How to design a successful community app

CR speaks to community app Geneva and design studio XXIX, which worked on its recent rebrand, to understand what goes into creating a positive online space

We might be broadly out of the pandemic now, yet it can sometimes feel as though it’s still hard to bring people together physically. Into this space have arrived community-based apps, which are seeking out new ways to utilise technology to connect people.

Social media can of course play this role to an extent, though the nature of Facebook or Instagram is relatively public, and sometimes users can only seem to reach people if they succumb to the algorithm and post according to the channel’s whims. In contrast, community-led platforms and group chat apps put an emphasis on finding your people, helping facilitate ongoing conversations (rather than a single comment under a photo), and build more interest-based connections.

In the last few years these platforms have become more popular, and perhaps more needed, especially since the pandemic, where more people are working remotely, have relocated, or simply lost touch with their social circles. Younger generations in particular have been keen adopters, and like dating apps, there’s a platform for everyone and everything from meeting new mum friends, a love of breakfast, or more vitally just a safe space to forge friendships.

All images: Geneva and XXIX