• Competitive analysis (features)
  • Style Tiles
  • Final Design Screens
  • Clickable Prototype

Yolobe (Your Life, Only Better) is a networking startup platform that aims at being LinkedIn for teenagers. On the one hand it encourages teens to step up their game professionally in their search for employment and internship prospects, and on the other it asks employers and organizations to engage with teens on their level via a cheerful, delightful mobile platform. 
The client had previously commissioned a UX team who passed on wireframes to our four person team to produce the finished UI within three weeks. The client emphasized their wish to strike a good balance between professionalism and playfulness. After examining the wireframes and familiarizing ourselves with the architecture and flow of the app, we were ready to begin researching.

Example screens from the wireframes we were given from the UX team. The client was satisfied with them so we were free to focus solely on visually improving the interface. 


Our team began by conducting an competitive visual analysis of in-category competitors, and then looking out-of-category for inspiration. It was clear that both were important, as the client specified their wish for an aesthetic that looked professional, appealed to teens, and that stood out from the existing competition.

In-Category Competition ranged from the conservative, blue themes of USAJobs/Indeed to the more modern YourMentor and Test School apps which were more inspirational since they aim at a similar target user base to Yolobe.

Out-of-category inspiration was… inspiring! The dark style of Spotify is very on-trend and something I incorporated in my style explorations. The playful iconography of Snapchat and strong color scheme of Tumblr contribute greatly to their visual strength. 


It was then time for each of us to produce our individual style explorations. The client encouraged us to explore freely with the only stipulation being they didn’t want a dark blue theme (as it is too closely associated with LinkedIn). My style tiles showcased a range of approaches, from the professional green theme to a more radical, youthful arctic blue design. The dark, nocturnal schemes are a nod to Spotify and several other apps that I examined during research. I felt the hand drawn icons in the leftmost tile showcased an integral, hip design language for the app, although the client ultimately decided they were too unorthodox.

The client was satisfied with the wide range of ideas that were presented to them at the end of this initial design sprint; their goal at this stage was to gather as many different approaches as possible, and be inspired.


After discussing my designs with the client, I decided to pivot slightly and combine elements from all three style tiles with a purple gradient theme. A gradient helped to make it more modern and compelling, while the dark purple color scheme was a compromise between keeping the darker feel of my style explorations while not going for a full-on black background which the client didn’t want.


I kept the card-based layout of the feed, adding features and details as per the client’s request, but the biggest change was introducing the green YO button on jobs/events. The client wanted an action/verb that was unique to and synonymous with the app. By clicking YO, the user will receive further info about that opportunity – a neat way to engage more with the app’s partners without the commitment of a formal application.

I also tweaked the colors, the general spacing, and introduced the idea of rewarding the user who applies for a job/opportunity with a GIF animation, which the Minions screenshot refers to. This GIF would be around the subject of ‘celebration’/’good job’/’good luck’ and will be drawn randomly from a pool in partnership with GIPHY.


The client was very satisfied with the UI work that my team and I produced and were very enthusiastic about moving forwards now that they had several UI directions to choose from; I personally valued the free reign I was given creatively; this project had relatively few limitations. Although Yolobe is still at a fairly early level in its evolution, I was encouraged that they plan to take my designs and use them to inform their initial release in early 2017.

The main takeaway from this project was that domain research needs to be tailored specifically to each client. A “LinkedIn for teens” is the first of its kind, so I had to look at both traditional job apps as well as apps that generally have a teen audience and then use these diverse influences to strike that elusive balance between professionalism and youthfulness that the client was aiming at.

Going forwards, I would like to iterate further on the YO icon and of course conduct A/B testing on high school leavers to see how they fare with my prototype vs the other three (my team members each produced one), and iterate accordingly.