Sevdenur Özkan

E-Komsu

This project which I designed in college is a private social network for neighborhoods.

1.Problem

Neighborhoods used to be places where people socialized and discussed their daily happenings. But now this tradition seems to have disappeared in our life. People who live in the same building, street or neighborhood don’t even know each other and that causes a lot of problems.

2.Solution

The solution is a web application which is a social networking platform for neighborhoods. With this application, users can interact with their neighbors, discuss community news, buy or sell items, organize events and recommend places, services, etc. But people can’t connect to any user around the neighborhood. This application narrows their network to people who live in their street.

3.Research

In the first phase of the project, I interviewed potential users from different environments. The main goal was to understand the problems of the user to identify user needs. In interviews, I set out to answer three questions:

  • What problems have they faced so far in their neighborhood?
  • Do they spend time at places like cafe or grocery store in their neighborhood?
  • Do they socialize with their neighbors?

3.1.Observations

Most of the people said that they faced problems in losing pets, burglary.

Neighbors don’t know each other very well and that causes a lot of problems. For instance, every time one of them wanted to make neighborhood improvements, it wasn’t easy to implement.

Also, almost all the people I interviewed try to find places in their neighborhood to go shopping, have fun, etc.

4.Model

So far in the design process, I focused on describing what are the user needs. This phase, it was time to start thinking about how I was going to design solutions to fulfill these needs. After ideation sessions, I decided on a solution to satisfy user needs.

4.1.Features

  • People who are on the same street connect through messages or posts.
  • Sharing updates for each category. And there’re six categories for posts:
    • Lost/Found
    • Recommendations
    • For Sale
    • Safety
    • Events
    • Public Servants
  • Creating, exploring events.
  • Buying or selling products.
  • Exploring places like a cafe, grocery store, hospital, etc.

4.2.User Flow

4.3.Low Prototype

4.4.Screens

1)Sign up and login process

Users can sign up with their e-mail addresses also they must choose the street they live in. Because only people who are on the same street connect.

2)Recommendations

The main goal of this category is that users can explore new places or talk with other users about places. Cafe, shop, hospital and pharmacy are the subcategories for this section.

3)Events

Users can create events and see other created events. Also, they can comment on a post and see details like date, time, location about event.

4)Lost/Found

Users can post items and pets they’ve found or lost. And browse other items, pets that their neighbors posted.

5)Safety

Users can check security alerts and share information to keep their street safe.

6)Public Servants

With this section, public servants can connect with citizens more closely and directly. There’re 3 subcategories for this category.

  • Police and Zabıta(Municipal Police)
  • They bring important news and safety information to the communities they serve. Also, users communicate with them to share crime or other things.

  • The person who is responsible for stray animals
  • There’s a role for this subcategory. The user in this role connects with residents to keep informed about stray animals.

7)For Sale

In this section, users can buy or sell items but can’t take payments online. They can just contact the seller through messages for details like price, etc. Also to make products/items easier to find, there are 9 sub-categories under for sale category.

  • Clothes/Accessories
  • Electronics
  • Pet Supplies
  • Toy/Games
  • Baby/Child
  • Furniture
  • Home Decoration
  • Hand Tools
  • Others

8)Neighbors

In this category, users can see and search every neighbor who lives on the same street.

5.Conclusion

The user registration process can be improved for existing users’ security and privacy is an important point in the project to consider. There could be registration conditions. Also, due to time constraints, I didn’t make a usability test of the prototype with users. Anyway, this one was a challenging project but also helped me a lot to gain a better understanding of design processes.