Actors' Collective

Actors in New Zealand wanted a social space to share and communicate, share stories, news, upcoming jobs etc. Somewhere safe and private, away from the noise and clutter of the large social platforms.

First, I needed to create a brand for them; something clean, friendly and inviting. My brief was wide open – it just needed to feel welcoming. Oh, and blue.

Working closely with a developer, we then created a social website with which Actors could help and support one another. The design of the site and interactions are clean and easy to understand. It is built with Silverstripe CMS, making it simple and easy to manage. 

I took a lot of cues from Google's Material Design standards, or Google design in general. Their interactions are so elegant, that I felt I could have spent a lot of time coming up with unnecessary alternatives, simply to be different.

  Login page  It is simple and easy to sign up. Just a name and email address. You are then free to start exploring, make posts, or complete your profile with avatar image etc.

Login page
It is simple and easy to sign up. Just a name and email address. You are then free to start exploring, make posts, or complete your profile with avatar image etc.

 
  Home page   I wanted this to be as clutter-free as possible. Users can scan the latest posts, view by most popular, and toggle the news feed. Posts are truncated and can be clicked through to view the full post and discussion. We decided to do it this way, rather than having comments appear on the home page. This means the posts work for like a forum, such as Stack Exchange. This allows for long posts and rich discussion, rather than one-off status updates.

Home page 
I wanted this to be as clutter-free as possible. Users can scan the latest posts, view by most popular, and toggle the news feed. Posts are truncated and can be clicked through to view the full post and discussion. We decided to do it this way, rather than having comments appear on the home page. This means the posts work for like a forum, such as Stack Exchange. This allows for long posts and rich discussion, rather than one-off status updates.

 
  Creating a post  I took guidance from Google's Material Design standards here. The box starts off unassuming and out of the way. It pops out with a drop shadow when clicked on, letting the user know it is active. Similarly, the outline around the 'Tag people' box will darken, letting users know it is in focus. The buttons have a slight colour shift when hovered. I am not a fan of very extreme hover states, and prefer a subtle lightening or darkening.

Creating a post
I took guidance from Google's Material Design standards here. The box starts off unassuming and out of the way. It pops out with a drop shadow when clicked on, letting the user know it is active. Similarly, the outline around the 'Tag people' box will darken, letting users know it is in focus. The buttons have a slight colour shift when hovered. I am not a fan of very extreme hover states, and prefer a subtle lightening or darkening.

 
  Menu dropdown  This is seemed too simple at first, but only because of Facebook's overly complicated menu system.

Menu dropdown
This is seemed too simple at first, but only because of Facebook's overly complicated menu system.

 
  Notifications dropdown   Shamelessly thieved from Google Chrome's notification dropdown (I just really like the Chrome dropdown). The notifications include context, giving a truncated part of a comment, or of the original post.

Notifications dropdown 
Shamelessly thieved from Google Chrome's notification dropdown (I just really like the Chrome dropdown). The notifications include context, giving a truncated part of a comment, or of the original post.

 
  Mobile designs   Everything works much the same on mobile. The menu works a little differently, and search becomes its own page.

Mobile designs 
Everything works much the same on mobile. The menu works a little differently, and search becomes its own page.

 

So far, this has been an exciting project, and it continues to develop. 

Please note, it is still a work in progress.