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I'm working on a social app that helps users tap into their friends and our community to get fast feedback before making apparel and accessory purchases online. Right now, I'm revamping the site and am trying to find a way to help users discover other people on the site that they may want to follow or otherwise engage with.

While the site used to mainly allow discovery via searchable profile elements (e.g. Brands, Retailers), I wanted to do more. To that point, I created an "All Users" 'filter' on the network page in addition to the "Following" and "Followers" filters, but now I think it's not the best idea as I don't want to turn people off to using my site while it's still relatively new by having them see a really low 'all users' number.

Might anyone have any suggestions for how I might be able to tweak this filter to make it better? Other ideas that scrap it and take a new approach also welcome.

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Could you please add subjects to your sentences? It's hard to keep track of what's happening. –  dnbrv Mar 5 '12 at 21:50
    
No problem. Just did it. Actually no idea at all why I even wrote like that. Strange. –  Emeka Patrick Mar 5 '12 at 22:46
    
Like it better without subjects. –  seand Mar 5 '12 at 22:52

2 Answers 2

You could try emphasizing the strength of having a small community in the beginning. Bring all user comments to the forefront, or present the list of all the users in a fun way. Perhaps a small "imaginary world" map where popular users claim important places in the center. That may be a silly idea, but I can imagine that encouraging community growth through fun design in the beginning could be really effective.

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I'll have a bit of a think on it. FYI, right now the site –  Emeka Patrick Mar 6 '12 at 5:24
    
+1 for the idea of looking at the "empty" state as a proper design challenge. –  peteorpeter Mar 6 '12 at 15:01

To address your immediate question, you might consider setting a threshold for number of users after which you show the "All Users" filter. Up until that point, simply hide it.

Some additional questions about this All Users list pop into mind:

  • How are you going to sort this "All Users" list?
  • Will there be additional ways to sort, search, or filter that list?
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That's not a bad idea at all. I was thinking of just hiding it, but a threshold could be something for now. Actually, maybe it's best just to hide the number next to all users and then allow the same search ability that is available at the profile page via clicking on an element to be present via entering text into a search field.... –  Emeka Patrick Mar 5 '12 at 23:35

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