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Build a healthy and trustable social community

Social Media, Private Sharing, Healthy Community ( 7 mins read )

Gain user trust between product and users by giving users the ability to control their contact list to hide/report/block people and content.

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Role & Duration

Product designer

Lead design from end to end


Work with five designers in US and two production designers in Estonia

Corporate with three PMs, and Engineers team


July 2020 - Now


True is a private sharing product with more than 30k downloads to date on both iOS and Android platforms. The true team aims to provide a healthy, reliable, and real community for sharing in people’s life.


My responsibility in the team was leading to create a healthy community to build trust between users and our product. The features include Hide, Block, Report, Ban, and Community guidelines.

It's great to contribute to the design standards and push them forward in the team. There're other projects I worked for: landing page for the official website, improving notifications, camera improvements, and thread header updating.

* To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. The information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of True.


Mobile experience, Identity risks, Understand product in system level, Product flow, User interview, UI design, Prototype, Cross functional collaboration, Figma, ProtoPie


The line between "real communicate" and "social media" is blurring

Social media shouldn't be creepy or unhealthy and it doesn't have to be. It's common stories that people don't want to join or interact with uncomfortable/unfriendly/angry conversations in social media at a specific time. However, the product only has an unfriend function but doesn't have a report/block or other realted feature to meet people's Emotional demand.



" Why you want to block your friend?"

When we talking about social media, what are we talking about? 

It’s not just “Why did he unfollow me?” “Doesn’t he treat me as a friend?” or "His post made me feel uncomfortable!" The hidden phenomenon and the story behind it are more worth exploring. I organized the different scenarios to the potential trigger action:

  • I black you do not mean that we are no longer friends

  • I do not want to talk to you now, do not want to see your message does not mean that we are no longer friends

  • I just simply do not want to see anything you send, but we are still friends

  • The picture you post on the thread makes me feel uncomfortable. I want to block you, but I don't want you to know, so we still remain friends.

  • now I'm angry, I'm going to put you on the blocklist and when I'm not angry, I'll put you out again.


I talked with design team and PM to share with them my ideas on creating health community. I want to allow our user have ability to hide the content they feel uncomfortable, to block the people they don't like, to report the content/people that violated community rules.

Tension of contact from gentle to intense: Hide < Report < Block < Unfriend

As we already have unfriend function, I'm focus on how to create a friendly hide, report and block function in the product.

Optimize design for real people


When a user does not want to see content, he chooses to hide it, and the hidden user won't be notified of that. Unlike the emotions that come with blocks, users don't feel much emotion when they choose not to see the content. More than 80 percent of the users told our UX research team that “because I am still friends with him/we still know each other/we have common friends, I will not blacken him, but I choose not to read any content he sent. I don't want to be bothered.”


Compare the Hide content; a report function is different. A "report" is a communication to the administrator of the existence of a violation of a rule by a specific person. It does not require any interaction between the reporter and the person being reported.


I blocked you, but we are still friends.

One of users has told me his story: when he feels a person no more interactions in his life, but he feels he can't lose this layer of contact. In real life, we all have these similar situations. We know this person's mobile phone number, email address, but we don't have any other communication.



Different perspectives to increase user engagement

Report/hide/block features do not stop user growth but give users more capability to control and increase trust. I discussed with PM, researcher, and data analysis to define the metrics:

  • Hypothesis:when this new feature is added, will it increase users' trust in the product?

  • How many users have used this feature after it went live?

  • After a user reports an inappropriate content, how many of them will choose to block user or unfriend them? What is the percentage of this choice?

  • Will users continue to be active on the platform in the moment after they have reported/hidden/blocked other people? What is the retention rate for a week and a month?


  • Collaborate beyond the Zoom/Google meeting Calls
    I joined the team remotely and worked from home the whole time. The lesson I learned through this time is how I can effectively collaborate with the cross-function team as the designer.

  • Work on products as a scalable experience
    When adding a feature, it is not about the feature itself but the whole picture of the product. To make the design components scalable and accessible for multiple functions is important.

Next project ...

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