IA Failures in Social Networking Platforms
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IA Failures in Social Networking Platforms

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Social networking platforms (SNPs) are now an accepted part of personal and professional life. It is a rare IA that does not have some presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. ...

Social networking platforms (SNPs) are now an accepted part of personal and professional life. It is a rare IA that does not have some presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The fact remains that many SNPs are not readily usable. If we take the wag's description of Information Architecture as "finding the stuff and using the stuff", most SNPs fail at least some of the time.

This short presentation will pull apart some of the IA failures in popular SNPs and look at how these could be addressed.

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IA Failures in Social Networking Platforms IA Failures in Social Networking Platforms Presentation Transcript

  • IA Failures in Social Networking Andrew Boyd facibus@gmail.com @facibus
  • social networking platforms • this is where the big tag cloud diagram would go • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • let’s talk... • some definitional stuff • let’s pick on Facebook • let’s pick on Twitter • let’s talk about a social contract
  • some definitional stuff • people do stuff (execute tasks) with things (in this case, social networking platforms) • IA is about finding the stuff and using the stuff. • if you can't find the stuff, you can't use the stuff... and if you can't use the stuff, you can't use the stuff.
  • let’s pick on Facebook • Task: plan an event • Task: find a friend • The good bits: it may be stupid, but at least it’s big
  • let’s pick on Facebook • Task: plan an event • Task: find a friend • The good bits: it may be stupid, but at least it’s big
  • let’s pick on Facebook Task: plan an event • go to facebook.com and look for the Events menu • click on Home, then realise you were already on Home. Feel foolish. • click on Profile. Scroll up and down. Swear. • Notice the fixed toolbar at the bottom of the page. Feel foolish. Swear. • Mouse over until you note that the tooltip for the calendar icon is Events.
  • let’s pick on Facebook Task: plan an event 2 • locate + Create an Event icon. Click on it. • look at 23 element form for event creation. Think. • call the event “My Birthday Party” • examine mandatory event types and swear when you note that one of them is Party > Birthday Party • click on Create Event icon (another one?) • bored yet? I know I am :)
  • let’s pick on Facebook Task: plan an event 3 • fill out the second page of form stuff • send out the invites • wait a month or two until it’s time to check who is coming • forget that you have to click on the Event icon in the toolbar down the bottom of the page. Swear. • find your event and check acceptances • swear that you will use eventbrite next time
  • let’s fix Facebook • Navigation fixes • Notification fixes • The good bits: it may be a little stupid, but at least it’s big
  • let’s fix Facebook • Navigation fixes • Notification fixes
  • let’s pick on Twitter • sometimes, it works - sometimes, it doesn’t •
  • let’s pick on Twitter • spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam
  • let’s pick on Twitter • task: find something on an ephemeral platform used for non-ephemeral information • task: refollow on an iPhone • the good bits: TGFTAPI
  • let’s fix Twitter • availability and spam issues: what do you think?
  • The social contract for social networking • there is a social contract implied in our use of social networking tools. • we add value to their share price, and in return, they add value to our lives. We need to take this contract seriously so the SNP providers do, too.
  • Whadda ya gonna do? • Talk about it - blog, tweet, discuss • It’s OK to complain when things get bad • I’m @facibus, @facibus@gmail.com