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

  • Digital Ethnography for Social Interaction Design BRYNN M. EVANS ● BRYNNEVANS.COM
  • Social issues underlying “non-social” problems one of the themes of my year is that there are social issues underlying even things that don’t initially appear to be all that social. wrigleys: improve the experience of the Wrigley’s gum product -gum lives (in people’s mouths) but also at the heart of a social ecosystem -we have to understand that to design for it -luckily, we have our handy dandy “Human Centered Design toolkit” from IDEO ... and we’re on our way. -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’t initially appear to be all that social. wrigleys: improve the experience of the Wrigley’s gum product -gum lives (in people’s mouths) but also at the heart of a social ecosystem -we have to understand that to design for it -luckily, we have our handy dandy “Human Centered Design toolkit” from IDEO ... and we’re on our way. -because we can shadow people in the real world to understand what they do View slide
  • Things get trickier online! kickstarter is harder to study without doing some kind of digital anthropology View slide
  • 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
  • Social Interaction Design SxD is about picking apart the social design issues -borrow heavily from anthropology, sociology, psychology, communication theory, etc. -goes beyond HCI -about designing for communities or for person-to-person interaction
  • http://brynnevans.com/blog/2010/01/24/vision-board/ To me the crux of it is that no two communities are the same. very broadly, SxD is... *not about designing specific kinds of conversations or social interactions per se *but designing the ecosystems in such a way that social interactions can emerge I made this vision baord as a reminder of what social interaction design is — what factors influence social dynamics in a community, and what kinds of questions you have to ask when studying or designing for a community. 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 “one size fits all.” The quote beneath reminds us of that: “I don’t really know what ‘community’ means.” Is that like Facebook? Question mark? Thus what works for Facebook won’t necessarily work for LinkedIn. And as we’re seeing, Google Buzz encourages a very different kind of sociality than Facebook or Twitter.
  • http://brynnevans.com/blog/2010/01/24/vision-board/ To me the crux of it is that no two communities are the same. very broadly, SxD is... *not about designing specific kinds of conversations or social interactions per se *but designing the ecosystems in such a way that social interactions can emerge I made this vision baord as a reminder of what social interaction design is — what factors influence social dynamics in a community, and what kinds of questions you have to ask when studying or designing for a community. 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 “one size fits all.” The quote beneath reminds us of that: “I don’t really know what ‘community’ means.” Is that like Facebook? Question mark? Thus what works for Facebook won’t necessarily work for LinkedIn. And as we’re seeing, Google Buzz encourages a very different kind of sociality than Facebook or Twitter.
  • Society ● Culture ● Personalities ● Past history ● Compassion http://brynnevans.com/blog/2010/01/24/vision-board/ Reputation ● Trust ● Conversations ● Emotion ● Location To me the crux of it is that no two communities are the same. very broadly, SxD is... *not about designing specific kinds of conversations or social interactions per se *but designing the ecosystems in such a way that social interactions can emerge I made this vision baord as a reminder of what social interaction design is — what factors influence social dynamics in a community, and what kinds of questions you have to ask when studying or designing for a community. 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 “one size fits all.” The quote beneath reminds us of that: “I don’t really know what ‘community’ means.” Is that like Facebook? Question mark? Thus what works for Facebook won’t necessarily work for LinkedIn. And as we’re seeing, Google Buzz encourages a very different kind of sociality than Facebook or Twitter.
  • Where to begin? SXDSALON.ORG ❝ It’s the interactions among users that informs design ❞ Adrian Chan http://gravity7.com Photo by: Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com  Where to start? Adrian Chan is like the ‘aristotole of SxD.’ So if you care about this, you should follow him. 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’s what will inform your design And then — I love this quote — how might you go about actually doing that? Well, imaging that what you’re seeing just originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys
  • Where to begin? SXDSALON.ORG ❝ It’s the interactions among users that informs design ❞ Adrian Chan http://gravity7.com ❝ Interpreting human interactions as though they originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys. ❞ Jenny Ryan http://jennyryan.net Photo by: Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com  Where to start? Adrian Chan is like the ‘aristotole of SxD.’ So if you care about this, you should follow him. 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’s what will inform your design And then — I love this quote — how might you go about actually doing that? Well, imaging that what you’re seeing just originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys
  • Where to begin? SXDSALON.ORG ❝ It’s the interactions among users that informs design ❞ Adrian Chan http://gravity7.com ❝ Interpreting human interactions as though they originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys. ❞ Jenny Ryan Photo by: Kenneth Yeung - www.thelettertwo.com  orly? http://jennyryan.net Where to start? Adrian Chan is like the ‘aristotole of SxD.’ So if you care about this, you should follow him. 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’s what will inform your design And then — I love this quote — how might you go about actually doing that? Well, imaging that what you’re seeing just originated from a bunch of crazy space monkeys
  • take this current events story...ReadWriteWeb writes an article about facebook
  • take this current events story...ReadWriteWeb writes an article about facebook
  • Users go to Google, type ‘facebook login’, and click on one of the first news links, and end up on RWW
  • Users go to Google, type ‘facebook login’, and click on one of the first news links, and end up on RWW
  • Users go to Google, type ‘facebook login’, and click on one of the first news links, and end up on RWW
  • ...Much to their dismay. Since 1700 comments were left complaining about the terrible FB redesign. Best yet -- dear Laraine who suggests that people go to Bing.com and type Facebook to get where they need to go. Oh sigh.
  • 0.2 ...Much to their dismay. Since 1700 comments were left complaining about the terrible FB redesign. Best yet -- dear Laraine who suggests that people go to Bing.com and type Facebook to get where they need to go. Oh sigh.
  • A few people have written about this since then... Crazy space monkeys you might say? Not that far off.
  • A few people have written about this since then... Crazy space monkeys you might say? Not that far off.
  • Spectrum of SxD P2P Community Social Space • between individuals • within a community • where others have come before • Aardvark, Twitter • IxDA SF, Twitter • Wikipedia, Twitter it’s important to keep in mind that what’s “social” takes places at a couple of levels social interaction design issues will apply across a spectrum of design spaces / problems (in fact, my work on social search spans this spectrum -- different kinds of soc search give very different benefits to the user)
  • Aardvark (@vark) To throw out a concrete example here: i <3 aardvark ;) -what they got right: started with social and worked backwards to an algorithm -aardvark routes your questions to people in your network who are potentially knowledgeable (and available)
  • Aardvark (@vark) Asking Drawbacks to answering on Aardvark mobile: 1) on-the-go, we’re often hurried, distracted, or our hands are full. hard to type out an answer 2) assumption that answer resides in our heads, but 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) 3) best answers take place as a conversation (a few back and forth replies between people) -- nearly impossible in mobile setting 4) not enough information about your relationship to the person asking
  • Aardvark (@vark) Answering Drawbacks to answering on Aardvark mobile: 1) on-the-go, we’re often hurried, distracted, or our hands are full. hard to type out an answer 2) assumption that answer resides in our heads, but 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) 3) best answers take place as a conversation (a few back and forth replies between people) -- nearly impossible in mobile setting 4) not enough information about your relationship to the person asking
  • Aardvark (@vark) Answering ❶ hurried and distracted on-the-go ❷ may know where to look, but have to search for the full answer ❸ hard to have a conversation ❹ not enough relationship information Drawbacks to answering on Aardvark mobile: 1) on-the-go, we’re often hurried, distracted, or our hands are full. hard to type out an answer 2) assumption that answer resides in our heads, but 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) 3) best answers take place as a conversation (a few back and forth replies between people) -- nearly impossible in mobile setting 4) not enough information about your relationship to the person asking
  • Why digital ethnography? ❶ hard to recreate social interactions in the lab ❷ social interactions unfold over time ❸ social interactions are best understood in the context where they occurred as i mentioned before, you can’t shadow people in the digital world...so we need a new set of tools for studying social interactions and social ecosystems online just in case you haven’t totally bought into this yet, here’s a few reasons why: #1 ex) possibly no where more obvious than mom & baby studies. all the good ones I know of do testing at home, so the baby doesn’t get freaked out and they interact with mom like normal -- babies are good barometers of this stuff #3 ex) My sister tweets about her new startup, but I’m not familiar with her a field and don’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—even on an unfamiliar topic. If you were only studying my Twitter use, you might wrongly conclude that I’m an ungrateful sister, but this interpretation would be taken out of the full context of my relationship with her.
  • Research Methods
  • Immersion Public by Default, Private when Necessary. by danah boyd Photo by: Compound Eye http://www.flickr.com/photos/paopix/244067624/ the first, which i’m going to speed through, is somewhat obvious but extremely non-trivial -- immersion (best example is danah boyd = basically became a teenager for her PhD) analogy: waitress needs to know the menu to recommend dishes to you con: it takes a damn freaking long time
  • Experience Sampling http://www.globaluserresearch.com/blog/2010/01/user-experience-sampling-twitter The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it’s extremely applicable in digital environments One example is from a team studying smartphones. They gave 15 users smartphones with twitter accounts, and had people DM their research account when they pinged them with questions several times a day. For 7 days.f
  • Experience Sampling + + http://www.globaluserresearch.com/blog/2010/01/user-experience-sampling-twitter The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it’s extremely applicable in digital environments One example is from a team studying smartphones. They gave 15 users smartphones with twitter accounts, and had people DM their research account when they pinged them with questions several times a day. For 7 days.f
  • Experience Sampling + + Questions: •now? are you doing with most smartphone What (Or, what was the your recent   activity you did with your smartphone? When?) •What was the specific purpose of that activity?  •Please describe the situation around you at that time. •smartphone experience,you have? To expect? your What inconvenience did what do you improve http://www.globaluserresearch.com/blog/2010/01/user-experience-sampling-twitter The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it’s extremely applicable in digital environments One example is from a team studying smartphones. They gave 15 users smartphones with twitter accounts, and had people DM their research account when they pinged them with questions several times a day. For 7 days.f
  • Experience Sampling + + Results: •70% of experiences reported were DMs (587 msgs) •60 opinions per design issue (theme) •each theme discussed for 5+ hours •great for longer-term, in-depth experience collection http://www.globaluserresearch.com/blog/2010/01/user-experience-sampling-twitter The next is experience sampling -- and this is actually not new, per se, but it’s extremely applicable in digital environments One example is from a team studying smartphones. They gave 15 users smartphones with twitter accounts, and had people DM their research account when they pinged them with questions several times a day. For 7 days.f
  • Crowdsourced surveys Critical incident survey: 1. When was the last 5. What prompted you to time you searched for perform the search? information? 6. What steps did you take to 2. What were you looking find the information? for? 7. What did you do just after 3. What were you doing just you searched? before you searched? 8. If other people were nearby, 4. Did you talk with anyone were they influencing your before you searched? search process? Consider also: • writing the survey with different user perspectives • giving the survey continuously thru development/deployment Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7979048@N06/2384754603/ third: you might call this something like crowsourced surveys, even though i hate the term crowdsourced. You know what I’m talking about. I’ve been using critical incident questionnaires to understand behavior around just one episode from a user’s recent past — and explored a lot of issues before, during, and after the [episode] that highlighted critical moments.
  • Beyond Data Collection
  • Personas Conferring Carl Always confers with partners first; then continues the search alone. Prefers to go-it-alone until she gets stuck; only seeks help from others after trying all options. Persistent Peggy PHOTOS BY FORACHANCE.WORDPRESS.COM, COOLEY.DEVIANTART.COM, POSIXELENI, R. STEPHEN RAINWATER one thing, of course, is to create personas -- but consider doing this based on social strategies, rather than on single user interactions.
  • Design Comics http://www.scribd.com/doc/22133391/Papel-the-Paper-Cup It’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’re designing for. I did this for thebetacup.com, by recounting the life and times of a paper cup named “Papel.”
  • Bodystorming Background: The goal of this bodystorming (play-acting) exercise was to bring awareness to the issues with non-recyclable paper cups and coffee culture. http://www.vimeo.com/5968946 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’s experience was like, with the goal of understanding what consumers would want in a reusable travel mug.
  • Bodystorming Background: The goal of this bodystorming (play-acting) exercise was to bring awareness to the issues with non-recyclable paper cups and coffee culture. http://www.vimeo.com/5968946 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’s experience was like, with the goal of understanding what consumers would want in a reusable travel mug.
  • More Stuff SxD http://sxdsalon.org http://www.gravity7.com/blog/media/2010/02/google-buzz-v-twitter-more-on-micro.html http://www.slideshare.net/willevans/designing-sociality-in-networked-publics Digital Ethnography http://jennyryan.net/musings/2009/03/reflections-on-writing-a-digital-ethnography/ http://brynnevans.com/blog/2010/02/04/remote-research-for-sxd/ User Testing on Mechanical Turk http://brynnevans.com/blog/2010/02/11/user-testing-on-mechanical-turk-how-to/
  • Thanks URF!