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Alexander Kyle Wright Senior UX & Product Designer

Small Group Chat Feature

A primary focus for RightNow Media is discipleship. Exploring ways to increase discipleship throughout the platform, an existing need from pastors emerged in the area of group communication and community. A group chat feature was designed from the ground up to integrate within our mobile and web app to solve these needs.

User Problem

RightNow Media's content is designed for leaders of small groups in churches or businesses to build discipleship and study the Bible. For decades, pastors and church leaders have told RightNow Media that small groups are key to discipleship and community. Recently, they noted a gap in their discipleship strategies, leading to weaker communities.

Business Problem

A huge win for the business would be getting more people into the app. According to our user reserach and data, single individuals within a household primarily download the app and use that account as opposed to having their own user accounts. Or, maybe the small group leader or facilitator has the user account and the rest of the group chooses not to.

The Proposal

We hypothesized that allowing RightNow Media users to communicate around our content would strengthen relationships and enhance discipleship strategies. With RightNow Media Groups, small group members could benefit from downloading the app to communicate, increasing the likelihood they will explore content on their own, support life events, and grow their faith, as well as enhance their small group experience.

Let's Validate This

I sketched a few ideas, and the VP of product summarized the problem and proposed solution in an article that was shared via email, focus groups, and ultimately presented in breakout sessions at our annual conference, to gauge reactions. The feedback consistently validated the problem, our proposed solution, and generated excitement and interest.

Small group leaders and pastors worried that users, especially older ones, would struggle to download and use a new app. These valid concerns led to many internal discussions, ultimately validating our initial hypothesis.

Build & Beta

Over the next 9 months, I designed the feature within the existing mobile and desktop apps. We recruited about 500 beta testers from North America, including RightNow Media users. Their feedback on the chat experience and administrative settings led to adjustments in both the user interface and the web administration portal to reduce confusion.

Launch

In April of 2024, we enabled the feature for all of our 24,000 accounts within our local United States experience. The goal is to now gather more feedback from users, continue to iterate and improve the product, and then begin to expand the release to our international users around the globe.

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