A HYBRID EVENTS & EXPERIENCE PLATFORM
NextechAR's Live Now is a scalable and customizable hybrid events and experience platform that allows event organizers to host a variety of event or experience types to audiences across the globe. As Covid-19 restrictions changed the virtual events landscape, a hybrid solution was required. Live Now came about because NextechAR acquired an events platform called Map Dynamics. This platform was used for creating event maps and to host hybrid events. The idea was to improve the user experience, elevate the interface and build out a more comprehensive and feature rich platform and to enable a hybrid experience as we were moving out of the pandemic.
Jan -May 2021
Responsive Hybrid Events Platform
& Companion App
Director of UX/UI
Rebranding & Visual Identity
6 MEMBERS ROLES:
Research & Strategy
UX Design of Features
UI Design Improvements
PHASE ONE: 30 DAY REDESIGN
UNDERSTANDING MAP DYNAMICS
Our first steps in redesigning the Map Dynamics platform were to gain a comprehensive understanding of its functionality and purpose. To achieve this, my lead UI Designer and I conducted an onboarding meeting with the Map D team to learn about the platform's features, client base, and user demographics. We discovered that the platform's primary function was to create floor plans and maps for in-person events such as trade shows, festivals, and exhibitions. We also learned that the platform was semi-self-serve, with a substantially built-out backend, and clients were taught how to create their own events.
To start the redesign process, we created a site map of the attendee-facing portion of the web app, which helped us to identify specs and requirements. Our primary objective in Phase One was to modernize and elevate the visual design, improve accessibility, and make minor UX improvements.
ORIGINAL SCREENS: MAP DYNAMICS PLATFORM
Once my lead UI designer gained a thorough understanding of the Map Dynamics platform and its clientele, I shared with her the research and documentation I had previously done when designing for the Inferno Platform to help streamline the process. With a better understanding of the events space and the platform, I tasked her with creating a few mood boards. After selecting one, I then asked her to explore designs for the welcome page that attendees would see upon logging into the platform. During this process, I directed her to conduct visual research and provided links to upcoming and current design trends. Given that this was for an AR-focused company, we also explored 3D visuals. Customizability was another key factor in the design, as backgrounds and branding needed to be applied. Below are some of the initial visual concepts created during the early iterations.
MOOD BOARD EXPLORATIONS
INITIAL VISUAL EXPLORATIONS
VISUAL & UX IMPROVEMENTS
After presenting the stakeholders with the refined welcome page mockups, we proceeded with finalizing the look and feel of one of the versions. With this direction set, we focused on enhancing both the visual and UX design and applied the new style to the rest of the platform pages. Through a page-by-page redesign process, we were able to make substantial improvements to the user interface and experience. Despite having only one month to complete the redesign, we were also able to establish a new branding, identity, and design system that would serve as the foundation for the next phase. Below are the redesigned screens of Map Dynamics that we completed for phase one.
PHASE TWO: TRANSFORMING MAP DYNAMICS
EXPANDING FEATURES TO CREATE A HYBRID SOLUTION
After the successful redesign of MapDynamics, the leadership team was impressed with the results and saw the potential to expand it into a highly usable and beautiful hybrid event platform within two months. To achieve this, we assigned all six designers on the team to design multiple features to help the platform compete in the digital events market. Our goal was to create a comprehensive and customizable solution that could accommodate a variety of event types and audiences, both in-person and virtual.
FEATURE SET AND UPGRADES
To enhance the Map Dynamics platform into a comprehensive digital and hybrid solution, we conducted internal workshops, focus groups, and client interviews to identify the necessary features and requirements for implementation within a 60-day timeframe. While not an exhaustive list, some of the key upgrades to the platform are outlined below.
Ticketing, Registration and Global Account
Attendee's, presenters, event managers needed to buy and register to attend and enter the event
Interactive Networking Lounge
Attendees needed to be able to join virtual and engaging networking lounges
Interactive Floor Plan
Attendees needed a visual of the floor plan to view and access booths while at the physical event
Attendees and Exhibiters needed to be notified about various time related items like presentations, availability in the networking lounges, network connections
Attendees needed to be able to view products and companies
Auditoriums & Q&A
Attendee's needed a live and prerecorded area where they could ask questions, answer polls, and give feedback ratings
Exhibition Hall & 3D Booths
This is where attendees could access all the exhibitor booths to view and enter
Leaderboard & Gamification
To add excitement and fun we added a leaderboard, challenges and easter eggs clients could add throughout their event
Attendees needed to be able to view the schedule, presenters, view associated content, and sign up
A mobile app would allow for many more features that could not be access through the website
HIGH FIDELITY OVERVIEW
The process for the entire transformation of Map Dynamics was no small feat. I worked closely with each designer to go over the requirements I collected based on client interviews, focus groups and feedback to ensure they were clear on the path forward. I assigned specific areas of research for them to explore and guided them through each of their designs conducting many design reviews in the process. As each feature was complete we presented each feature to stakeholders, and the development team for feedback and handoff.