Creating a new social media platform that breaks social media norms, embraces individuality and brings people together through music.
Area of work
- UI/UX design
- Social media
I worked as head of design at Riff for over two years, creating their brand, mobile apps, and social media presence. Riff is a voice and video based social media app that hosts live events from creators who can ‘riff’ about anything they like, interact with their fans and even bring users ‘on stage’ to talk with them. Music is the lifeblood of Riff, helping bring people together just as it does in real life - creating the space for people to meet over their mutual love of an artist.
As head of design, I developed an interface and user experience that made the complex live spaces within Riff both exciting and intuitive. On top of that, I conceived and architected many of the features seen on the app today, from providing ways for users to create content to helping creators generate more revenue through digitized gifting and NFTs. Riff is a new generation of social media and is evolving rapidly. Therefore acting in my role required much more than just designing nice interfaces. I constantly researched the market, pioneered new ideas and worked closely with a team of developers to implement new features into an ever evolving product. I carefully constructed a design system that could help us simultaneously develop an iOS, android and web product as well as design new functionality and screens as efficiently and consistently as possible.
Alongside developing the product, I designed a new logo that would help the company stand out in the huge world of Silicon Valley tech and social media companies. I also created a brand that would attract consumers away from global social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok. The brand itself was born out of a desire to push the boundaries of what a social media platform could look like. Giants had occupied the space for many years and offered clean, modern, simple and refined logos that didn’t rock the boat and tried to speak to efficiency rather than individuality. When I designed the world of Riff I wanted to be different, hailing imperfections, boldness and creativity to create a space that champions user’s personality and individuality, flaws and all. I looked backwards at times when social platforms were more ‘free’ and less constrained, when websites such as MySpace offered infinitely more creativity and customizability than the companies of today.
Eventually I landed on the iconic aesthetic of the 80s and early 90s where the visual language of technology was bright, sharp and visually stimulating. The future of technology back then seemed exciting and a far cry from the clean and sterile aesthetics of their competition. The Riff brand was forged from this idea, inspired by retro-futuristic vibes to bring a sense of excitement and optimism around technology. The Riff logo encapsulates an iconic retro step-fade trailing an “R” that represents the infinite colors and varieties of the rooms and its users on the app. This “R” then becomes a key brand identifier across multiple touchpoints, using it as a recognisable holding shape for pictures of our creators as well as creating bright and engaging backgrounds and artwork.