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010: Let's get social

I'm doing a Daily UI Design Challenge: designing a different screen each weekday for 100 days based on the prompt I receive in my email. Knowing very little about what sorts of prompts I'd receive, I decided to try my best to make all of my screens fit within a fictional travel-planning app, Let's Travel.I'm also writing about some of my UX considerations along the way.


Day ten's challenge was to design a social share button. I was a little confused by this one: I wasn't sure if the idea was just to design something for sharing content to Facebook or Twitter – which seems like a problem that we've already solved, so why reinvent the wheel – or to think more broadly about the sharing flow. I ended up doing something closer to the latter: starting to design what sharing looks like within my app.

First things first: what would users even want to share? There are several potential options, some more central to the app's theme (travel-planning) than others. I decided to make a hotel details page as the jumping-off point for the share experience, because it seemed like something that people might have various reasons for wanting to share. I didn't spend a lot of time on the hotel page itself (the bottom of the page is still just a wireframe), and in fact, even the placement of the share button itself is likely to change if and when I get a chance to explore this page further.

Instead, my goal was to think about how users would start the share process. Since Let's Travel is, in part, a social app, it will be important to support the easy sharing of information with friends within the app. At the same time, people may also want to share hotels or activities to social media. So, the share button should probably be pretty prominent:

As I alluded to above, this page is missing a lot of information, and as those requirements get fleshed out (read: made up by me as I continue to design screens), the placement of the share button will likely change. There are also other actions that this page will need to support; for example, adding a hotel to an itinerary or possibly even booking it within the app. But however the page shakes out, I know "share" should be easy to launch.

Once the user taps the share button, she sees an overlay with a few options:

She can share the hotel within the app ("Share with a Let's Travel friend"), or post to social media. Since she's on her phone, selecting one of the social media accounts should open the relevant app, with some pre-populated post text. She'll have to give Let's Travel permission to post to social media, but once she's done that, this should be a pretty easy interaction that matches what she's used to seeing in other apps. If instead, she chooses to share within the app, she can start typing to see a list of suggested friends, select the one she wants, and then get taken to another screen within the modal window to edit a default message and send to her friend.

I have a lot of unanswered questions about this experience:

  • How will this play with the yet-to-be-designed "add to itinerary" feature?

  • Does it make sense to pair sharing within the app with social sharing, or should those be launched separately?

  • Why is the user sharing content to social media (and therefore, what should those default share messages be)?

Hopefully the hotel details page is one I will be able to revisit, so that I can explore the page itself and refine the sharing experience. Right now, I don't feel anywhere close to 100% about that experience, and I'm also so-so about the design, which just feels kind of basic. It'd be great to get another shot down the road.

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