Marlo, an unearth social app - imagine being a magnet, attracting fascinating activities and vibrant friends wherever you go. It's a decentralized and hyperlocal platform that inspires and supports users to explore the news and events happening around them.

Project Type


I was hired as a UX designer, designed an MVP product from scratch and got 97% user satisfaction rate in the beta testing.

Mobile app
Social platform



6 months

Designer                 X2
Product Manager   X1
Engineer                 X4
Marketing               X1


As the sole product designer to develop an MVP social platforms from scratch

I comprehensively took charge of and successfully designed and implemented an MVP, handling user research and UX/UI design. I iterated through alpha and beta testings, reducing the bounce rate by 16%. Consequently, the product's user satisfaction increased to over 97%, leading to its successful launch on the app store.


Newcomers struggle to build social networks without the support of established local connections

Based on a previous analysis and personal experience, newcomers are usually restricted by their exsiting connections while they settle down in a new city. Imagine if you have to relocate to the Bay Area—think about how challenging it can be to meet new local friends without relying on established local connections.

Lack of Immediate and Convenient Social Channels

· Existing platforms focus on planned activities, lacking in immediate social events.

Combining Post-Pandemic Social Needs

· Need to facilitate a safe return to offline socializing post-pandemic.

So How might we...

Explore Nearby Events to Address Young People's Instant Social Needs?


Targeting individuals under 35 who are new to the city

We organized an online focus group comprising 10 individuals from GenZers to gain insights into the needs of them through stress-free conversation.

Let's meet Eva, our target user: a 31-year-old professional new to a city, seeking flexible social opportunities that fit her busy, hybrid work lifestyle and help integrate her into her new community.

Competitor Analysis

Identify market gaps by analysing competitors

Nextdoor and Meetup are our direct competitors and there are 6 popular social media as our indirect competitors. Both of them seek to address the challenges of social isolation, limited local connections, and community engagement.

Rapid Testing

Quickly assessed the usability of Marlo V.1

I conducted usability tests with 15+ diverse users (influencers, college students, etc.) and derived 5 valuable insights from their feedback.Every test interview lasted approximately 45 minutes, during which we received valuable feedback and made necessary iterations based on it.

Tested the target users with mid-fi prototype and get 3 key iterations.

Iteration 1

Empower users for targeted offline social exploration

Allows users to choose their preferred participants and search the users in specific range, which is more adaptable to temporary social needs.


Setting posts to be visible only to users within a specific time and geographic range.

Iteration 2

Online chats build trust, leading to real-life friendships

According to the user research, Marlo aim to facilitate quick offline socialization and foster trust in the short-term.


Create a feature enables users to chat privately before meeting, facilitating topic-specific social interactions offline.


Enable temporary chat rooms to alleviate the challenges of offline social interactions.

Iteration 3

Complex information hierarchy

I specialize in making features and complex post information persuadable and easy for users to understand.


Add filters and varied card styles for users to quickly find target activities.


Show event details in sections, highlighting unique features.


Private online chats build trust, leading to real-life friendships.

We conducted 3 rounds of beta testings & A/B testings with a bunch of potential users who are influencers and designers, and we successfully completed the iterations within 2 months. 5 key iterations and insights we got from the testings.


Center the button and show the number of spread participants.


Display estimated number of users viewing the post while it spreads.


Maximize interaction space to highlight the innovative feature, improve accessibility, and minimize inadvertent clicks.


Streamline post creation process in single page to maintain user interest


Reorganize information hierarchy and eliminate disruptive elements

Launched Design


I finalized the iterated MVP product based on the testing insights and design system.

Event Chat Room

Based on A/B testing feedbacks, I made 1 improvement: Expanding the interactive area of innovative features to reduce accidental touches and increase user activity rate to 85%.

Create posts

Based on usability testing feedback, I made 2 improvements: 1. Minimize the time cost by streamlining the use flow into single page 2. Get positive reinforcement by providing instant feedback after posting and encourage sharing on other platforms. I got 100% action completion rate of the new version in the testing.

Attend Events

Based on usability testing feedback, I made 1 improvements: Reduce the cognitive load on processing complex information by integrating functions in the bottom bar. I got 100% user activity rate of the new version in the testing.

Spread the Post

Based on A/B testing feedback, I made 1 improvement: Motivate users to try unfamiliar feature by centering the button and showing the number of spread times. I got 35% CTR of the new version in the testing.

Design System

Communicating with developers to build a more efficient design system

Based on developers' feedbacks, I updated Marlo design system for increased efficiency by adding annotations for important components.

General Components

Annotate components to collaborate more more efficiently with developers


Onboard B2B merchants into the platform

I collaborated with PM and Marketing teams to formulate business strategy, according to the core concept of Marlo - a communication platform that promotes offline social networking based on location