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December 2023

Calendar-Sharing

Led a redesign of the core calendar-sharing experience on Howbout, resulting in a 2x increase in activation.

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Context

Howbout is a social calendar to share time with friends — but the calendar hasn't always been the core product. Originally it was introduced as a mere vessel for the plans being created on the platform; but throughout 2023, our shared calendar went viral on TikTok numerous times. When I looked into the data, it was clear: calendar-sharing had become our bread and butter. This led us to redefine activation as users not only sharing their calendar with a friend, but also successfully viewing a friend's calendar.

Problem

Our #1 FAQ at this time was, 'How do I set up my shared calendar?' and understandably so. An expert evaluation surfaced a handful of problems that all fall under an umbrella theme of complexity.

Before & After's

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With the calendar layout, we sought to make more efficient use of space by allowing the month to serve as the title of the page. We also explored the question, 'HMW allow users to turn their friends' calendars on and off?', settling on buttons with text—instead of profile pictures—for a few main reasons:

 

  1.  It would allow us to drive activation by illuminating whose calendars you are not actively viewing, including a generic placeholder (+ Friend)

  2. It would allow users to easily turn their friends' calendars on/off without needing to use a menu

  3. It alludes to the functionality of filtering, whereas profile picture clusters often demonstrate who's online or who's in an event/chat/etc.

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We simplified the 'What do you want to share?' experience by ramping up the progressive disclosure, particularly with (A) syncing phone calendars and (B) providing further help/education. We also moved from a 3-option sharing system (calendar, availability, nothing) to a binary system where you either share your calendar or you don't. This was inspired by, and tees us up to explore, a Close Friends list paradigm.

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With the 'What do you want to see?' experience, we sought to make it feel more like a low-risk, cosmetic filtering experience, versus a high-risk, functional settings experience. We also simplified the phone calendar experience by displaying them here as part of the user's own calendar, which is managed elsewhere.

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When a user adds a friend on Howbout, their calendar isn't shared by default. You must opt-in. This helps create a mental model of Howbout as an app for all of your friendships, not just those that lend to calendar-sharing. 

In modifying this UX, we were more conservative because we wanted to test the following optimizations: removing the third 'Nothing' option, emphasizing the limited nature of availability, and displaying the description for each option unconditionally. These changes drove a 60% increase in the number of users selecting the calendar option.

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