How do you build a Social Network based on the Islamic Law?

Briefing the backstory

In the world of cluttered social media creating a unique space for a niche network requires loads of courage and proportions of value to offer. Muslimface is a journey to create that unique value proposition. The idea is to develop a unique identity and brotherhood for Muslims across the globe through a novel digital experience that conforms to Islamic law and jurisprudence – The sharia.

The plan

Powered by Ollco, a proprietary digital social platform, a proposal to build a social network from ground up to meet and adhere to Islamic law was formulated. Ollco, with its never ending array of customisations and flexibility of design and development, gave us a lot of freedom within the creative process, to develop the base platform on which the framework would be built.

Focussed on defining a digital experience par excellence and realising the potential of the initiative a team of technocrats including designers ,developers , researchers and programmers put on their thinking caps to realise this dream. The plan of action involved an in-depth research on Islamic best practices and methods to incorporate them into the digital experience, before executing the design and development stage.

The Challenge

“If we were to list down the challenges here it would consume almost the whole of this site, so we will put it this simple – The challenge was to build an Islamic social network that adhered to the Quran and sharia, one that is acceptable to 2 billion people the world over. The scope for error was limited.”

How do you build a Social Network based on the Islamic Law?

Developing a new Information Architecture, lots of features and integration of custom built modules to observe Islamic standards were part of the challenge.

Designing the Islamic way of networking

We were lucky enough to have a great internal team to work with who could translate all the requirements to fulfil the needs of the network.

So even though there were challenges, we ended up with a solid set of requirements and functional specs, from which we were confident enough to produce a great social experience. Clean, simple and no fuzz was the focus.

“We designed a feature rich invite only social network that had access limited to family and the same gender. We had to work out a new structure and a better script in developing a “muharam list” that defines a friend list satisfying the Islamic practices.”

We incorporated numerous modules and social elements expected in a social network and aligned it to meet Islamic standards. The standards were set very high and hence we had to work on additional functionalities that differentiated the network from the clutter. Additionally the inclusion of these creative features added unique value to the overall experience. Some of these specifically Islamic in nature while others were redesigned to meet Islamic expectations

While groups where restricted to either members of the muharam list or of the same gender, we developed a separate spouse group which was an automated consequence of accepting the “Find spouse” request.

The “find spouse” module was the only feature where members could send request to the opposite gender. To enable this members’ – both the sender and receiver of the request- should be validated by an opposite member from his/her muharam list, which would then create a private group for these members.

Separately we also created a “double hash (##) function to share Quranic quotes from our inbuilt Quran database in multiple languages.

The integration of Namaz calendar – an interactive JavaScript API, an inbuilt responsive Quran database, the “find spouse” module and numerous other similar features were done with seamless accuracy crafting the perfect Islamic social network.

Synchronised for the Mobile Age

The mobile integration of Muslimface delivers a great mobile experience on all mobile platforms including Android, iOS and Windows providing a scalable, real-time, bidirectional communication that today's applications and services require.

The Outcome

The end-result is stunning visual eye-candy, with innovative UI and unique design to give an outstanding user experience.

While it is an on-going process, expected to debut in the early days of 2015, we were honoured to be part of such a fun and important project.