Procurious is a business social network that entered the market as a unique global online network for procurement professionals almost 7 years ago. Procurious business network was launched as the first of its kind knowledge hub for the procurement industry and consequently, it was growing fast. With their growth, came the need for a rebuild and a new approach. Our team at Eton Digital was honored to be part of the solution.
From the continued and successful collaboration we had with the Procurious team over the years, the opportunity for building better, faster, and more attractive Procurious 2.0, therefore, came naturally.
Our goal for the social network rebuild was simple and clear:
- ensure that a familiar experience and functionalities return as even better
- more conversion-focused
- more community-oriented to meet the needs of the constantly growing number of users.
Main focus and development plan
Our focus was on refreshing the platform’s appearance and functionalities by developing new features that will improve the overall user experience and increase the number of users – allowing for even further growth.
To support new functionalities and business goals we empowered the platform’s structure with a more modern API – centric architecture that ensured improved performance and scalability.
With these shiny new features, users can easily start networking and build their professional profiles and career opportunities, plus they can enjoy a LinkedIn-style website experience and be involved in the industry more directly.
Design improvements to increase user engagement
We worked on rebuilding the platform yet keeping its user-centric website features the core of the project. The idea behind this was to redesign the platform by making UI/UX to be more modern and intuitive. We aimed to tailor the experience for users to meet their needs more effectively so they can easily and swiftly find the information they seek and engage in the community.
Having the Procurious target audience in mind, we chose light UI that helps them intuitively use the platform content. Users now can enjoy the white UI with black text.
Besides visual improvements that include a new layout and refreshed color scheme, our exceptional design team aimed for a mobile-first approach with a clean, minimalistic style. To achieve specific style, we used explicit and understandable icons and graphics along with a few colors and slight monochromatic variations.
Compared to the first version, Procurious 2.0 now reflects a modern social network with more memorable CTA buttons and more room for content to catch the visitors’ eye.
Enhanced search capabilities
To ensure an efficient user experience and seamless user journey we enhanced the Search capabilities of the platform. Members can search the entire platform by using filters and keywords and have the return results from all content types and categories.
They can filter search results by content type (People, Blogs, Discussions, News, etc.) with help from the predictive text based on previous searches and available materials. To be able to implement a wide range of such functionalities, we used Elasticsearch.
In addition, Members can use filters to sort content according to name, date, trending and relevance for the perfect search experience.
Improved and new features that will increase the number of users
With mobile-first design as the end goal, we tend to rebuild and redesign the platform to be easy to digest and use on one hand, and to provide successful conversion and retention on the other.
- New sign up forms
In order to attract more users to the new and improved platform, we redesigned and simplified the signup process which is now interactive and more interesting.
We ensured that users can promptly finish their forms with autocomplete or log in with their social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin).
- Attractive knowledge base
We are proud to say that the Procurious social network is now richer for a new and comprehensive knowledge base. We created Resources, a content-rich section that offers educational webinars, videos, white papers, and research reports for any procurement professional eager to expand their knowledge range.
Considering the type of the Resource, Members can choose to watch, read or to use the access to links and PDF documents for reports and whitepapers.
Members can browse Resources based on keywords or according to type and topic and involve themselves in free education content from the procurement professionals. What is interesting is that Members can browse content by using content containers that work as folders for different topics or categories.
Unique user experience for each Member
Our collective goal was to increase the overall user engagement by creating relevant, efficient and unique experiences for each Member.
- New possibilities for Member engagement
Each member now can exchange messages with single or multiple members. Members can also mention other members in posts, discussions and groups, use emoticons or block other members.
This makes creating and growing a professional network easier, faster and more effective. Members are able to see the connection recommendations based on their location, job title, and industry.
What’s more, to highlight proper and enjoyable time spent on Procurious we added notifications in real time as well as those via email to notify Members about latest updates, new connections, messages etc. This ensures that our all-important users are the first to know about any activity occurring on the platform.
- Members will also enjoy more interesting options in the groups they join
As we wanted to increase interaction and add even more value to the platform, we added more options for users to enjoy within member groups. Members are able to publish different content such as images and videos, to embed links and interact with other members of the group by adding likes and comments below their posts. They can also create groups and invite others to join.
The novelty is that members can also manage content in the Resources section by adding different content, research papers, reports and documents which are categorized in content containers.
They can also search for the members in the group and add them as a connection. If they need a specific group, they can also browse and filter groups by Events, Associations, Categories/Industries, Regional/Local and Special interests.
New opportunities for more effective event promotion
As the Procurious social network is built to be an all-in-one networking solution for anyone involved in the procurement industry, the platform provides event creators with an array of possibilities that allows them to successfully organize and promote and attend the event.
- Event creation
The latest feature we developed in Procurious 2.0 is the option to add different types of events. Event creators can create webinars as well as venue happenings or Zoom meetings. For each, they can set various preferences, from ticket price to who can join the event. The new version of Procurious can now differentiate an attendee from a digital delegate.
- Event management
Within the unique Event management panel, event creators can enhance their event promotions by adding brochures, video links, agendas, live streaming links, live chat and details about the speakers and sponsors. In addition, an event creator can follow the list of event insights that includes details about the number of attendees that are registered along with their needs during the event.
The new and more flexible Procurious allowed us to integrate another improvement in the Events section. Event creators now can set a ticket price and users can purchase them directly from the platform. As we used Stripe to ensure an effortless payment process, we managed to implement different types of tickets (time limited options with different prices and currencies).
Likewise, event creators are able to request a payout if an event is hosted on Procurious. Event creators can also see details about total sales for tickets including the Procurious fee, allowing them to accurately track the process.
Considering the number of events on the platform, event creators can now set events for promotion on the platform and be able to stand out. Event creators can look for sponsors which can be advertised during the event on an event page.
- Notifications and events listings
When members sign up for an event, they can be notified about event details and a start time. Once they sign in, they will be notified that their event is going live in 24 hours and in 15 minutes.
Another improvement made by the Eton Digital team was a more detailed search query. This type of query allows users to search for an event based on the location, type and time of the event. Members can search for webinars, conferences, networking, meetings and training.
In comparison to the previous version of Procurious, version 2.0 allows guests to register for any event by adding personal information and creating lists of events they want to attend.
Members can now receive an email confirmation they can use as event entry, download agendas and use their personal calendars to add events and be notified on time. In addition, by joining the event guests automatically become Members which allows them to further explore exciting Blog posts and resources.
Improved ads placements
Besides getting performance to a higher level, our team focused on improving the marketing and advertising opportunities of the platform. We managed that by creating more compelling banners and ad placements.
The goal was not to shout “advertisement” so loudly as to be blocked by the subconscious “ad filters” of content site visitors. Therefore, we designed them to fit seamlessly in a feed or list and to provide a similar user experience matching user expectations with organic content patterns.
Overall platform architecture improvements, scalability, and performance
Procurious 2.0 social network is built from scratch with a completely new (and API-centric) architecture design and integrations. From a technical point of view, we delivered a faster and more secure platform with new, more appealing functionalities and design.
To be able to achieve the high standards that this platform deserves in website performance, we used Symfony. The Symfony allowed us to apply clean code, increase functionality as well as to quickly update the security. Moreover, we used the latest version of Angular that helped us to ensure a smooth and effortless development process with exceptional results.
Procurious is now more equipped to handle an even larger number of users without any interruptions which allows users to enjoy a fast and efficient platform. We would call that a resounding success!
The end product?
Procurious 2.0 satisfies the standards of a modern social network, allowing its users to enjoy a fast, intuitive, and useful platform that will improve their professional engagement. Each feature carefully considers the needs of every modern procurement professional today, ensuring quality content and possibilities for making numerous important connections.
We are honored to have been able to work on the Procurious project. Each new and exciting feature that we introduced ensured that the project generated a great deal of enthusiasm and collective pride post-launch. Thank you, Procurious for choosing us!