Community
building with Mingle

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This was a 3 month-long project where I created a App for my General assembly course. This case study focuses on the assignment reporting portion of the project.

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Problem

Whether you have recently moved to your area or are long-standing residents, making friends, knowing how to help your local community, or ask advice can feel disconnected from each other.

It's very much down to the area of how supportive the local community can be online. 

Question

When people use social networks, sometimes they are unsure as to what they want their outcomes to convey. Do they want to make friends? Do they just want to be noticed or are lonely?

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The solution

I aimed to create a community platform where people could meet new people, learn about and support local businesses, projects and events but rolled out on a national level. 

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Research

3 Target groups

I chose three target groups that every

community has but I felt needs to be more

connected with each other, no matter where

you live in the world.

I interviewed people living abroad, as well as my local community.  

In my local community, I interviewed 3 residence, 2 businesses and 1 service.

 

I also sent out a survey to my local community survey which got 16 results. 

This community doesn’t have a big community Facebook page but uses Nextdoor.com

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I researched alot of social listening, looking at various platforms during and after lockdowns, where I felt it was an all-time high of people feeling lonely. 

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How might we..

encourage more people to connect with each other with real connections, be supportive of businesses and to encourage more local support? 

From my findings, I learnt that I needed to create a platform that mixed the aspects of finding friends, helping businesses advertise locally.

 

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In my research, I looked at how dating websites displayed the characteristics of a person, the visual ways of how they are displayed and what is missing in the journey. 

I felt there is more of a need for why people would like to meet, other than just dating. 

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From my research, I identified three main users to which I made profiles of each. 

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User flows

I researched a range of ages at how they used various community groups, social platforms, and talking to each other about events. 

I found older generations used Facebook and local websites as well as word of mouth but found it hard to remember when these events were unless they placed them into their own personal diary. 

And not all features were easily displayed or used across groups by users. 

 

I found that there were no standard groups across social media, for eg, it was up to each community to make their own groups which had a huge effect on someone moving to a different area and had previously relied on social media for events, to find there wasn't any in the new area. 

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Due to my task analysis, it became clear that I would need to find ways for users to remember events. 

Keeping to the three points of friendships, business and community projects, I found that a good way to link both these subjects was through events, so I added an events and groups feature. 

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Wireframes

From my findings, I mapped the main aspects I wanted to include in the platform. Then, I arranged the data into different categories and forms of navigation in which to the different catorgies. Next, I focused on ideating a way of the various ways people meet each other though their different intents.  I wanted to keep it in an informative manner, but also kept in mind that the target audience would be older. 

I started the design process on a desktop format but quickly realised I needed to change to mobile as I thought people would be on the move when looking for various shops within their area. 

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Visual language

My aim was to keep the visual identity quite simple but each catagory having its own colour code so it was easy for the user to identify as to what area they are on the app. I wanted to create a clean space that was easy to navigate and explore, that still created a surprising and deep experience for the user.

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My learnings making this

 

I understood the significance of understanding the problem statement before I started my process. Then as this was a team project we defined ideas and definitions of what we thought was the meaning of particular terms, so that all of us were on the same page. When we got going with the task, we initially thought of something else and ended up thinking what if our research does someone some good. When we were aligned with the whole idea we felt much better and without any procrastination, we started to do it.

  1.  Being a very collaborative person I definitely enjoyed the whole process. I learned it is very important to be open to new ideas and not to stick too much to your ideas.

  2. During this whole process, I all had certain biases I learned we shouldn’t keep biases as every individual has their own thoughts and intentions. During user interviews, I learned to let the user speak at some points that may be essential to your research others might not, but let the user speak builds up some essence of trust which can help in the whole interview

  3. Designing for mobile first, and not desktop as this priotises features and really makes you think about the most functional and needed features for the project.