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UX Case Study | Figuring out the best platform to build Online Communities for Content Creators

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If you are a content creator who wishes to create a self-sustaining community bringing together like-minded people spread across platforms then you’re at the right place! 🙂

📍Niche: Online Community for a Content Creator- Ankur Warikoo

This case study is a team research project done as a part of a Research assignment about understanding the online community of a specific niche. Some of the deliverables asked were also customer journey maps depicting tasks performed by the different user personas we identified.
The team followed a complete process in understanding the niche, carrying out primary and secondary research, collecting facts and insights, and ideating solutions for the community to function well.

🤔Little background why this niche?

We are witnessing the sprouting of communities both in the real world and in the virtual space. People worldwide understand the need for self-growth and building connections with like-minded ones through engaging themselves in the communities.

Financial Literacy is what every generation is looking forward to. In the meantime, many entrepreneurs, life coaches, and experts are coming up with content that aims to communicate information and knowledge on financial matters.
Keeping this in mind, we came up with someone we really resonated and what better way to thank him than do a research project that could help him decide the best platform for his community. Well, it’s none other than Ankur Warikoo :))

✏️Problem Statement

Understanding and analyzing the needs and pain points of the pre-existing audiences of content creators and providing the creators with the best suitable platform for their community.

🌊Deep dive

We began our exploration with the following steps –

Step 1) Understanding the meaning of communities

Step 2) Evolution of communities

Step 3) Types of research

https://medium.com/media/ba8f9d62bb3507112f4d7e7c7f42cb1b/href

We debriefed and framed the following questions which help streamline our research process further –

🎢Process Walkthrough

👥The audience

👦🏻Knowing the user

With the problem statement in mind, we started scouting out people who were actively engaged with Ankur’s content on various platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook, etc).

We figured there were a variety of audiences among which some were just interacting with the content creators, whereas some were also interacting with each other, which sort of implies the need for community.

People interacting with each other in comments on his post, which sort of implies they would like to interact with people with similar likes and mindset.

Approach

For scouting the audience, we also conducted Instagram polls.

And, we eventually framed questionnaires for one-on-one interviews with the audience which helped us to extract insight and information to figure out their needs and aspirations.

We conducted Polls and got a sum of around 280 Polls on Instagram. This was done by us to narrow down the audience who consumed Ankur’s Content.

Findings & Classification

From the audience interview responses, we figured out the Desires and Frustration of the audience.

And classified them into two user types –

🤠The Creator

🕵🏼‍♂️Who is Ankur Warikoo?

Warikoo is an entrepreneur, teacher, and highly sought-after public speaker. He spends his time creating content, instructing students through his courses, and actively mentors and coaches startups and entrepreneurs.

Youtube • Instagram • Twitter

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Approach

We reached out to Ankur with a set of questionnaires to understand and clarify his thoughts and vision on having a community for his audience.

https://medium.com/media/92c3971677f6a64698a0c12ad58e2fb8/href

💡Insights

  • He wants a self-fulfilling and actively functioning community with or without his intervention.
  • Achieve his vision (guiding everyone on self-growth) at scale.
  • Creating a community where people embrace the value of collective growth.
  • Civil Engagement is a big factor.
  • Queries must not go unanswered.
  • Ankur’s opinion on hosting a community on various platforms.

👁️‍🗨️ Vision

  • Create a million entrepreneurs in the next 10 years in this country.
  • Find an alternative to college.

🚇The Platforms

Secondary Research :

We sorted out the platforms where the online community grew in recent times and analyzed them for features and drawbacks.

Based on this, we concluded Discord to be the right fit for Ankur and his community as its variety of features can help like-minded people connect via text as well as voice channels along with easy moderation and engagement that can be facilitated with the help of bots.

Primary Research :

https://medium.com/media/df266fe77fb2ecff0280e6a3a6e3a355/href

🎞️User Personas

Personas are created by talking to users and segmenting by their needs, goals, and frustrations.

(After conducting one-on-one user interviews with users of different platforms we gathered insights and created personas.)

🎞️Customer Journey Map

In an attempt to understand the user’s journey in a more digestible way, we decided to make customer journey maps for the two personas we identified to highlight the following –

  • his interaction,
  • goals & expectations,
  • possible frustrations,
  • and the related opportunities

See Farhan’s and Chatur’s Journey. 🛵

  • Customer Journey Map 1 — Farhan
  • Customer Journey Map 2 — Chatur

So, how does this wall of text benefit (or even affect) the creator in any way?

Come, Have a look 👀

✏️Takeaways

To sum up, the hours we spent on this research

Our aim was not to find an attractive or an out-of-the-box solution but to find a solution that works.

Discord is the go-to platform for your needs, for many-to-many interaction. It is highly customizable, gaining popularity, has a team releasing timely updates and features that improve usability, and has tons of bots and tools to automate the heck out of mundane tasks, that otherwise are a headache to manage.

Telegram and/or newsletter remain the front-runners for achieving one-to-many interaction. Text communities remain an avenue unexplored in India. But with the Jio boom bringing more and more users online, there remains a risk of getting lost among the OTPs and transaction messages. We still vouch for discord for 1-to-many interaction, as there’s reduced friction in converting the said audience to an engaging community.

🥴Assumptions/Limitations

  • Native Apps We did not validate the avenue of creating a native app to host a community for the creator. Due to the lack of available data to validate whether the time and money spent on creating a native app offer considerable upside to using a platform like discord, not to mention the continuous upgrade that the discord dev team brings to the features of the platform to improve the platform.

https://medium.com/media/ae1eb4ec19606d7d3146e1945bdb4a92/href

  • Will it affect Ankur’s current engagement on the said platforms in any way? Considering we’ll move some content of the social platforms onto the native app.

👀 My learnings making this

🔍We understood the significance of understanding the problem statement before we started our process. Then as this was a team project we defined ideas and definitions of what we thought was the meaning of particular terms, so that all of us were on the same page. When we got going with the task, we initially thought of something else and ended up thinking what if our research does someone some good. When we were aligned with the whole idea we felt much better and without any procrastination, we started to do it.

  1. 😇 Being a very collaborative person I definitely enjoyed the whole process. I learned it is very important to be open to new ideas and not to stick too much to your ideas.
  2. 😵During this whole process, we all had certain biases I learned we shouldn’t keep biases as every individual has their own thoughts and intentions. During user interviews, I learned to let the user speak at some points that may be essential to your research others might not, but let the user speak builds up some essence of trust which can help in the whole interview.
  3. 🙏🏻Not kidding! Now after doing this research myself, I have an immense amount of respect for UX Researchers. As this was the first occasion when we were doing a very in-depth research project, it got tiring at some points — especially during the essential exploration phase, especially the part where we had to do user interviews. So our respect for researchers who do this day in and day out increased multifold. Despite all this, we still kept going, with passion and we really wanted to help our favorite content creator.
  4. 👀Last but not least I had a ball of a time working with these freaking amazing creative people Suraj, Prithvi & Supriya. There were instances when each of us wandered off from our path during research but I am glad each of us was there to keep each other in check 😉
Yes, we really were that happy throughout the research process. 😂

Much grateful to Ankur Warikoo for being such a sport and helping us with all our questions.
Also would like to thank Abhinav Chhikara to give us this team assignment and all the folks at 10kdesigners for their valuable inputs. Also would like to thank Abheyraj Singh for helping us bring clarity in our process and giving their critique and feedback.

https://medium.com/media/9703a4278b2b1a103684c580e3e36b76/href

👏It would mean a lot to me if you could long-press on the clap icon, drop a few claps & show your support.

👨‍💻And do reach out to me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or here for any feedback, discussions, or collaborations, I’d be more than happy to have a chat with you!


UX Case Study | Figuring out the best platform to build Online Communities for Content Creators was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.