Spokane tech jobs mockup images
Case Study

Connecting my local
startup community

Location

Spokane, WA

Product

Desktop/Mobile Web App

STAGE

Personal Side Project

ROLE

Maker

Market

Job Boards

Timeframe

Jun 2020 - Sep 2020

Overview

Since 2012, I have been involved in my cities startup scene and had a mental database of our people and companies

I wanted to share this knowledge with others and it grew into what became Spokanetechjobs.com

Key methods used

  • Competitor Analysis
  • User Interviews

Problem

How might we connect our local tech community founders, employees, and companies?

Sites like Linkedin, CrunchBase, and Indeed don’t give people context of the community a company or jobs sits in. Because of this, there isn't a way to easily find local tech companies/startups, jobs, talent, and how they are located to one another.

Users &
Audience

Employees and founders of tech companies located in Spokane, WA

Based on my first hand experience of the community I created proto-personas to represent the types of users I envisioned on the platform.

Proto-Personas

  • Startup founder who wants to stay in the know about the community
  • Investor who is hunting around for local companies to invest in
  • Software developer who is looking for a new job

Process and
what I did

Identify and fix issues with the products main workflows

Since this was a personal project, I had to build the app myself. I researched various methods but ultimately decided on bubble.io, a no-code platform to build the app.

Validating the need

To ensure this was a real need, I started talking with different types of people in our community. The pain point that kept coming up the most was jobs, either someone looking for one or a company trying to hire. This insight led to the emphasis on jobs for the site in addition to shared information.

Building the app with no-code

While I’m a confident front-end dev, I used this project as an opportunity to learn bubble.io. (the best no-code platform for building apps). Over the course of 3-months, I was able to go from Figma mocks to a launched product all on my own.

Experimenting with the UI

Since this was a side-project I wanted to experiment with the user-experience a bit more than usual. Most job board/directory sites don’t display a map of where things are located because this info is less relevant for these sites.

However, for Spokane Tech Jobs I made the whole experience focused around the map. This way as users we’re exploring the site they could always see where something was located and what companies were nearby.

Chicken and the egg solution

To get the platform jump-started, I hand-curated the initial company, job, and talent data. I also designed the site in a way that information could be crowdsourced. Anyone could post a job or company but has to first create their own profile. This way more and more information gets added automatically.

Outcomes and Lessons

Spokane Tech Jobs was extremely well received by my local community

I started to see a number of people in the community sign up and help contribute data and post jobs. Also, the app was featured on the bubble.io blog as “App of The Day”.

Additionally, the process of building an application end-to-end even with a no-code tool gave me more insight into the nuances of the product development process.

Checkout the AppCheckout the App