Designing Social


Published on

Another in my class on User Experience, a shorter version of my workshop on Designing Social Websites.

Designing Social

  1. 1. Designing Social General Assembly 10/24/12
  2. 2. TwitterSocial Media FacebookSocial Software LinkedInSocial Network MySpaceThe Social WebThe Social Graph FlickrCommunitiesWeb 2.0UGC Jargon Check
  3. 3. Whatis social, really?
  4. 4. Credit Tim O’Reilly
  5. 5. The Social Webis a digital space where data abouthuman interactions is as importantas other data types for providingvalueCommunityis when those humans care abouteach other.
  6. 6. Social XXX• Usenet Social Software can be loosely• Forums defined as software which• Email supports, extends, or Nothing Newderives added value from,• Mailing lists human social behavior -• Groupware message-boards, musical• Social Networks Services taste-sharing, photo-• Social Software sharing, instant messaging,• Social Media mailing lists, social networking.
  7. 7. Whybother?
  8. 8. 8 days after a video was posted showinghow to pick the lock in 30 seconds using apen Kryptonite recalled 380,000 locks
  9. 9. Your users have something to tell you. If you don’t give them a way to communicate, they will find one.Trebor Scholz
  10. 10. “I could go on with the benefits of building relationships rather than SEO campaigns, such as: – Longevity and customer retention, not to mention repeat customers – Bug tracking and community policing (ie. Flickr’s ‘Flag this photo as “may offend”?’) – Amplified word of mouth – Built in market research – Buying ads is bloody expensive”Tara Hunt
  11. 11. “HOLD ON A SEC...are social feature economically viable? 1. Direct contact with people who make you successful 2. Amplify customer opinion 3. Data, data, and more data 4. Reduce support costsJoshua 5. Engender Trust to form lastingPorter relationships”
  12. 12. Howdo you design social?
  13. 13. B=f(P+E) Behavior is a function of a Person and his Environment - Lewin’s Equation
  14. 14. The SocialWeb is builthere, fromlove andesteem
  15. 15. O’Reilly Report on FacebookThe Facebook Application Platform
  16. 16. Motivation for hours(and hours and hours)of work
  17. 17. Kollock’s 4 Motivations for Contributing1. Reciprocity2. Reputation3. Increased sense of efficacy4. Attachment to and need of a group
  18. 18. Reciprocity
  19. 19. ReputationWhats the motivation of behind thesepeople actually interacting and people want toparticipating? …share with the communitywhat they believe to beimportant …. and they want tosee their name in lights. Theywant to see their little icon on the frontpage, their username on the front page, soother people can see it.
  20. 20. Increased sense of efficacy
  21. 21. Attachment to and need of a group
  22. 22. The New Third Place? “All great societies provide informal meeting places, like the Forum in ancient Rome or a contemporary English pub. But since World War II, America has ceased doing so. The neighborhood tavern hasnt followed the middle class out to the suburbs...” -- Ray Oldenburg
  23. 23. 205 Structure Follows SocialSpacesConflictNo building ever feels right to the people init unless the physical spaces (defined bycolumns, walls, and ceilings) are congruentwith the social spaces (defined by activitiesand human groups).ResolutionA first principle of construction; on noaccount allow the engineering to dictatethe buildings form. Place the load bearingelements- the columns and the walls andfloors- according to the social spaces of thebuilding; never modify the social spaces toconform to the engineering structure of thebuilding.
  24. 24. 36. Degrees of publicnessConflict: People are different,and the way they want to placetheir houses in a neighborhoodis one of the most basic kinds ofdifference.Resolution: Make a clear distinctionbetween three kinds of homes―thoseon quiet backwaters, those on busystreets, and those that are more or lessin-between. Make sure that those on quietbackwaters are on twisting paths, and that these housesare themselves physically secluded; make sure that themore public houses are on busy streets with manypeople passing by all day long and that the housesthemselves are exposed to the passers-by. The in-between houses may then be located on the pathshalfway between the other two. Give everyneighborhood about an equal number of these threekinds of homes.
  25. 25. Identity Social SpaceActivity Relationships Distribution (Viral)
  26. 26. TOWNS The language begins with patterns that define towns and communities. These patterns can never be designed or built in one fell swoop - but patient piecemeal growth, designed in such a way that every individual act is always helping to create or generate these larger global patterns, will, slowly and surely, over the years, make a community that has these global patterns in it. BUILDINGS We now start that part of the language which gives shape to individual buildings. These are the patterns which can be "designed) or "built”- the patterns which define the individual buildings and the space between buildings; where we are dealing for the first time with Patterns that are under the control of individuals or small groups of individuals, who are able to build the patterns all at once:
  27. 27. profile Identity presence reputation Social Share Contacts Space Activity RelationshipsCollab Convos Groups Attention Distribution (Viral)
  28. 28. StrategizeExercise 1: brainstorm a new feature or site area that brings a appropriate community to your website. Things to think about: • Business goals: how does this community further the needs of the company? • User goals: what makes this community attractive in a time when they have a hundred other places vying for their attention. What is the personal worth of the tools? • What if no one shows up, can it still have value? • Community nature: will this be a true community, or will this be a collective wisdom tool? Think about the spectrum. • Approach to Creation: can you partner. rather than build?
  29. 29. profile Identitypresence reputation
  30. 30. 1.) If you were going to build apiece of social software to support large and long-lived groups, what would you design for? The first thing you would design for is handles the user can invest in. Clay Shirky, A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy enemy.html
  31. 31. Profile• Avatar Profile• Bio• Collections
  32. 32. Identity is Context BasedFacebook- Personal LinkedIN - Professional
  33. 33. Identity• Avatar Avatar• Profile• Activity• Collections
  34. 34. Collections
  35. 35. Presence
  36. 36. Presence •Status Presence •History •Statistics •Signs of Life •Keeping me Company
  37. 37. 2.) Second, you have to design a way for there to be members in good standing. Have to design some way in which goodworks get recognized. The minimal way is, posts appear with identity. Youcan do more sophisticated things like having formal karma or "member since."
  38. 38. Reputation is…Information used to make a value judgment about an object or person…
  39. 39. Reputations
  40. 40. StrategizeExercise 2: what elements do you need for identity? Profile? Presence? Reputation?
  41. 41. Contacts RelationshipsGroups Attention
  42. 42. you have to find a way to spare the group from scale. Scale alone kills conversations,because conversations requiredense two-way conversations. [Dunbar] found that the MAXIMUM number of people that a person could keep up with socially at any given time, gossip maintenance, was 150. This doesnt mean that people dont have 150 people in their social network, but that they only keep tabs on 150 people max at any given point.
  43. 43. Attention Groups Contacts
  44. 44. Attention
  45. 45. Groups
  46. 46. Connectionss
  47. 47. StrategizeExercise 3: what kinds of relationships will you support? Asymmetrical Attention-Based? Groups? Connections?
  48. 48. Share ActivityCollaborate Communicate
  49. 49. The AOF Method• 1. Defining your Activity• 2. Identifying your Social Objects• 3. Choosing your Features Courtesy of Joshua Porter. Check out!
  50. 50. Classic Question• Who are your users?Better Question• What are your users doing? • What do people have to do to make you successful? • What are you making people better at? • What are your users passionate about?
  51. 51. 2. Identifying your Social Objects
  52. 52. The term “social networking” makes little senseif we leave out the objects that mediate the tiesbetween people. Think about the object as thereason why people affiliate with each specificother and not just anyone. Jyri Engeström
  53. 53. What are Social Objects?• Social objects can be ideas, people, or physical objects.• Social objects influence social interaction...they change the way people interact with each other.• By interacting through/with social objects, people meet others they might not otherwise know.• Social objects can be the reason why people have an interaction or form a relationship. Joshua Porter (
  54. 54. 3. Choosing your Features
  55. 55. Conversations
  56. 56. Sharing
  57. 57. StrategizeExercise 4: what are the social objects and what do people do? i.e. What are your SOCIAL nouns and verbs?
  58. 58. profile Identity presence reputation Social Share Contacts Space Activity RelationshipsCollab Convos Groups Attention Distribution (Viral)
  59. 59. SocialSpace
  60. 60. Norms & Caretakers
  61. 61. Community Management• Who’s going to do what? – Participate in your community• Who will handle complaints? – CRM or GetSatisfaction?• What is the resource commitment?• What is the core functionality• What are the phased releases?• Will you learn from your mistakes?
  62. 62. Veneration Vilification
  63. 63. Simple (hard) Steps• Have a compelling idea• Seed• Someone must live on the site – Community manager or you• Make the rules clear (and short) – Write a good TOS• Punish swiftly and nicely• Reward contributions• Spread the work out• Adapt to Community Norms• Apologize publicly, swiftly and frequently• Simple good software that grows with group
  64. 64. Does Software Matter? Joel Spolsky, Joel on SoftwareRobin Miller, Cofounder ofSlahdot
  65. 65. Probably not
  66. 66. Homework• Define and design (outline, sketch) identity components• Define the relationship type• Define the core social behavior. One task analysis for a social activity (commenting, sharing, etc)