How might Medium collect and curate relevant articles for the new ‘Nearby’ feature?
When thinking about how to design a back of house component for the 'Nearby' feature, I prioritized simplicity and integration. I wanted to design a process that would, one, create the least friction while achieving the goal of adding locations to relevant articles and two, integrate into an already existing design structure.
I hypothesized that the most efficient way to do this was by allowing authors to add locations to their posts directly before publishing. Articles could later be flagged by users for inaccurate locations. Currently, Medium lets authors add their posts to "collections" before the point of publishing. I thought it would be best to follow this current form and provide users the additional option to add to the 'Nearby' feature by article location.
I first started by mapping out a task flow of how an author would navigate this process.
Then I moved on to sketches to map out how best to present the add to 'Nearby' feature on the publish page.
At this point, I decided that it was best to narrow the scope of the 'Nearby' feature by city - Let's assume that 'Nearby' is a feature only available in certain cities in the US.
I opted for a two step process in which the author first selects what city they are discussing from a checklist of available cities and then adds their neighborhood by inputting their ZIP code. Of course, one could assume that Medium could also extract authors' cities (not just neighborhood) from their ZIP codes but I decided to add the cities checklist as a preliminary barrier to keep author's from erroneously assuming that the 'Nearby' feature was available for any location in the world.
The wireframe represents what an author would see as he or she decides to publish his or her post. Again, my goal was to keep the process simple and integrate it with Medium's existing design structures. I decided to make the process fit into three simple steps, add the 'Nearby' feature to an intuitive location based on existing design expectations (next to the "add to collections" section) and make sure it was a visual priority by placing the feature directly under the publish button.