Academia Profile Page Redesign

Transform new or under-achieving users in to more of a high-engaging and loyal audience by delivering a familiar and powerful profile page experience.

Length

Role

Deliverables

2 Months

Lead Product Designer
(Team of 2)

Information Architecture, User Flows, Comparative Analysis, High-Fidelity Designs

Tools

Figma, Fullstory, Periscope

Problem

The Academia.edu profile page wasn't meeting the needs of our users. Academia was focused on creating a platform where Academics could network with each other but the profile page wasn't helping to facilitate that. I hypothesized that by designing an eye-catching, feature rich, and outstanding user profile page we could increase user engagement, help to create opportunities for our users to efficiently interact with a specific feature and collect and analyze data useful to our business.
The goal was to help transform new or under-achieving users in to more of a high-engaging and loyal audience by delivering familiar and powerful profile page experience.

Pain

Points

  • It was difficult for users to orient themselves

  • Important next steps were unclear

  • Industry standards were being ignored

  • Important actions required digging and discovery wasn't intuitive

  • No priority was given towards highlighting key product offerings

     

Business Goals

Pre-Mortum

  • How will we recognize and categorize profile completion?

  • What if important components are hard to build?

  • How can we promote premium products in a non-invasive way?

  • How will we make the page feel like part of a cohesive ecosystem while still allowing personalization?

  • What if there are deltas between the new page design and the Academia design system?

  • What if we don't achieve our metrics for success, will there be a phase 2 test and what will it look like?

  • Promote Premium features within the profile page

  • Collect valuable user data through profile engagement

  • Facilitate community engagement

  • Encourage profile completion

User Experience Goals
  • Create a familiar profile page experience

  • Better onboard users to Academia.edu platform features and the power of the profile page

  • Connect users with their colleagues

  • Allow for the promotion of services

  • Increase personalization options

  • Organize content so it's more digestible

Research and Analysis

I led a user research initiative and thorough landscape analysis to better understand the industry trends and best practices of user profile pages. I looked at competitors in the same space as Academia.edu as well as other tech companies with strong profile pages.

Empty Library

What We Heard

"The profile page doesn't provide me with the necessary information I need to fully understand other users on the site."

- User

Research included: Linkedin, Twitter, Researchgate, Dribble, Github, Spotify, Yelp, Fiverr, Facebook, Asana and Pinterest

Design Process
Control - The Original Profile Page
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New Profile Page Design

We wanted to design a zero-state of the profile for brand new users that helped them immediately understand important first steps to take within the platform.

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Zero State
Feature Prioritization & Component Design

I knew that in order to increase engagement we had to help the user complete their profile, promote features and products, and allow them to begin engaging with the community. I decided to include the following key features on the new profile page design:

  • Enhance personalization

  • Stronger Onboarding

  • Analytics Snapshot

  • Community member suggestions

  • Stronger information architecture

  • More opportunities for users to promote themselves.

Final Page Design
Analytics Snapshot

We promoted premium features by giving users a snapshot of their analytics and impact.

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Stronger Onboarding

By incorporating a profile builder component we facilitated the completion of important next steps and helped the user build a stronger profile, while also gathering important information for our business.

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Enhanced Personalization

We reorganized the section where users can share basic information and added the ability to incorporate a custom profile banner image

Community Suggestions

We helped users immediately begin to engage in networking and feel a stronger sense of community by recommending users to them with similar interests, background or affiliations. 

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Stronger Information Architecture

I reorganized the content on the profile page to make it more easily navigable and digestible at a glance. Content types were broken in to a tab structure, content cards were redesigned and a right rail to promote related content was incorporated.

Results

The new profile page was largely a success. It resulted in the following wins:

  • 76% lift in profile completion from existing users

  • 60% lift in profile completion from new users

  • 65% lift in Research interests added to profile

  • 35% lift in upgrades to Premium from the profile (six-figure cash flow increase)

  • 23% lift in journal and university affiliations added to profile

  • 15% lift in new connections originating from the profile

  • 9% lift in works uploaded to the profile

  • A resounding 94% of users interviewed said they preferred the new profile page to the old.

Next Steps:

  • Add "Services Offered" feature

  • Test adding additional Premium upsells

  • Add paper claiming component

  • Add the ability to see snippets of your news feed within the profile page

  • Add the ability to post a status update from your profile page