Place is a web and mobile platform that allows like-minded people to connect around shared interests. I have been primarily focused on bringing these online passion-driven social networks to mobile devices, both on iOS and Android systems. Place is a layered platform that is easy to explore interests and engage in conversations with others about a passion you have. The tools are both consumer and organizer driven—members can post, follow, discover new Places; while organizers can change settings, make announcements, and accept members into their community on the go.
Place is multi-layered. On the platform level, there are a number of communities and global highlights feed that help people engage with their existing communities and also help them discover new ones. There are more than 1000 communities total ranging from music to sports. Joining a community would allow you to post to that community, where others who love the same thing could discuss their passions with you. Communities also have organizer defined topics and events for members to attend.
Some communities on Place can be private, depending on whether organizers want to keep their communities small or make them discoverable to the public. These private, or invite only communities requires people to send a message to the organizers for approval. Users can also request invites to these closed communities, such community would appear on the pending list of the user’s dashboard until approved.
Within the community, there are a number of primary spaces; most are divided into four: feed, members, topics, and events. These not only help people identity how active and popular the community is, but also serves as the primary navigation method when one is inside the community. The menu header is sticker and will reveal itself on pull down, that way it is easy to switch between these spaces and explore explore the community.
Within a community, you can follow other members to keep up to date with what they are posting, as well as message them privately. Each community has leaders and moderators that help the community grow and help facilitate conversation and keeping it safe. If there are members that offensive or posting inappropriate content, flagging, reporting and suspending tools are available features for moderation.
Two of the most common actions that occur within the Place ecosystem is join and post. Therefore, we spend a while to optimize the experience. As we allow members to completely change their persona and conceal their identity if they wish in different communities, we made a profile picker that allows members to easily switch between different profiles on a single account and join groups with those profiles or edit them to show off their individuality.
In terms of posts, the system encourages media driven posts, where the collages in the feed are optimized depending on the proportions of each image, scaled and cropped to the upper 25th percentile, in order to give all posts a balance while showing off the best parts of the image in a vertical feed format. Our post composer consist of a variety of additions, including member tagging, topic tagging, media uploader, and a customizable emoji set. In addition, there are options to mark the post NSFW, in order to give people warnings when they are browsing.
Messages and notifications are ways in which a user is alerted. With notifications on a platform level, members are able to re-engage with the items they have interacted with quickly without going into the communities themselves to search for them. @mentions and leaders’ new posts will also alert members to check them right away. We also allow single and multiple people to talk to each other privately with a messaging system.
Lastly, new communities can be easily created on from the phone. Creation is easy and simple with just one step. After creating a community, you can easily edit the settings or invite people to join your group from your contacts. Today, Place has over 1000 communities, ranging from large to small across 13 different categories and over a million engaged members.
In addition to building the experiences in iOS, I also had the pleasure to work on the Android equivalent. Although ambitious, we were able to 100% sync the iOS and Android releases of all features, localized into 6 different languages. Please check out some of the Android screenshots below, they are all redesigned with the material mindset Google released in 2014.
Product: Zoe Bridges, Sophie Su (me)
Design: Sophie Su (me), Jess Chen
Engineering: Mike Tai, Nicolas Ortiz, Chengyin Liu, Josip Sokcevic, Dennis Petek, et.al
Support: Charlotte Otero
© Sophie Ying Su, 2017