Design 21: A Design Social Network With Teeth

Design 21: A Design Social Network With Teeth

Design 21 is a Design Social Network I just read about in this month’s ID Magazine. When I went to the site I was skeptical of it’s ability to connect designers, but after a quick look around, I realized that the site might just be my new and only social network that I need to be involved with. First, let’s start with the navigation of Design 21. Everything is obvious, so your way finding through the site is immediate and simple.

Now that I’ve signed up and had a few minutes to explore the site, I’ve discovered that this is going to be a perfect place to meet other designers, but as a social network, it lacks several features that some of the more advanced social networks allow. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice. But check out Virb.com, for instance. This is another social network for creatives that has so many features that it’s almost too much. One feature, for instance, allows me to publish my RSS feed to my Virb blog, so I only have to write in one place, but my stuff shows up at both locations. This is so much easier than copying and pasting my articles. Also Virb allows me to change all my CSS which allows me to create my own presence. Design 21 really does not go to these great lengths of creating so much user interactivity, however it’s really solid at what it does.

If I were the Design 21 CEO, here is what I would do: I would create a number of personae, each of which represents a type of person that the site would want to use your website. Off the top of my head here are a few people seeking out the site:

  1. The design student- He just wants to make connections for future jobs and grad schools, and also meet a lot of new people who are in his field. This means have a job board, get schools as advertisers, figure out ways to connect design studios with individuals, on and on…
  2. The promoter- This person just wants to use the Design 21 site to promote his or her stuff. What tools make it really easy to do? RSS feed integration in profiles, more flexible profile pages, maybe it would be cool to do something really snappy like creating a compelling application for presenting the designer’s work that will make the user want to tell everyone about the site.
  3. The casual browser- This site is easy to browse, so there is not much need to change right now
  4. businesses looking for young talent- I could go on…

Anyway! Check it out and let me know what you think of Design 21. What’s missing?

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