Fanhouse: Community Houses


For the past year, I worked as a full-time product designer at Fanhouse, a B2C creator monetization platform that raised over 20 million in funding and over 10 million in direct creator payout. As the company grew, they aimed to expand their user base by introducing Community Houses: a new type of house dedicated to a singular topic or interest, rather than an individual creator. I led this initiative and designed key features that shifted Fanhouse's core product direction from a creator-focused to a community-focused platform. This case study details my design solutions and process of understanding how users express their personal and communal fan identities online.




Product Designer


I started by mapping out my ideas and distinguishing what identities were most important to users and where on the platform they could express them. My hypothesis was that in order to create a successful community platform, users needed to be able to control the way they expressed these identities and how they engaged in these spaces. I separated these spaces into three primary buckets: personal space, community space, and creator space. Personal space consisted of any aspect of the platform that allowed fans to express their own unique identity and where such identity was paramount, such as in their own profiles or “corners”. Community space consisted of any aspect of the platform where the “community identity” was the paramount identity and the main social currency users engaged with (ie. being a fan of Splatoon would be the most important identity in the Splatoon House). For the purposes of this case study, I decided not to include the creator space, but will highlight creator features that supplemented this new product shift.

Fan, Creator, and Community Houses

These profiles served as the main hubs for which fans would build community, express themselves, and interact with one another. Knowing so, I sought to maximize user expression, making each profile type completely customizable with plenty of opportunities for delight. In a user’s profile or “corner”, I designed a system of stickers users could collect and display on their profile by engaging in Community Houses across the platform. These stickers would be community sourced, designed by other fans, and displayed as way to express support and shared identity. For fan and Creator Houses, I designed a user activity tab to increase community visibility and opportunities for organic connection. For Creator and Community Houses, I added tags and a “neighbors” system for users to discover other similar communities to the ones they’ve joined.

Profile Previews

Keeping existing users in mind, I also sought to improve Creator Houses. We found that most users onboard the platform in order to subscribe to a particular creator. Therefore, I decided improving the experience of previewing and subscribing to a creator would increase the overall retention and growth of community-related features, as well the platform as a whole. I redesigned how an unsubscribed user would view a creator profile, with the use of customizable previews and carousel cards. This enabled users to have a better sense of what they were purchasing before subscribing and a more delightful experience as a fan.


Discovery was fundamental to creating a community-based platform. Without it, how would users find other users with whom they could share identities and spaces? I designed three core features to boost discovery of community houses across the platform: a community discover page, a creator discover page, and a community module to introduce existing users to the new community house feature.

User Feed

I decided to put community features at the forefront of the user feed, introducing a default “Community” tab that contained posts from a user’s following and suggested community houses. To boost discovery within the feed, I designed cards in between posts highlighting recommended community or creator houses. At the end of these card carousels, users were directed to the respective discovery pages for each house type.

Comments and Replies

In order to encourage fan growth and engagement, I decided to redesign the entire system-wide commenting architecture. Before, comments were poorly structured and made it difficult and confusing for users to engage with one another. With the addition of nested replies, a collapsable keyboard, image attachments, highlighted creator comments, and a polished UI, the new design introduced opportunities for delight and allowed users to engage with one another much more efficiently across all user spaces.