In 2015 we began working with Carers UK to develop a large-scale, full social media site, known as ‘The Hub.’ The purpose of the site would be to allow the charity’s Volunteers to connect, share, advise and socialise online.
We wanted to keep the design simple, bright and clear. Navigation to all sections was kept in the top level menu, as there’s a tendency for some site architects to hide certain elements, and in our experience this can disorientate the user.
A key aspect of this project was to make the Hub feel lively and welcoming. We added a Facebook-style ‘timeline’ which updated with everyone’s posts and allowed others to ‘like’ and comment. This section has been particularly successful.
We also built a full chatroom facility which enabled Volunteers to speak in a group setting, and also allowed the Carers UK staff to run live chat Q&A sessions.
To enable Volunteers to find one another we integrated a map feature to show the general whereabouts of the other Volunteers. Obviously we didn’t want to give the exact location of individuals so we limited the search to a postcode area.
Volunteers could also upload images, download resources, send their volunteering reports to Carers UK, send secure private messages to each other, search for upcoming events and partake in various forums.