Designing a professional networking app from scratch

Koffee is a mix of Tinder and LinkedIn. It began when my team all had the same dilemma: We wanted to meet more professionals without being creepy.

We met at Startup Weekend, a two-day hackathon, and quickly got to work.



I sketched out some wireframes and turned them into a working prototype using an app called POP (Prototyping on Paper).

Team Team

We emailed the prototype to 40 people and surveyed them. We asked them if:
A) they honestly would use this app in real life, and
B) if they had suggestions.

Over half said that they would use the app, which—remember, this was a hackathon—was the validation we needed to start building.

Building MVP

I rebuilt the wireframe prototype in Illustrator to quickly iterate as we tested.


Once the interaction design was smooth, I sketched out the branding and color palette to set the tone.

Team Team

Then, I created the high-res mocks.


I exported all of the assets and paired with the iOS developer to implement everything.

Team Team Team Team

We didn't win the hackathon, but we decided to continue to build out Koffee anyways.

I created a casual little tutorial to help onboard new users.

Team Team Team Team Team

What we learned

Once we launched it on the App Store, we realized that there were a lot of competing Tinder-meets-LinkedIn apps that were farther along, and that it would be a good idea to pivot. So, we began building Ping.