Ten years ago today, I boarded United Airlines flight 955 from London Heathrow to San Francisco. Here’s what happened next.
Ning is an online platform that allows people to create customised social networks. I was lead designer from January 2006 to October 2007.
Working alongside the company’s CEO and designer David Warner, I helped to define and then launch what would become the company’s core product offering: Your Own Social Network. This strategy would see the company move away from a portfolio of 20 single-feature social applications aimed at developers, to a consumer-focused product that allowed any group or individual to create and grow a social network around a niche interest, passion or topic.
Press coverage of the new product was incredibly positive, and by 2009 the company had helped customers launch over a million social networks.
As well as helping to devise the overall product experience, I developed the underlying HTML framework, customisation system and initial set of themes. I was also responsible for the company’s branding and marketing. While many start-ups tended to use overly glossy and childish typography in their logos and communication, Ning’s branding featured a distinctive logo set in Clarendon, giving the company a more grown-up and trustworthy appearance.