Nextdoor Concept Design

Nextdoor is a social networking service for neighborhoods in the United States. It allows users to connect with people who live in their neighborhood.

Nextdoor competes with other social networks. It differentiates itself from Facebook, for example, by limiting the potential people in each network, so presumably improving privacy. It has been characterized by The Washington Post as part of a "wave" of community focus in the United States. They also hope to capitalize on what they perceive to be a widespread longing for local community at a time when online social networks are widely used. 


This concept design is mainly focused on solving one of the most noisy issue in the Nextdoor social network: Classified Post. Classified post is one kind of message user can broadcast to their neighbors about selling a used or new item, apparently the more active neighborhood was suffering from the large volume of Classified Posts. 

Problem Farming

Facts about Classified Post

  1. Classified posts comprise 10% of total post volume on Nextdoor. 
  2. 40% of the members have unsubscribed from email notifications about classified
  3. For user's who found a classifieds posting valuable, it says more about the post content than the person. For example, if the poster is selling a stroller, only people looking for strollers or parents of a certain aged child will find that posting valuable.

Stream engagement 

  • Most Thanks:  Crime & Safety
  • Most Replies: Recommendation
  • Lowset Thanks & Replies: Classified

Stream volume ranking

  1. General
  2. Crime & Safety
  3. Recommendation
  4. Classified

Success metric
We want to make sure that users in high volume neighborhoods aren't tuning out the product and unsubscribing from our emails. In a perfect a world, we'd like to maintain the amount of responses that a classifieds post might get.

User research
I have interviewed one of the most active member in my neighborhood - Josephine Brak. Josephine is the block leader of our community and been introduced to Nextdoor via City of Cupertino. Following are some of comments regarding classified post and stream in general. 

  • Classified: She never posts or buys anything from Classified post. Because Craigslist simply have more options within driving distance. 
  • Recommendation: The content Josephine most worried about is actually Recommendation post. She believes Nextdoor should be the community bulletin board, but not advertising space.
  • Safety & Crime: She considers the information such as rapist,  fire, the most relevant info
  • Event: She never consider using Nextdoor to broadcast neighborhood events. But she do struggle to use local coffee shop like Starbucks as a channel.

Design Analysis & Strategy

In the high level, classified post is a legit use case that member expect to have on Nextdoor. Who doesn't have a garage sell after the spring cleaning?  But seems like the supply and demand are not balance between seller and buyer. But on the reverse side, in the community which is large and active, could the improved classified offering have a chance to win over Craigslist? A few design strategies I believe can provide a solid improvement.

#1 Make classified post actually more useful by requiring structure data
Encourage seller to describe their item with more details. Having set a price and using tags to further categorize the item. If the data schema can match with Craigslist, we may can cross post with them. This could help seller have a higher chance to sell their item, also a member growth funnel for Nextdoor.

#2 Collapse the noise 
On the stream viewer side, we can remove all the classified post from the main stream, but having a aggregated post higher up in the main stream. The member who interested in the classified post, can interact with this post which will lead them to trigger the classified view of the stream, 

#3 Improve buyer experience with structured search functions
In the Classified filter view, more search function such as price range and tag browsing can be triggered to help buyer find the item they want faster. 

Goodbye Classified, welcome Marketplace

Marketplace post creation

In the mockup below, I redesigned the post box with the following principles in mind:

  1. Unwrap and consolidate the post categories to surface the most used post types
  2. Cleaning up the composing section to be more a WSWYG, inline preview experience.
  3. Adding price and tag as required field to reinforce the data quality.

Marketplace rollup aggregated post

This rollup post showcasing the latest posts in the Marketplace since the last time they visit the site. This rollup post by default will be ranked higher up in the main stream. But if this given member is not interacting with this post at all, eventually it will be removed from the main stream. If member click on "See all" will trigger the Marketplace filtered view which will contains the all the Marketplace posts.

Marketplace filtered view

In the Marketplace filtered view, buyer can narrow the results by searching for keyword, limit the price range, or select a certain Marketplace tag.

In-Marketplace garage sale rollup

On the seller side, they still can post items as individual post. But on the viewer side, the multiple for-sale items form a given seller in the same day, will be rollup into a cluster, to not clutter the the Marketplace filtered view.  

Thoughts on other redesign ideas

In general, I have moved all the homepage left rail navigation items to the top global nav. Just to be better surfacing the more real time notification function such as inbox and event.

The image section (I call it the welcome module) is really try to bring up the emotional bond within the community. The lead can customized the cover image to represent their community value or shared memories. It also surface the the recently joined neighbors, and pushing the community to give them a heart warming welcome. 

Growth idea: Free block party flyer

The true value of the neighborhood is still bond in the memory we shared together. It's bond with the July 4th BBQ, it's bond with Halloween pumpkin patch. It's bond with Sunday afternoon basketball match. It's bond with the food, beers, and laughter we shared in this physical world. And these values was long lost in the age of internet and busy modern life.

Here is the idea, why not empower neighborhood leaders to create event? We can notify them before the holiday or special occasion comes. We help them build up this invitation flyer within clicks, which will deliver to every house's front door the next day.

All the event photos can be collected & viewed on Nextdoor. And it's the perfect timing to invite people joining the service.