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Explore: What Catches Your Eye?

2022-05-20 - Interested in a lightweight, entertaining way to discover books, music, television series and movies? Explore is a new feature, coming soon to Founce, that aims to create a visual feed of creative works.

Mike Hanna


Tags: preMVP  

The main feed on Founce shows a series of external articles about books, music, TV series and movies. If you click on the mentions link for the article, Founce shows the people mentioned in the article along with any creative works also mentioned in the article. That's great, but it's more focused on the people, bands and articles over the creative works. Could there be another feed showing just book, music, TV series and movies? A new feature called "Explore" is coming, read more to see what it will look like.

Is it broke? Why did the Explore button take me to the blog?

There's a good chance you're reading this because you clicked on the "Explore" navigation icon (i.e. a comet with a star in it). Sorry about that, but the feature doesn't exist yet. Hopefully Explore will be available later this summer. Until then, this post describing the upcoming feature will have to do.

Visual Design and Content

Instagram Search Example
Instagram Search Example

Explore will be a purely visual feed of:

  • Book covers
  • Artwork for albums, EPs and singles
  • Posters for movies and TV series

Any people or bands? Nope, just the creative works that have been mentioned in articles recently. Using works that are recently mentioned effectively creates a filter showing the more current and relevant entries. There's so much content at our fingertips today that it's impossible to give all of it even a quick glance. Founce's philosophy is to show what has a higher chance that someone will consider it something new and/or interesting. It's a tradeoff that will be monitored regularly to find the best balance between showing an overwhelming amount vs. missing the good stuff.

Visually, Explore will look a little bit like the Search page on Instagram's mobile app (see image). When browsing on a smartphone, it will fill the bulk of the screen like the example does. On a larger screen, the explore feed will fill the middle column with images. Essentially, it's similar to the other feeds as far as which part of the screen is used to show the Explore feed.

Interacting with the Explore Feed

Once something catches your eye, what happens next? In general, you can click on the image you're interested in and it will take you to the corresponding page on Founce for that creative work. For example, Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends was recently adapted into a TV series. Clicking on the image will take you to the page for the book or the TV series, depending on which image you saw.

Music may be a little different. Currently, the page for the musical artist or band has more to offer than the page for an album, EP or single. The band/artist pages are much more likely to have links to streaming services than the album pages. Using that page would allow you go from seeing an album to playing music from that artist or band in just 3 clicks, but it wouldn't necessarily be from the album you saw. In the long run, there may be improvements that can be made to the data and album pages to make it more useful for the Explore feed.


Hopefully, the Explore feed will be available sometime this summer. If you'd like to keep up with improvements and activity at Founce, please subscribe to the newsletter and/or follow us on Twitter.

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