There are so many social networks available at the moment that launching a new one should be backed with a careful strategy. Moreover, this strategy should include developing an incredibly catchy and convenient design.
But what tricks on social network website design can help you to succeed? Keep reading, we will tell you! There are numerous important details to keep in mind (for instance, the right color scheme can have a positive impact on user engagement), but we will focus on things of a larger scale.
Social Media Website Design: How to Reach Perfection
Drawing on our experience, we have prepared for you 5 recommendations on how to design a social media website. Take a closer look at them to gain some knowledge!
1. Focus on specific audience
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks as it offers something for everyone, and therefore, its target audience is very wide. However, we don’t recommend following the same path. First of all, for a new social network, it will be extremely difficult to compete with Facebook or any other global social network. Secondly, universal social media websites already exist in spades, and there is virtually no sense in developing a new one.
So, we highly recommend you to focus on a specific target audience and design your website according to their preferences and needs. This trick will help you to create a really special website, with a design that will stand out from the crowd. A bit later, we will provide you with a nice example, but now it is time to check the second tip!
2. Connect your social network to other social media websites
Sure we know that you want to create your own social networking website, and your goal is to leave your competitors behind. However, allowing your users to sign in via their account on other social media sites is still a good idea! For instance, the audience of Facebook is enormous, and we guess most of your potential users are registered there.
If you allow people to sign in using their Facebook accounts, you will save them from the need to enter all their personal details again. So, choose several popular social networks (Facebook should definitely be among them) and add the corresponding sign-in options. Obviously, it is still essential to create your own sign-in form for those people who want to undergo the standard registration procedure.
3. Let users choose their news feed
A lot of social networks offer only one type of news feed — users see the latest updates, and the more they scroll down, the older pieces of news appear. That’s pretty logical, but we recommend you give your users freedom of choice — let them choose what news to see. For instance, you can equip the news feed with several filters. Let’s say, if a user applies one of them, they will see only that content which reflects their interests. Another interesting idea is to filter content by the location of the author.
4. Add elements of gamification
Gamification is the application of different elements of game playing, such as competition, scoring, and so on. And since it is one of the latest trends (and its popularity is not likely to decrease!), it would be wise to use it for your social media website. Here are several ways you can apply gamification:
- Give users scores for posting comments on posts. When they collect a certain amount of points, reward them with free access to a paid feature. Badges are also often used as rewards, so keep them in mind.
- If your website has any paid features, reward users with some points every time they spend money, for example, on a new set of stickers, unique page layout or other things. Again, when they have a certain score, reward them with something.
- You can also offer users a challenge or a contest — for instance, something like “The best Halloween photo”. The author of a picture which collected the highest number of points gets a reward.
People like to compete — that’s in their nature. So why not use this fact? You can start with the simplest gamification elements and then, if they work, move to more complicated and interesting ones.
5. Use separate blocks for the website layout
Let us use Facebook as an example one more time. The thing is that its news feed looks too standard! You just scroll down while looking at the text, pictures, and videos. That’s not bad, only a bit boring. This kind of news feed is just too common, and you need something special. That’s why we recommend representing the content in separate blocks.
They can have different size — in this way, the overall design of the website will look even more creative. Apart from this, it would be good to have only pictures and a bit of text in the blocks, while the entire content will become available only after a user clicks one of the blocks. Again, a nice example will be provided a bit later — right in the next section of our article!
The Best Examples of Social Media Web Design
To give you some inspiration, we have explored the Internet and found 5 best social media web design examples. Here they are.
Our first recommendation was about finding and occupying a specific niche, and Pack Dog dealt with this task perfectly. This social network connects dog owners: they can communicate and track each other’s dogs. Obviously, the design reflects the mission of this site — dogs can be found on the logo and most pages. The registration process is very simple, but users are also allowed to sign in using a Facebook account. Besides, it is possible to edit the design of the profile in order to make it more special and catchy. You can also use this trick; social network users love features like this.
Creators of Meetup also found their specific niche — this website is for people who want not only to communicate but also to do something together. Here users can find a company for learning languages and coding, training, watching movies, cooking, drawing, and other cool things. The available categories are presented as blocks which look like pictures with short captions. That’s creative and convenient, as users don’t waste their time reading long headlines. Apart from a standard registration process, it is possible to sign in with Facebook and Google.
Reddit is one of the most popular portals where users can discuss anything they want! And apart from cool content, this website offers a really convenient social networking web design. First of all, it is possible to filter the news feed. There are several options available: controversial posts, original content, new content, etc. Users can also filter the posts by location and choose between 3 options of view. Moreover, Reddit applied basic gamification elements. Here users can gain a so-called karma — it works like a rating. Points of karma are earned when users’ posts or comments are upvoted. In case they are downvoted, users lose some points.
In terms of design, Pinterest is definitely among the most amazing websites. All the content is represented with small (but still visible without any problems) pictures with short captions. The buttons appear only when a user hovers over a picture. In this way, nothing distracts users from exploring the content. Another good thing is that these pictures have different sizes — it makes the overall design creative and modern. Apart from this, Pinterest shows content based on the users’ preferences and previous search requests. And regarding the registration process, here it is also possible to sign in using a Facebook or Google account.
And here is our last example on how to design a social media website — Nextdoor. Its creators have also managed to find a specific audience — here users can find their neighbors and stay in touch with them. This site allows users not only to stay in touch, but informed about what’s going on around. It can be very useful when users are planning a local event, looking for certain services (for instance, for a person who can walk their dog), etc. It is not allowed to use Facebook or any other social networks to sign in, but the registration procedure is simple and quick. In general, Nextdoor looks stylish and professional, and its navigation is very convenient.
What to Do Now?
You have some tips and great examples of social networking website designs for inspiration, so now you can create a really cool social website which will attract a lot of users and keep them engaged! However, if you need professional website design help, we are always ready to assist you in bringing your idea into reality. Just get in touch with us, share your thoughts, and then watch them being turned into an amazing social network.