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Digital Ethnography For Social Interaction Design [Remix]
 

Digital Ethnography For Social Interaction Design [Remix]

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I gave this talk at Bolt|Peters' User Research Friday. The talk covers the challenges for studying online communities, or what I refer to as "social interaction design". Social interaction design is ...

I gave this talk at Bolt|Peters' User Research Friday. The talk covers the challenges for studying online communities, or what I refer to as "social interaction design". Social interaction design is relevant for anyone who is developing a social product. Whether for iPhone apps, Twitter knock-offs, recipe management software, online shopping services, or even Wrigley's gum, there are social motivators that drive many user behaviors. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to "shadow" someone’s day-to-day activities in a digital space like you can in a physical space, which is why needs-finding for social interaction design requires a new set of tools and methods. I'll talk about a few remote research tools that can be used to understand the design opportunities in social spaces.

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  • one of the themes of my year is that there are social issues underlying even things that don&#x2019;t initially appear to be all that social. <br /> <br /> wrigleys: improve the experience of the Wrigley&#x2019;s gum product <br /> <br /> -gum lives (in people&#x2019;s mouths) but also at the heart of a social ecosystem <br /> -we have to understand that to design for it <br /> <br /> -luckily, we have our handy dandy &#x201C;Human Centered Design toolkit&#x201D; from IDEO ... and we&#x2019;re on our way. <br /> -because we can shadow people in the real world to understand what they do
  • one of the themes of my year is that there are social issues underlying even things that don&#x2019;t initially appear to be all that social. <br /> <br /> wrigleys: improve the experience of the Wrigley&#x2019;s gum product <br /> <br /> -gum lives (in people&#x2019;s mouths) but also at the heart of a social ecosystem <br /> -we have to understand that to design for it <br /> <br /> -luckily, we have our handy dandy &#x201C;Human Centered Design toolkit&#x201D; from IDEO ... and we&#x2019;re on our way. <br /> -because we can shadow people in the real world to understand what they do
  • one of the themes of my year is that there are social issues underlying even things that don&#x2019;t initially appear to be all that social. <br /> <br /> wrigleys: improve the experience of the Wrigley&#x2019;s gum product <br /> <br /> -gum lives (in people&#x2019;s mouths) but also at the heart of a social ecosystem <br /> -we have to understand that to design for it <br /> <br /> -luckily, we have our handy dandy &#x201C;Human Centered Design toolkit&#x201D; from IDEO ... and we&#x2019;re on our way. <br /> -because we can shadow people in the real world to understand what they do
  • kickstarter is harder to study without doing some kind of digital anthropology
  • kickstarter is harder to study without doing some kind of digital anthropology
  • kickstarter is harder to study without doing some kind of digital anthropology
  • kickstarter is harder to study without doing some kind of digital anthropology
  • kickstarter is harder to study without doing some kind of digital anthropology
  • SxD is about picking apart the social design issues <br /> <br /> -borrow heavily from anthropology, sociology, psychology, communication theory, etc. <br /> <br /> -goes beyond HCI <br /> -about designing for communities or for person-to-person interaction
  • To me the crux of it is that no two communities are the same. <br /> <br /> very broadly, SxD is... <br /> *not about designing specific kinds of conversations or social interactions per se <br /> *but designing the ecosystems in such a way that social interactions can emerge <br /> <br /> I made this vision baord as a reminder of what social interaction design is &#x2014; what factors influence social dynamics in a community, and what kinds of questions you have to ask when studying or designing for a community. <br /> <br /> What appears to be a crack or crevice in the middle of the conversation (in the middle of the board) is supposed to represent this design opportunity. But there is no &#x201C;one size fits all.&#x201D; The quote beneath reminds us of that: &#x201C;I don&#x2019;t really know what &#x2018;community&#x2019; means.&#x201D; Is that like Facebook? Question mark? <br /> Thus what works for Facebook won&#x2019;t necessarily work for LinkedIn. And as we&#x2019;re seeing, Google Buzz encourages a very different kind of sociality than Facebook or Twitter.
  • To me the crux of it is that no two communities are the same. <br /> <br /> very broadly, SxD is... <br /> *not about designing specific kinds of conversations or social interactions per se <br /> *but designing the ecosystems in such a way that social interactions can emerge <br /> <br /> I made this vision baord as a reminder of what social interaction design is &#x2014; what factors influence social dynamics in a community, and what kinds of questions you have to ask when studying or designing for a community. <br /> <br /> What appears to be a crack or crevice in the middle of the conversation (in the middle of the board) is supposed to represent this design opportunity. But there is no &#x201C;one size fits all.&#x201D; The quote beneath reminds us of that: &#x201C;I don&#x2019;t really know what &#x2018;community&#x2019; means.&#x201D; Is that like Facebook? Question mark? <br /> Thus what works for Facebook won&#x2019;t necessarily work for LinkedIn. And as we&#x2019;re seeing, Google Buzz encourages a very different kind of sociality than Facebook or Twitter.
  • To me the crux of it is that no two communities are the same. <br /> <br /> very broadly, SxD is... <br /> *not about designing specific kinds of conversations or social interactions per se <br /> *but designing the ecosystems in such a way that social interactions can emerge <br /> <br /> I made this vision baord as a reminder of what social interaction design is &#x2014; what factors influence social dynamics in a community, and what kinds of questions you have to ask when studying or designing for a community. <br /> <br /> What appears to be a crack or crevice in the middle of the conversation (in the middle of the board) is supposed to represent this design opportunity. But there is no &#x201C;one size fits all.&#x201D; The quote beneath reminds us of that: &#x201C;I don&#x2019;t really know what &#x2018;community&#x2019; means.&#x201D; Is that like Facebook? Question mark? <br /> Thus what works for Facebook won&#x2019;t necessarily work for LinkedIn. And as we&#x2019;re seeing, Google Buzz encourages a very different kind of sociality than Facebook or Twitter.
  • To me the crux of it is that no two communities are the same. <br /> <br /> very broadly, SxD is... <br /> *not about designing specific kinds of conversations or social interactions per se <br /> *but designing the ecosystems in such a way that social interactions can emerge <br /> <br /> I made this vision baord as a reminder of what social interaction design is &#x2014; what factors influence social dynamics in a community, and what kinds of questions you have to ask when studying or designing for a community. <br /> <br /> What appears to be a crack or crevice in the middle of the conversation (in the middle of the board) is supposed to represent this design opportunity. But there is no &#x201C;one size fits all.&#x201D; The quote beneath reminds us of that: &#x201C;I don&#x2019;t really know what &#x2018;community&#x2019; means.&#x201D; Is that like Facebook? Question mark? <br /> Thus what works for Facebook won&#x2019;t necessarily work for LinkedIn. And as we&#x2019;re seeing, Google Buzz encourages a very different kind of sociality than Facebook or Twitter.
  • Where to start? Adrian Chan is like the &#x2018;aristotole of SxD.&#x2019; So if you care about this, you should follow him. <br /> <br /> And he reminds us that key social interactions can only be discovered by watching users -- not by building an algorithm or analyzing log files -- but by the observing how interactions play out between people -- that&#x2019;s what will inform your design <br /> <br /> And then &#x2014;&#xA0;I love this quote &#x2014;&#xA0;how might you go about actually doing that? Well, imaging that what you&#x2019;re seeing just originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys
  • Where to start? Adrian Chan is like the &#x2018;aristotole of SxD.&#x2019; So if you care about this, you should follow him. <br /> <br /> And he reminds us that key social interactions can only be discovered by watching users -- not by building an algorithm or analyzing log files -- but by the observing how interactions play out between people -- that&#x2019;s what will inform your design <br /> <br /> And then &#x2014;&#xA0;I love this quote &#x2014;&#xA0;how might you go about actually doing that? Well, imaging that what you&#x2019;re seeing just originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys
  • Where to start? Adrian Chan is like the &#x2018;aristotole of SxD.&#x2019; So if you care about this, you should follow him. <br /> <br /> And he reminds us that key social interactions can only be discovered by watching users -- not by building an algorithm or analyzing log files -- but by the observing how interactions play out between people -- that&#x2019;s what will inform your design <br /> <br /> And then &#x2014;&#xA0;I love this quote &#x2014;&#xA0;how might you go about actually doing that? Well, imaging that what you&#x2019;re seeing just originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys
  • Where to start? Adrian Chan is like the &#x2018;aristotole of SxD.&#x2019; So if you care about this, you should follow him. <br /> <br /> And he reminds us that key social interactions can only be discovered by watching users -- not by building an algorithm or analyzing log files -- but by the observing how interactions play out between people -- that&#x2019;s what will inform your design <br /> <br /> And then &#x2014;&#xA0;I love this quote &#x2014;&#xA0;how might you go about actually doing that? Well, imaging that what you&#x2019;re seeing just originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys
  • take this current events story...ReadWriteWeb writes an article about facebook
  • Users go to Google, type &#x2018;facebook login&#x2019;, and click on one of the first news links, and end up on RWW
  • Users go to Google, type &#x2018;facebook login&#x2019;, and click on one of the first news links, and end up on RWW
  • Users go to Google, type &#x2018;facebook login&#x2019;, and click on one of the first news links, and end up on RWW
  • Users go to Google, type &#x2018;facebook login&#x2019;, and click on one of the first news links, and end up on RWW
  • ...Much to their dismay. <br /> <br /> Crazy space monkeys? Not that far off?
  • ...Much to their dismay. <br /> <br /> Crazy space monkeys? Not that far off?
  • Crazy space monkeys you might say? <br /> <br /> Let me remind you of something in the recent news
  • Getting back on track here... <br /> it&#x2019;s important to keep in mind that what&#x2019;s &#x201C;social&#x201D; takes places at a couple of levels <br /> <br /> social interaction design issues will apply across a spectrum of design spaces / problems <br /> <br /> (in fact, I talk about social search as spanning this spectrum -- and the result of each instance of soc search gives very different benefits to the user) <br /> <br /> ....even if your product isn&#x2019;t immediately social (Chomp, Wikipedia editing, analytics dashboard)
  • To throw out a concrete example here: i &lt;3 aardvark ;) <br /> <br /> -what they got right: started with social and worked backwards to an algorithm <br /> -explain how aardvark works
  • Drawbacks to answering on Aardvark mobile: <br /> <br /> 0) on-the-go, we&#x2019;re often hurried, distracted, or our hands are full. hard to type out an answer <br /> 1) assumption that answer resides in our heads <br /> 2) we often need to search documents or places on the web to find a reference for our answer. (aka we know WHERE TO LOOK to find the answer, but may not have it immediately on hand) <br /> 3) best answers take place as a conversation (a few back and forth replies between people) -- nearly impossible in mobile setting <br /> 4) not enough information about your relationship to the person asking <br /> <br /> iPhone prompts (right) often lack enough information about the nature of the question or your relationship to the questioner. One reason for Vark&#x2019;s success is that it seeks out answers from people within an extended, personal network, naturally building trust and accountability into the system. But without knowing how you know the questioner, the iPhone app experience feels instead intrusive and disruptive, and lacks any strong social motivator to respond.
  • Drawbacks to answering on Aardvark mobile: <br /> <br /> 0) on-the-go, we&#x2019;re often hurried, distracted, or our hands are full. hard to type out an answer <br /> 1) assumption that answer resides in our heads <br /> 2) we often need to search documents or places on the web to find a reference for our answer. (aka we know WHERE TO LOOK to find the answer, but may not have it immediately on hand) <br /> 3) best answers take place as a conversation (a few back and forth replies between people) -- nearly impossible in mobile setting <br /> 4) not enough information about your relationship to the person asking <br /> <br /> iPhone prompts (right) often lack enough information about the nature of the question or your relationship to the questioner. One reason for Vark&#x2019;s success is that it seeks out answers from people within an extended, personal network, naturally building trust and accountability into the system. But without knowing how you know the questioner, the iPhone app experience feels instead intrusive and disruptive, and lacks any strong social motivator to respond.
  • Drawbacks to answering on Aardvark mobile: <br /> <br /> 0) on-the-go, we&#x2019;re often hurried, distracted, or our hands are full. hard to type out an answer <br /> 1) assumption that answer resides in our heads <br /> 2) we often need to search documents or places on the web to find a reference for our answer. (aka we know WHERE TO LOOK to find the answer, but may not have it immediately on hand) <br /> 3) best answers take place as a conversation (a few back and forth replies between people) -- nearly impossible in mobile setting <br /> 4) not enough information about your relationship to the person asking <br /> <br /> iPhone prompts (right) often lack enough information about the nature of the question or your relationship to the questioner. One reason for Vark&#x2019;s success is that it seeks out answers from people within an extended, personal network, naturally building trust and accountability into the system. But without knowing how you know the questioner, the iPhone app experience feels instead intrusive and disruptive, and lacks any strong social motivator to respond.
  • as i mentioned before, you can&#x2019;t shadow people in the digital world...so we need a new set of tools for studying social interactions and social ecosystems online <br /> <br /> just in case you haven&#x2019;t totally bought into this yet, here&#x2019;s a few reasons why: <br /> <br /> #1) possibly no where more obvious than mom & baby studies. all the good ones I know of do testing at home, so the baby doesn&#x2019;t get freaked out and they interact with mom like normal -- babies are good barometers of this stuff <br /> <br /> #2 ex) Subject received answer to a question he lazytweeted, so in my controlled study, he reported it as his &#x201C;final answer&#x201D;. I followed up two days later to see if he had received any other replies. In fact, the conversation thread on ping.fm had progressed, and the community had collectively concluded that the earlier reply was incorrect. This observation was only made possible by the passage of time. <br /> <br /> #3 ex) My sister tweets about her new startup, but I&#x2019;m not familiar with her a field and don&#x2019;t have a professional relationship with her, so I seldom reply to her tweets. However, when she emails, calls, or writes on my Facebook wall, I reply instantly&#x2014;even on an unfamiliar topic. If you were only studying my Twitter use, you might wrongly conclude that I&#x2019;m an ingrateful sister, but this interpretation would be taken out of the full context of my relationship with her.
  • in terms of actual methods, i&#x2019;ll share a few today and would *love* to hear what you do as well...
  • the first, which i&#x2019;m going to speed through, is somewhat obvious but extremely non-trivial -- immersion <br /> <br /> analogy: waitress needs to know the menu <br /> <br /> con: it takes a damn freaking long time
  • The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it&#x2019;s extremely applicable in digital environments <br /> <br /> The goal of any good researcher is to observe people&#x2019;s behavior in their natural environments. Live remote research accomplishes this to an extent (Ethnio.com, Bolt|Peter&#x2019;s product) catches users in the middle of their passionate tasks and asks them to participate in a study right then and there. <br /> <br /> But some tasks aren&#x2019;t cut out for live online sampling, like that tasks that involve mobile or a cross between online and offline activities.
  • The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it&#x2019;s extremely applicable in digital environments <br /> <br /> The goal of any good researcher is to observe people&#x2019;s behavior in their natural environments. Live remote research accomplishes this to an extent (Ethnio.com, Bolt|Peter&#x2019;s product) catches users in the middle of their passionate tasks and asks them to participate in a study right then and there. <br /> <br /> But some tasks aren&#x2019;t cut out for live online sampling, like that tasks that involve mobile or a cross between online and offline activities.
  • The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it&#x2019;s extremely applicable in digital environments <br /> <br /> The goal of any good researcher is to observe people&#x2019;s behavior in their natural environments. Live remote research accomplishes this to an extent (Ethnio.com, Bolt|Peter&#x2019;s product) catches users in the middle of their passionate tasks and asks them to participate in a study right then and there. <br /> <br /> But some tasks aren&#x2019;t cut out for live online sampling, like that tasks that involve mobile or a cross between online and offline activities.
  • The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it&#x2019;s extremely applicable in digital environments <br /> <br /> The goal of any good researcher is to observe people&#x2019;s behavior in their natural environments. Live remote research accomplishes this to an extent (Ethnio.com, Bolt|Peter&#x2019;s product) catches users in the middle of their passionate tasks and asks them to participate in a study right then and there. <br /> <br /> But some tasks aren&#x2019;t cut out for live online sampling, like that tasks that involve mobile or a cross between online and offline activities.
  • The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it&#x2019;s extremely applicable in digital environments <br /> <br /> The goal of any good researcher is to observe people&#x2019;s behavior in their natural environments. Live remote research accomplishes this to an extent (Ethnio.com, Bolt|Peter&#x2019;s product) catches users in the middle of their passionate tasks and asks them to participate in a study right then and there. <br /> <br /> But some tasks aren&#x2019;t cut out for live online sampling, like that tasks that involve mobile or a cross between online and offline activities.
  • The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it&#x2019;s extremely applicable in digital environments <br /> <br /> The goal of any good researcher is to observe people&#x2019;s behavior in their natural environments. Live remote research accomplishes this to an extent (Ethnio.com, Bolt|Peter&#x2019;s product) catches users in the middle of their passionate tasks and asks them to participate in a study right then and there. <br /> <br /> But some tasks aren&#x2019;t cut out for live online sampling, like that tasks that involve mobile or a cross between online and offline activities.
  • third: you might call this something like crowsourced surveys, even though i hate the term crowdsourced <br /> <br /> To do this I ran two detailed, critical incident questionnaires. One was focused around successful searches; the other around difficult or failed searches. Both asked questions about just one episode from the recent past &#x2014; and explored a lot of issues before, during, and after the search that highlighted critical moments. <br /> <br /> Critical incident questioning was the right method here because I was trying to understand a particular problem space in more detail and I wanted lots of (qualitative) usage data. (I got 150 replies to both surveys.)
  • Of course, understanding the interactions in a community goes beyond just data collection. <br /> <br /> -useful for digesting the data you collect (qualitative reports)
  • one thing, of course, is to create personas -- but based on social strategies <br /> <br /> I&#x2019;ve created behavioral personas that highlight user strategies and expected social interactions with others. These are, therefore, somewhat more contextualized of personas than merely personas based on demographics.
  • It&#x2019;s also important to frame your use cases/personas in realistic scenarios. Tell a story that addresses some of the contextual & sociological issues that affect behavior in the social ecosystem you&#x2019;re designing for. <br /> <br /> I did this for thebetacup.com, by recounting the life and times of a paper cup named &#x201C;Papel.&#x201D;
  • Bodystorming (like play-acting) is another way to illustrate the many moving parts and influential factors of a social system. I did this at the Overlap Conference in July 2009 with thebetacup.com team to model what a coffee goer&#x2019;s experience was like, with the goal of understanding what consumers would want in a reusable travel mug.
  • Bodystorming (like play-acting) is another way to illustrate the many moving parts and influential factors of a social system. I did this at the Overlap Conference in July 2009 with thebetacup.com team to model what a coffee goer&#x2019;s experience was like, with the goal of understanding what consumers would want in a reusable travel mug.

Digital Ethnography For Social Interaction Design [Remix] Digital Ethnography For Social Interaction Design [Remix] Presentation Transcript