The Spectrum events section

Spectrum is a queer community app, here to arm queer people who are isolated, closeted, or at-risk with the tools to manage their mental health, find resources and information and connect with the community.

In response to the easing of social restrictions in Sydney, I was asked to deliver the design of the new events feature that would allow users to find and filter experiences.

The spectrum app is currently built of four helpful sections:

Places

Find queer-friendly venues nearby, rated by members of the community.

Library

Read articles and find information about queer issues, written by queer people.

Contacts

Need help right away? There’s a list of queer-friendly resources at your fingertips.

Profile

Save your favourite places and articles, and see reviews you’ve written.

User Interviews

I conducted interviews with Stakeholders and Event organisers to understand the cross-section of needs behind developing a new events section.

The next iteration of the app is informed by:

A request from organisations to be able to promote their events to the queer community

A way to bring together and connect communities to bring Spectrum’s vision to life

An opportunity for Spectrum to host their own events and host them in top rated places

For users, it was important to consider that the design of the Events section included an ‘Organisers say this is good for’ filter for Gender identity, to see a venue’s accessibility features and have the ability to filter by online and in-person events as social distancing restrictions ease in Sydney, as well as age limitations.

User flows

Creating a simple user flow with participants allowed me to anticipate the patterns of users, and factor in the features discovered in the interviews. From this, I was able to sketch and create low-fidelity wireframes which I presented back to the development team and stakeholders. From the low-fidelity wireframes we were able to agree on utilising Contentful to upload and manage event details and places ID through a CSV file.

Sketching and Wireframing

We put the prototype in front of a test group of participants to test the events feature in detail. Specifically, the language of the application to ensure that it was inclusive. The feedback uncovered that listing gender identities with icons is quite limiting, especially as we start to consider the intersection of people’s identities vs sexualities (i.e. – An event for Men only who are Bi, Gay, Trans, but that could also mean GNC, Non-binary, pansexual, bisexual, asexual etc). The current layout seemed to exclude people, as opposed to make it feel inclusive.

The feedback here is to have the ‘Organisers say this is good for’ section as an open text field where we can copy text directly from existing organisers event details.

Test & Iterate

The lower fidelity wireframes were then updated using Spectrum brand assets and icons in line with the style sheet of the existing app template.

I also designed a new on-boarding flow which enables users to log in understand the different sections of the app on their first time accessing the page. I designed a short series of pop up bubbles within an on-boarding tour which highlights sections of the page such as ‘filters’ and ‘search’ and a ’new event’ badge to show upcoming activities based on user feedback.

Features

Spectrum Events allows users the ability to search for, favourite, and filter events (by distance, price or date, as well as event categories such as Workplace/career, Sports & Fitness, Sexual Health, Mental Health, Social & Party and Crisis support) as well as providing clear venue information and recommendations, Google Maps integrations and trackable click-through links for tickets.

Spectrum are building a database of LGBTQIA+ events of all kinds, from club nights to comedy shows to Zoom sexual health seminars – anything designed for the queer community across Australia. If you’re hosting an event or are an Australian event organiser, please be in touch with Matt Fiacchi matt@spectrumapp.lgbt and Tish Tambakau tish@spectrumapp.lgbt to join the Spectrum community.

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