functionality, and better search engine optimization.
Codotto redesign has one super important point on why we decided to do it: user feedback.
User feedback was extremely important for us since the beginning of Codotto. We, ourselves organize meetups in Zagreb, Croatia which gives us the perfect time to hear the feedback of the community.
We are very happy to get the feedback that what we have created, as a community is allowing other meetup organizers to better organize their meetups with the tools that we have provided for them. But we have gotten feedback that some actions are hard to do in our application. Things are hard to find. Elements that are important to meetup organizers were mixed with elements that are important to meetup attendees.
If we could define one most important points on why we decided to re-design Codotto, it would certainly be users' feedback.
Understanding our users
In Codotto we have the following important personas: meetup organizer, meetup attendee, and speakers. These personas represent the very important role of each one of our users.
While redesigning our application we had to think about each one of these personas. A few important examples:
- A meetup organizer wants to have future meetups which he organizes in an accessible place, while for a meetup attendee, it's not a priority.
- A meetup attendee doesn't care for groups that he organizes, because, well, he doesn't have any groups. The attendee only attends the meetups.
- A speaker would like to have all meetups where he will talk in an accessible place. As soon as a speaker logs in, or opens the app he would like to see the meetups he will talk at.
Problems faced by meetup organizers
In many places of Codotto, we mix what is important for each persona. Let's take a look at the group page:
On this page we have a couple of issues that are important for meetup organizers:
- The image takes 80% of the screen. So many details could have been added if it wasn't for the fact that most of the page is being used by the image of the group.
- The "Organizer tools" is a button that is displayed only to the organizer of the group. A logged user that is not an organizer of the group will only see the "Join group" or "Leave group" button.
We have mixed two completely different concepts on this page. One is important to the meetup organizer and the other is important to meetup attendees. This, being a public page, should only reflect important elements to meetup attendees - or group members.
Issues faced by meetup attendees
One main issue we have in older designs is the fact that we are mixing user interfaces on a single page. An example would be the navigation bar for any user that is logged in in Codotto:
There are a couple of issues with this navigation bar for meetup attendees:
- Did you notice that there's a button on the top bar that says "Check out all groups"? Many users miss this button and they have no idea where to go to see the listing of all groups of their interest
- A lot of space is wasted to show "Groups I'm an organizer" and "Groups I'm an attendee". In this section, we are mixing two important parts for each person: meetup attendee and meetup organizer
This is a simple example of an issue that meetup attendees face in the older design. This and many more issues will be explained later on how we fixed it.
Challenges faced by speakers
On Codotto, anyone can become a speaker by simply creating a talk and being invited to a meetup to be a speaker. The speaker then can see the feedback for his talk. Then, the speaker can take action to improve his talk. How do you create a talk in Codotto? Let's take a look at a very hidden button:
Do you see the "Create talk" button? For this button to appear we need to click another button right next to our profile - in the top right corner. There are a couple of issues with this approach:
- The content of the navigation bar represents important elements of all personas. This should be isolated. Each persona should have its own navigation bar.
- There's no explanation anywhere in Codotto on what exactly is a talk. How they are useful and how you can use them after creating them.
- As stated before, the button is hidden. To create a talk you would need to go on an adventure to find it.
After interviewing all personas of Codotto we understood that each one of them needed to have its own section with its dedicated navigation and content that are important for each persona.
User feedback and insights
Before starting the process of redesigning our community website, the first step is to talk directly with the users using our application.
Meetup organizer feedback
The meetup organizer is the person responsible for organizing the meetups in our application. A meetup organizer can do the following actions:
- Create (or update) groups
- Create meetups
- Manage the list of group members
- Manage the list of attendees for each meetup that he has created
- Can create webhooks for when a meetup is published
- Can browse the groups
- Can browse the meetups
- Can attend meetups as well
The feedback given by meetup organizers was straightforward: we need to have a place where it is considered an "admin" area. Currently, we are doing our administrative tasks on pages that are being used by meetup attendees and too much information is cramped on single pages.
Meetup attendee feedback
The meetup attendee is a type of user that can attend meetups in Codotto. An attendee can do a couple of more things other than just attend meetups:
- Join a meetup
- Browse the catalog of meetups (and groups)
- Rate a meetup that the attendee has attended
- Comment in meetups and groups
- See a user profile
- See the list of talks from a user
- See the list of talks in a meetup
As an attendee, the feedback was more directed to a place where they could see the next meetups they have to attend. Groups that are recommended to them and the next meetups that I might be interested in.
Meetup speaker feedback
The meetup speaker is a type of user that can be invited to be a speaker in a meetup. The speaker can do a couple more tasks:
- Create a talk
- Be invited to a meetup as a speaker
- Accept the invitation to be a speaker at a meetup
- Deny invitation to be a speaker in a meetup
- See user profile
- Share the link to his presentation for a talk
The feedback coming from speakers was more directed to the fact that it is hard to find things that matter such as "Create a talk", "My next meetups where I speak" and "Manage my current talks".
The redesign process
Redesigning Codotto is a challenging and often complex process but extremely exciting to be working on something that will make life better for the community.
Upon combining all feedback from our users we have come up with three important layouts in our application
Organizer mode layout
Now with the new design the meetup organizers (and group owners) will be able to navigate through the app much easier than before.
On the left side, we have a navigation bar that will show the tech groups that you are the owner of. Just below that you will be able to see meetups that are happening right now and under it, you will see the meetups that you will be organizing in the future.
Not only that but you will be able to see the dashboard for meetups and groups. On the group's dashboard page, you will be able to see summarized details about your group such as the number of members your group has, the latest members, and the average number of attendees per meetup. On the meetup's dashboard page, you will have information such as the number of confirmed attendees to your tech meetup, the feedback to the meetup - you will be able to see this after the meetup has happened - and the location and time of the tech meetup.
Attendee mode layout
In your attendee mode, you will be able to easily see which future meetups you have to attend. On the left navigation bar, you will have the tech groups that you are part of as a member and the future tech meetups that you will be attending. In case you have any meetups currently happening, you will have a "Live meetup" section.
This new layout opens the possibility to add many more useful features for our attendees.
Speaker mode layout
Now with the new speaker mode dashboard, you will be to easily find out the meetups you have been invited to be a speaker, the future meetups where you are confirmed to be a speaker, and easily navigate through the talks you have created and are offering to meetup organizers.
Public pages for meetups and groups
Now with the new public group's page, you will be able to see more easily the group information - such as organizers, members, and the location - and a separate tab to search through the members of the group. On the bottom part of this page, you will be able to see the meetups that this group has organized in the past and meetups that are happening in the future.
The new meetup page also has suffered a makeover. Now you will be able to easily navigate through the meetup description, attendees, messages, and the Q&A for the tech meetup.
Having a re-design is a tough process that takes months to plan, organize and execute. We recognize that there are many areas that we can improve upon. We are actively working to make Codotto a better place to organize your tech meetups and we are always open to new feedback from the community.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any feedback that you would like to see incorporated in Codotto to help you better organize your tech meetups at Linkedin or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The future of Codotto and tech meetups
Now that we have completed one of the biggest tasks in Codotto that we have ever faced, we are looking toward the future and to execute the roadmap that we have for 2023.
In 2023 we plan on adding core features that have been added by the community such as:
- Allow groups to have co-organizers
- Question and answers for meetups
- User experience
- Message board for meetups
- More functionalities for speakers
We are extremely excited about how things are going with Codotto and couldn't be happier to be creating great tools for tech groups and tech meetup organizers to use.
We would love to shout out, especially to the great people that helped us - and are helping - make Codotto the platform that we are seeing currently:
- Dino Serdar: Dino currently works as Marketing Manager at Cinnamon Agency. Dino helped us with feedback from codotto.com all the way to the same blog post you are reading right now.
- Domagoj Franc: Domagoj joined Codotto and was the one designing the pages. Without him, we wouldn't be able to see these beautiful pages.
- Filip Kapusta: Kapusta helped us with QAing the pages and making sure we didn't break anything in the process. It doesn't hurt to have QA on top of our automated tests.
- Mario Blažek: Mario is the current organizer of ZgPHP and has greatly influenced the way Codotto works. Most of the features that we have currently have in one way or another greatly contributed by Mario.
- Marko Domgjoni: Mario currently works at QAgency as Communications Specialist. Mario has greatly helped in giving us the push to put Codotto out there. We are forever grateful to Marko.