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Beacon: Improving Decision-Making Among Users

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Product Design
Usability Testing
A/B Testing
Business Strategy

Tools Used



Lead Product Designer (Me)
2 Product Designers
1 Product Manager
3 Developers


1 month


Expanded the company's user base by over 45% by designing engaging event management features.


User Research

Design Principles & Ideation

Design & Prototyping

Usability Testing

Product Shipping


What is Beacon?

Beacon: A Social Event Planning App

Beacon is a social event planning app that not only allows college students to better manage hangout plans, but also explore local business venues. The app has 3 main goals:

Help college students to plan hangouts in a more organized and efficient way

Help college students discover local places to hang out at with their friends

Partner with and advertise local businesses to students to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

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Translating Business Goals to Product Goals

When the app lost some its user base in 2021, the company had several concerns with retaining its user base and maintaining investor relations. We found that the core problem of a declining user base was a poor decision-making experience for users.

Business Goals

Product Goals

Instill more trust and confidence in investors

Improve decision-making processes

Retain a steady user base

Increase user satisfaction

Solidify partnerships with local businesses

Design Challenge

How might we improve the decision-making experience for existing users?


Design Solution

Our team integrated a calendar view and event details page to help students more easily keep track of events and invitees. This resulted in better communication between users and more engaging experiences, increasing our user base by over 45%.

User Research

1. User Interviews

Our team began the design process by conducting user interviews. Through semi-structured sessions, we interviewed 15 users who currently use the beta version of our app.

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Users want to quickly see event details and invite lists

Some users reported that navigating to the invite list page was inefficient and wanted less friction within their experience.

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Users want to edit event availability responses more easily

Many users reported that it was difficult to find how to change their response to an event, and wanted a better experience.

2. Synthesizing Research: User Personas

Our team developed two user personas based on two types of users: event attendees and event planners.


Design Principles & Ideation

3. Design Principles


Keep in mind business goals of leveraging network effects to expanding the user base.


Divide and conquer: design and test features individually in a modular workflow using weekly sprints.


Be realistic; produce design solutions that developers can implement in time for an MVP release.


When in doubt, always rely on gaining user feedback.

4. Ideation

In a brainstorming session, our team came up with solutions based on research findings and pain points. With this approach, we focused on problem-solving as a priority.

Design, Prototyping, and Testing

5. User Flow - Event Management

The user flow illustrates the different tasks that both event planners and attendees might go through when interacting with the app. It is broken down into 4 major tasks: editing availability status, searching invitees, editing invite lists, and editing beacons.


Edit availability status

Search invitees

Edit invite list (beacon owner only)

Edit beacon (beacon owner only)


6. Rapid Prototyping

To quickly be able to test our new information architecture with users, our team mocked up a rapid, interactive prototype. 

While testing the user flow with 5 participants, we found that every user was able to more quickly and easily view event information.

7. Event Responses - Usability Testing

We explored and tested several two new designs for event response CTAs. Testing our designs with 10 participants (5 per version), we found that Version A yielded more responses from users.

Version A:
Response Confirmation


Version B:
Bottom Sheet Modal


Version A: Date Scroller


Version B: Calendar View


8. Event Planning - A/B Testing

We developed a new calendar view system and conducted a A/B tests with 10 participants. We found that the calendar view increased the number of event responses and yielded faster relative decision-making processes.

Final Prototype


Keep track of events
with the Calendar View.

Both invitees and event planners are able to easily see all of their events organized by date in the new Calendar View.

Easily navigate to the event details page.

Users can navigate to the event details page by tapping on an event.


Change event availability with minimal mistakes.

The three-button CTA layout and confirmation modal helps event attendees avoid accidentally changing their event availability responses.

Edit event details easily from the event page.

Event planners can edit event information directly via the Event Details page, saving time.



What I learned

1. Turn business challenges into design challenges.

Throughout the design process, my team established that leveraging a network effect, which required a high level of user engagement, was key to growing our company. Thus, Beacon's growth relies on engaging design to maximize our user base, 

2. Modularize user testing.

Because my team and I worked on designing several different features, we tested the engagement of each feature individually before putting all of them together. This helped us determine which specific interactions worked well or didn't.

Future Steps

1. Analyze conversion rates and user engagements in our public beta MVP. 

Since we performed A/B testing usability testing with a small group of individuals, we want to analyze if these results are valid for a large number of users, and if we come across any design issues with a larger audience.

2. Assess the adaptability of our design.

My team and I are always ambitious about expanding and refining the app, so we want to make sure our design system is still able to bring delightful experiences to our users even if we scrap certain features or develop new features.

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