mobile app feature

explore your future

snap circle

How might we empower the next generation of BIPOC learners feel like they belong in professional settings?

July - August 2021 (2 weeks)
Graphic Designer
‍UX signer
Pitch Deck
Mobile Prototype


the problem

People of color are disproportionately under-represented in educational and professional settings.

our solution

We developed a feature for Snapchat users to connect with real insights from under-represented professionals, expand their community circles, and to learn about the potential for their future selves.

View Prototype ➞

Initial Brainstom

During Snap Academies, my team was paired up because we all shared a personal connection to education. We put our heads together to explore different issues, ideate potential features, and shared stories about how we grew up. We realized all of our team members shared similar backgrounds and barriers to higher education because we came from low-income BIPOC families.

We had some initial ideas about how to solve for the issues we discovered in our brainstorm, but we didn't want to make a decision without first meeting with our partner organization, Codetalk.


Digital Web Technology Vocational Program
St. Joseph Center

Codetalk is a digital web technology job training program for low income, underemployed and underserved women. In an intensive 16-week program they provide the tools, training, and support necessary for their graduates to pursue entry level positions in the technology sector. Codetalk's mission is to change the trajectory of their graduates. They want women to enter the technology industry with a deep understanding that they are not defined by or limited to their circumstances.

Dispelling Myths

In our first meeting with CodeTalk we heard a lot of truths that resonated with us deeply. We were reminded that sometimes the biggest barriers to education and finding work are out of our control. Life circumstances can become barriers and can range from having sick family members you have to take care of, paying off financial debt, not having transportation, food and housing insecurity, and much more.

Our team understood that approaching this topic would require sensitivity and understanding that we can't solve for all of these problems. Many of the circumstantial issues that were brought up were systemic. So instead, we honed in on the one thing we felt we could make an impact on; creating opportunities for users to feel a greater sense of belonging.



Finding the motivation to work hard is not the issue. People want to work hard.


School and work are circumstantial.
Many situations can be out people's scope of control and can block them from reaching their full potential.


People need to feel like they belong.
One of the biggest barriers to success is actualizing a seat at the table.

once upon a time...

Once upon a time...there was a lack of representation for POC in technology.
Everyday...we saw a growing need for inclusivity in the products and services being used in the world.
Because of that...people from under-represented communities experienced barriers to opportunities.
Because of that...we questioned how we could break down barriers and foster a greater sense of belonging and community.
Until finally...we built Snap Circle, a mobile Snapchat feature which focuses on creating authentic connections between users and BIPOC working professionals in the tech field.
Ever since then...we’ve been expanding and elevating more voices in other industries.


After narrowing our topic, our group revisited our initial brainstorm and prioritized which features would create the most viable product. We were ambitious and initially wanted to add 5 features pitch our idea. However, after the design team split to do the user journeys and a potential site-map evaluation, we realized we needed to narrow down our ideas.

The Messy Part of Ideating

Once the brainstorming and research reached a consensus, the design team (consisting of two members only; Miguel and Viktoriya) took the reigns on creating hard and fast prototypes. We were strapped for time, with less than 4 days to come up with as many iterations as possible. Here is a peek at our process and long lists of notes.

the fun part - designing the prototype

After a few long nights, Miguel and I finalized the prototype to hand-off to the engineers. Here are some of the features we prioritized from our ambitious plans. Click through our working Figma prototype down below to see it in action.

View Prototype ➞

Snap Circle Brand Style Guide

We created a style guide to keep the design language uniform in all deliverables including our wireframes, pitch deck, and mockups.

one last photo of our group working over zoom...go team education! it was a blast to work together:)
post project thoughts


What Worked

Group brainstorms + Splitting the work
The education team consisted of two designers, two engineers, and one story-teller. We came from diverse backgrounds which helped elevate the conversation
because everyone brought something different to the table.

Splitting the work between hand-offs made it easy to know what everybody had to do. We created a big check-list in the beginning then split it by categories of each role.
Our group was very ambitious with our ideas and we wanted to include several features that we felt would push our concept further. After speaking with some of our mentors, we realized it wasn't within our scope to build all of our ideas so we had to prioritize the ones that mattered.

We also had a moment of weakness where we stepped back and wondered if we should restart our whole concept. A mentor gave us feedback suggestions that made us question our choices. In the end, we decided to fight for our idea and to find the gold nuggets for the future.

What Didn't Work

no user product testing
The scope of this project was very limited with only two weeks to create all of the deliverables. Our group wanted to test our concepts and to interview our target demographic to gain valuable feedback, however we had to move forward without testing. We wished we could validate our ideas and use gained insights to make pivots that would be user data supported.
inaccurate time estimates
Our group created a guerilla style plan to tackle project management. We set benchmarks for ourselves but quickly came to realize that they were inaccurate. What we anticipated would take a short amount of time usually doubled or tripled in count. We had to scale down and push back to meet our deadline.

Even though we struggled to predict how long our tasks would take us, we improvised and learned about the product builing process.

What I would do differently...

check in with snap designers more often
Even though we didn't get to test our user information, it was really helpful to do quick calls with Snap designers. A few of our mentors had extensive knowledge about product building experience and a big part of their day-to-day was pitching ideas. Even the "bad" ideas are valuable because theres something that can be learned from them. If I could do this project again, I would ask to meet with more Snap design employees even if they weren't any of our team's mentors, and to utilize their feedback as quickly as possible. We almost pivoted our project completely due to feedback we received which made us which we had it earlier.
do group wireframe exercises
It would have been beneficial to include the engineering and marketing team members in the wireframe process. Some of our teammates felt less confident in their digital design skills so Miguel and I took the lead on designing the wireframes, however looking back on the process, I wish we encouraged them to try sketching with us. Wireframes are meant to be messy and quick to get functionality across. If we had given our group a little more positive encouragement to work with us on the ideations then I wonder how different our final prototype would have looked and felt.

You have to dig through a lot of ideas to get to the best ones! If its a pile of 100 ideas - 80 of them are probably bad, 10 are good but not great, and the last 10 will probably be the best. You have to ideate through many ideas to get to that point and to test it.
View Prototype ➞
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How might we empower the next generation of BIPOC learners feel like they belong in professional settings?
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