In summary, what are social
networks? They are networks of people. Network: complex systems. People: psychological and social dynamics.
We need to think differently
about social networks. Technology enables usage but that's not enough: the dynamics interplay on the interfaces, which are considered social artefacts in addition to being cognitive.
Why do we need motivations
in design? It’s because if we consider systemic factors as constraints and opportunities, the motivations are what fuel social networks and make them running, growing and living entities.
Example Digg: no more charts
Digg was forced to remove the “Top Diggers” chart. The reason? Top diggers were accused of manipulating results to be quot;at the topquot; and Digg perceived this as ruining the quality of the service. http://blog.digg.com/?p=60
Example Digg: the voting system
Digg’s voting design is very simple and fast: one click and you decide if the content is good. Note: while it isn’t clear at ﬁrst glance, the “vote down” feature exists as well. It’s just harder to reach and use. Digg has a “hybrid” voting design: two votes are possible, but one is deﬁnitely easier.
The Relational Motivations: affection. The
need to share and be a part of a community or relationship that supports individual actions and thoughts, that also functions as a shelter to protect oneself. Affection - Care system
Example LinkedIn: implicit and explicit
On LinkedIn groups and recommendations are used to raise one’s status. Groups are used to display a sort of “social identiﬁcation badge” . Recommendations play a role of reciprocal acknowledgment.
Social Usability. Social Usability is
a quality attribute that assesses how easy social interactions are to make. The word “social usability” also refers to the methods for improving the ease of human-human interactions during the design process.
Example FriendFeed: subtle contacts FriendFeed
designed an interesting method to allow people to discover other people in a content-driven situation. It shows you a speciﬁc content of someone you don’t follow if a friend comments on it.
Example Facebook: proﬁles Facebook, as
a generic social network (a social network without any other scope outside social relations) is the best example of a 360° proﬁle. Note: it’s curious that the page theme is one of the few things that isn’t possible to customize, it’s a kind of personalization that allows a very good identity expression at a glance.
Example Skype: with one, or
many Skype is a software that allows very ﬂexible and lightweight communication channel management: personal 1-to-1, private 1-to- some and public 1-to-many. All of these with just a click. This is true for both text and voice (and ﬁle exchange).
Social Usability properties: groups emergence.
How easy is it to create groups, aggregate and talk around a common interest? How active are groups once estabilished? How long do they last? How important is to be a part of the group?
Example IRC: a new group
is simple This is an old friend. IRC is centered on the room metaphor, that’s just a way to organize groups. A new group is just a few clicks away. The IRC rooms: real time interactions and a name can easily build strong relationships.
Circadian Activity Flow. It’s the
sequence of small and big actions made during the span of a day, prioritized through competing individual value hierarchies: importance, interest, obligations, easiness, moral, etc.
Example Twitter: always, everywhere Twitter
is a leader of insertion ins one’s ﬂow, thanks to a wide array of channels to use it: web, e- mail, instant messaging, sms. Anything not offered by Twitter directly is created by outsiders through the API.