Online platforms are increasingly popular for freelancing. It's an easy and effective way of freelancing, but it comes with a cost. The main issue is people that don't engage into personal contact and choose to stay online only. The term for those people is "digital nomads". This results in less and less human contact.
Those who chronically lack social contact are more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and inflammation. This can undermine the well-being of nearly every bodily system, including the brain.
It is said that we spend about 45 percent of that time using technology. Missed interactions such as professional connections for a potential letter of recommendation are some side-effects.
Having a user-centred approach, I visited several places to find freelancers and clients to ask them more about their experiences.
It turns out that a job is done a lot better when there is a good connection between clients and freelancers which because it easier to communicate the message in person.
A popular opinion was:
"Would rather collaborate with someone I like".
Combining methods used by professional websites and dating apps in order to bring professionals together.
First sketch of how the users interact with the website.
Circular design principles and tools brainstorming.
After I figured out how the service works, I had to sketch some screens to rapidly solve some problems such as making a good use of space for the filters.
The wireframes were made to generate quick feedback before creating the high fidelity prototype.
After I had a clear idea about the layout, the steps to someone's journey and how the screens connect, I had to add some "magic" to the project and make it look attractive, whilst also keeping the brand identity throughout.
After creating the prototype, I had to test and check the usability of it.
Final screenshots and the interactive prototype
Spark is a service that helps entrepreneurs find freelancers in creative fields. Spark's goal is to tackle the problem of people choosing to communicate with a client online only. The service offers a great matching method with favourite cafe suggestions and an around me discovery range. The way to encourage people to meet up, is by giving them discounts to go to a cafe for a meeting.
This is achieved by booking a meeting through the website and receiving an email with a QR code. The QR code can then be presented at the venue and reduce the price for the drinks or snacks bought.