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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.




2 Months

Lead Product Designer
(Team of 2)

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


Figma, Fullstory, Periscope


The 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.



  • 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


  • 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 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 as well as other tech companies with strong profile pages.

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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.


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

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