Online Communities Design Patterns
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Online Communities Design Patterns



This presentation came out from experimental workshop I gave on LIFT08 in Geneva to introduce a set of design/functional patterns and interactions which a successful online community should display in ...

This presentation came out from experimental workshop I gave on LIFT08 in Geneva to introduce a set of design/functional patterns and interactions which a successful online community should display in order to empower its users and facilitate conversation between them.

This workshop also tried to establish a bridge between Usability Best Practices and Community Centered Design, a practice that can maximize the networking and crowd effect under online user communities.

If you’re interested, you can get the <a>FULL VERSION of the presentation in PDF</a> or you can simply watch the <a>Design Patterns part on SlideShare</a> (sorry, but the 30Mb limit on SlideShare wouldn’t let me post it in it’s full extent there).



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Online Communities Design Patterns Online Communities Design Patterns Presentation Transcript

  • Community Design PATTERNS
  • QUICK REGISTRATION ease up the process of becoming a new member, but still manage to protect the community of strangers;
  • QUICK REGISTRATION WHEN TO USE: - resistance to reveal personal information - community open for growth - users start registration (full) process and drop out in the middle PROBLEMS: - users fear for high commitment because they haven't yet established trust about the community (safety net) - BOTS (use defensive mechanisms like captchas)
  • LOGIN force users to identify themselves before using/entering the community
  • LOGIN WHEN TO USE: - users need/want to distinguish themselves - granular access / secure assets - user annoyed with anonymous interactions/accesses - long time interaction - multiple location access PROBLEMS: - forgotten passwords (include recover mechanisms);
  • WELCOME AREA List new members of a community and present them to other members, ensuring that new members won't go unnoticed.
  • WELCOME AREA WHEN TO USE: - long-time members share a large collective history - smaller subgroups forming inside the larger community - resistance to entrance of new members PROBLEMS: - group members internal focus miss out new members and ignore their possible contributions - veterans need to 'pay' attention to the newcomers - newcomers might not want to quot;attractquot; such attention so early.
  • USER PROFILE create a virtual representation of the users 'self' that it's seen and shared across interactions
  • The user PROFILE as a virtual identity, as a personality and skills aggregator. the bridge between the real and the virtual individual representing the user across all his interactions within the community
  • Avatars
  • USERS GALLERY reveal who's using the community
  • USER GALLERY WHEN TO USE: - hesitation on first contacts - hard to remember who's member of a community - you know their names, but want to know more about them PROBLEMS: - must be searchable - carefully balance the amount of quot;publicquot; information without further involvement or identification (user levels => information levels)
  • BUDDY LISTs show only a selected group of users
  • Contacts / Friends Friends list is the new center of the universe! “Through others I define myself” Portuguese saying: “Tell me who you go out with, and I’ll tell you who you are!”
  • GROUPS allow users to create and maintain groups within the community and interact with them the same as a 'regular, single user'
  • GROUPS WHEN TO USE: - send out multiple artifacts to same users multiple times - select multiple users before interactions - users don't clearly know who they interact with PROBLEMS: - by interacting with groups of users, one might not develop group awareness - additional workload for users - group create strong borders within the community - group moderation
  • INVITATIONS allow users to plan interaction with others
  • SHARED EDITING allow users to edit simultaneously sets of data/ artifacts
  • SHARED EDITING WHEN TO USE: - need for collaborative editing - missing out the group quot;collaborationquot; with isolated user actions PROBLEMS: - single-user applications don't help collaborative environments - WYSIWIS - what you see is what I see not always possible (software/hardware restrictions/different among users)
  • REPUTATION because not all users are equal!
  • VOTING quickly test group’s view on specific matters
  • VOTING WHEN TO USE: - users are unsure of appropriate strategies for community actions - decisions made within the community are discussed controversially or shown to be wrong after they been applied PROBLEMS: - it’s hard to work out the distribution of opinions across the group/ community
  • The conversation flows within communities, however the community itself only facilitates the conversation thru its interfaces it should never try to control the conversation!
  • MESSAGING provide means for users to communicate within the community platform
  • CHAT allow users to communicate synchronously
  • COMMENTS provide means of sharing comments on specific artifacts
  • FORUMS / BLOGS provide means for persistent, asynchronous conversations
  • NEIGHBORS create neighbor awareness by providing information about users interacting or using semantically similar artifacts
  • “FoF - Friends of Friends”
  • INTERACTIVE USER INFO make information about other users clickable and connect it with means of communication
  • ACTIVITY LOGs record information about users actions in a such a way that it provides a history log about their actions and artifacts interaction
  • ACTIVITY LOG PROBLEMS: - merging past and present activities it's hard - scale: ensure that many users can update logs at the same time - ensure that users know which and of their actions are trackable - users need to feel that there's a value in being tracked - cleanup logs: not everything is required for ever! WHEN TO USE: - users notice changes but can't figure out what has changed - need to track incorrect changes back to the user who committed them
  • TIMELINE show who's been active at specific points in time
  • PERIODIC REPORTS inform users at regular intervals of relevant changes/actions
  • Conversational Design PERIODIC REPORTS PROBLEMS: - reports can be considered spam - make sure reports are well organized - avoid empty reports WHEN TO USE: - users collaborate asynchronously over shared objects
  • ALIVENESS INDICATOR show an indicator on the virtual environment that reflects user's activity levels.
  • Conversational Design ALIVENESS INDICATOR PROBLEMS: - hard to experience the group life without it - pretended participation just to keep the indicator alive WHEN TO USE: - users working asynchronously not always work on the collaborative workspace, only some part of the actions take place in that environment. - users complain about poor participation - users don't know who's participating or not