A Notion of Social Taste
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A Notion of Social Taste






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  • Want to talk a bit about my work studying social software and how do we establish a design methedology for social software

A Notion of Social Taste A Notion of Social Taste Presentation Transcript

  • Xianhang Zhang
    • The biggest influence on the design process is whether the software you are building is social in nature or not.
    • And we as a design community have not yet come to realize this.
    • The primary goal with non-social software is to get something done
    • We are primarily concerned with issues of usability and efficiency
    I want to make an attractive image I want to produce a good report
    • The primary goal of social software is to convince someone of something
    I’m a cool guy who does cool things with my cool friends
    • The primary goal of social software is to convince someone of something
    I want you to know I just graduated
    • The primary goal of social software is to convince someone of something
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    • Traditional HCI is concerned with the relationship between the person and the computer:
    • Social software must view the machine as a conduit for communication
    Communication If you’re only focusing on the Interaction Design, you’re only solving a minor part of the problem Interaction Interaction
    • Social software is a conduit for conducting social relationships
    • But it is not the only conduit
    • Every conduit has a set of policies
    • For social software, the policies are enforced by code
    • But other policies exist as well, enforced in other ways
    • Social software must be studied in the context of use
    • Testing Social Design early is very difficult
    • Bringing users into a lab doesn’t work
    • Healthy policy can only come about through good design
    • Social software is “alive”
    • The slate can’t be wiped clean and restarted
    • If you make a mistake, you’ll have to live with it
    • There is a wide disparity in technical skills which makes interface design very tricky
    • Luckily, there is a much narrower disparity in social intelligence
    • There is potential for cognitively complex social tools if this intelligence is leveraged correctly
    • Social Design
      • Theory of Mind
      • Implicatures
      • Structure of Spaces
      • Dunbar’s Number
      • Self Presentation
      • Social Capital
    • Maxim of Quality
      • Do not say what you believe to be false.
      • Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
    • Maxim of Quantity
      • Make your contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange.
      • Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.
    • Maxim of Relation
      • Be relevant.
    • Maxim of Manner
      • Avoid obscurity of expression.
      • Avoid ambiguity.
      • Be brief.
      • Be orderly.
    • We generally tend to follow these maxims
    • Resolving conflicts with implicatures
    • “ She has a great personality”
    • What we could have said but didn’t is important to interpreting meaning
    • Receiving a friend request from someone you don’t consider a friend can be highly awkward
    • Reject? Accept? Ignore?
    • Some solutions I’ve seen:
      • Ignore the request for over a year
      • Declare you’ve “forgotten your password” and create a brand new profile (MySpace)
    • Is this a problem that can be fixed with design?
  • Click Add as Friend Reject Ignore
    • Rejecting a friend request is awkward because it requires an action
    • If I reject, I know that you can see that I rejected you
    • I know that you’ll try and figure out why I would reject you (implicature)
    • I know you know that I know a rejection is an implicature
  • Click Add as Friend Ignore Reject Click Add as Friend Click Add as Friend A friend request has been sent to John Fox.
    • I know that you can’t know whether I’ve rejected you
    • I know that if you try and find out, you risk sending me another friend request
    • I know getting another friend request would be an implicature
    • I know you know me getting a friend request would be an implicature
    • Therefore, I feel safe rejecting the friend request
    • We behave according to our Theory of Mind models
    • We can use Theory of Mind to predict the social implications of our design
    • Social Design is not modular and decomposable
    • Features affect the implications of other features
    • Cognitive limits on size of social groupings
    • Derived from empirical correlations of neo-cortex size in animals
    • Limit is ~12 people
    • Limit is ~150 people
    • Other limits exist at higher scales
    • We behave differently at different scales
    • Social mechanisms are not scalable
    • Different social mechanisms are most effective at different scales
    • Multiple scales can reside in the same software (cliques)
    • Designing for multiple scales is a difficult problem
    • 1920: Modernist Urban Planning
      • “ the elimination of disorder, congestion and the small scale, replacing them instead with preplanned and widely spaced freeways and tower blocks set within gardens.”
      • Abstract, “ideal” notions of the usage of space
    • 1960: New Urbanism
      • Reaction against the hubris of modernism
      • Designers were studying how people actually use space
    • What insights can we borrow?
      • Spaces need to be watched and maintained
      • Use signals & decorations to convey the purpose of a space
      • Highlight, not hide pathological behaviors
    • What techniques can we borrow?
      • Study actual use, not imagined use
      • Decompose complex structures into patterns
    • Project on rethinking privacy and access control
    • Access is granted based on the ability to answer a question
    • eg: “What is my favorite place to go rock climbing”
    • Previous privacy settings were always at a per user basis, but this is not how people behave
    • Currently in development, preliminary beta due Sept
    • We have multiple facets of our personality
    • Which facets are expressed depends on the audience and the context
    • Mixing facets causes tension and anxiety
    • Origins in 1970’s Sociological theory
    • One of the major non-economic forms of capital
    • Analogous to “reputation” in online communities
    • Largely tacit
  • Reputation Systems
    • Google’s social networking site.
    • Incredibly popular in Brazil and India
    • Why?
    • Social Capital can be an enormously powerful social tool
    • Not just reputation systems
    • Huge implications for Enterprise 2.0
    • Social Design has been sadly ignored by the HCI community
    • We need to establish it as a separate discipline from Interaction Design
    • Social Design is hard in many ways
    • We can get a big head start by borrowing theories from other fields
    • Empirical validation will be tricky
    • Developing a field of Social Design is an urgent priority, this is too important to wait!