SocialApp.png

Social Media App

Social Media App

Social Media App

An app redesign for better community building.

The Problem

The Problem

Pictured: The original app design

I was asked by a social media company to redesign their app. A bit. Not too much.

Their users were mainly university students who had moved from other cities, eager to connect and learn about the new place they had arrived to study in.

Surveying the users, most were using it to be entertained as their main use, but this wasn’t viable in the long term as there are plenty of other apps that do the same thing. How was this app different, and how could I bring out these best qualities, without changing up the app dramatically?

In a nutshell, they wanted this app to build community.

I discovered some pain points:
Users didn’t see or understand some of the more “local” functions, as in Picture of The Day, or distance indicators.
Users were reading and creating messages, but not responding to others’.
Users didn’t feel connected to their Hometown community.

Town Signage

Town Signage

Left: the new design
Right: the old design

Photo of The Day was a competition held by users. It was previously hidden in a “gift” icon at the top of the screen, which was missed by most users that I tested with. I moved Photo Of The Day into a visible position, encouraging users to compete and applaud each other’s work.

I promoted community by listing “population” of Hometown and Karma earned by each local Hometown and Channel. The app did this already, but put here evokes town signage, reinforcing this is a local community that the user belongs to.

I also added an easier swipe to secondary channels of the user’s choosing, which was much faster and easier than heading to the Channels section and then clicking the required Channel, and allows quick interaction between public spaces.

The “Loudest” tab was confusing test users so I changed it for clarity.

Faraway, So Close

Faraway, So Close

Left: the new design
Right: the old design

I made the conversation icon much more visible. People are more likely to engage in conversation if the option is clearly presented to them.

The app also had “near/far/close” text, indicating how far away messages had been sent from the user. However, to find out how far that actually meant, one had to go deep into the app’s website. Users were confused and one tester actually called the “close” indicator “kinda creepy”. So I changed them to clearer km group radiuses. Being clearer about distance also reinforces that this message group is actually a community that lives together in a city, and therefore can rely on each other for city advice.

The up/downvote counter was moved over to the left, to emphasise the poll nature of the messages and encourage more use. The eye now runs down the list of votes much easier than before. Any user will open their page and see the community votes as one of the first things they see, reinforcing the vibrancy of the community and encouraging more voting.

Better Bottom Buttons

Better Bottom Buttons

Left: the new design
Right: the old design

The button was getting in the way of messages, so it was moved for better legibility.

Changing the colour and placing it prominently next to the personal Karma counter makes it easy to find and builds the connection between messaging and Karma. I had moved the personal Karma counter here from the top of the screen, where it was more clear and would stay on the screen, encouraging the user.