Xianhang Zhang: Lessons from Social Software: From Facebook to Face to Face Design Guild
Lessons from Social Software:From Facebook to a Face to Face Design Guild Xianhang Zhang - BayCHI
A Tale of Two BridgesGrange Bridge, Cumbria Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa 1675 1984
Pre-scientiﬁc • Built through trial & error • Frequent failure • Lack of generalizable learning • Rules of thumb knowledgeGrange Bridge, Cumbria 1675 • Knowledge only gained via experience
Scientiﬁc • Built using theory & methodology • Predictable results • Accumulation of learning • Abstracted knowledgeBloukrans Bridge, South Africa 1984 • Taught via instruction
My Background• BSc Computer Science (University of New South Wales)•• HCI work with Tabletop Computing (University of Sydney)
Interaction Design • User Centered Design • Usability Testing • Personas & Use Cases • Mental Models • Fitts’ Law & GOMS • etc...
My Background• BSc Computer Science (University of New South Wales)•• HCI work with Tabletop Computing (University of Sydney)• PhD Candidate (University of Washington)...
Flame wars are not surprising; they are one of the most reliable features of mailing listpractice. If you assume a piece of software is for what it does, rather than what its designers goals were, then mailing listsoftware is a tool for creating and sustaining heated argument...
You couldnt go through the code of Mailman and find the comment that reads "The next subroutine ensures that misunderstandings between users will be amplified, leading to name-calling and vitriol." Yet the software will frequently produce just that outcome...
In thirty years, the principal engineering work on mailing lists has been on the administrative experience. Mailman now offers administrator nearly a hundred configurable options, many with multiplechoices. However, the social experience of a mailing list over those three decades has hardly changed at all...
Is it considered rude to "ignore" a friend request?Is it considered rude to un-friend a facebookfriend? What if its someone you never actuallyspeak to? And wish you had never friended? Butyou dont want to seem like an asshole? Willeveryone assume that there was some "issue" orfight between us?What about work related "friends," like a boss orsomeone you want to maintain good relations withbut dont want seeing your party pictures?Is the point of facebook to acquire the mostfriends? Is there a secret prize for accomplishingthis?
What is Social Experience Design?• Designing the Social Interactions around a product/service• A distinct & separate ﬁeld from Interaction Design• Designing for nuance, politeness, ambiguity, identity & privacy• Does not require an interactive technology• An example...
Group Discussion Protocol• Standard: First-in-First-out
Group Discussion Protocol• Better: Raised Finger & Raised Hand
My Background•• HCI work with Tabletop Computing (University of Sydney)• PhD Candidate (University of Washington)• Bumblebee Labs (Founder)• Peel (Social Experience Designer)• Product Design Guild (Founder)
Social Experience Design • Built through trial & error • Frequent failure • Lack of generalizable learning • Rules of thumb knowledge • Knowledge only gained via experience
Social Experience Design Primer1. Sociotechnical Systems2. Social Affordances3. Plazas & Warrens
• Rapid increase in demand for designers• Design education isn’t reﬂecting skills SV employers want• Technology teams now 3 - 5 engineers & 1 designer• Mentorship is a losing economic proposition
I think this is where guilds come in. Today, we oftenequate guilds with unions and organizing to establish andprotect workers rights.But, one of the original functions of guilds was toestablish a path of mastery that was orthogonal to theworkplace, since it was unlikely that you had a chance towork with other craftsmen on a daily basis.
Mission: To enable the creation of more &better designers by providing a path ofmastery that is orthogonal to the workplace
Pilot #1• 30 designers• Bringing real work in order to engage in collaborative design• Noon - 6pm• Largely free-form collaboration
Rules• You need to bring work: This is a place for work to be done. There is no room for tourists• Give before you receive: We want this to be a community for contribution, not a resource for exploitation• Be articulate about what you can offer: We are looking for people who can contribute to the education of fellow designers
Rules (continued)• Seek permission from all of your stakeholders before sharing: Dont sneak work into the guild under your clients or boss nose• We operate under the FriendDA: Seek explicit permission before sharing anything you saw outside of the guild• Disclose any possible conﬂicts of interest before collaborating: Its up to the requester to decide whether to proceed• Any guild work you do belongs to the requester: The requester is free to use it however they like without reseeking your consent
Implications• Static analysis is impossible• All analysis must be done in the context of use• To derive generalizable ﬁndings, study constraints rather than artifacts• Successful sociotechnical systems last by maintaining constraints in the face of changing social environments
• Start with the social system ﬁrst• Use technology to augment• Three projects: • Situational Awareness • Human Expertise Routing Network • Measuring Contribution• Use technology to help deal with scale
Plazas & Warrens• All Social Systems can be decomposed into:• Plaza:• Warren:
Plazas• Shared, contiguous space• Every person interacts with every other person• Chatrooms/Comment threads/Meetings• Plazas scale by getting bigger• Easy to start, hard to scale
Warrens• Fragmented, personalized spaces• Can only interact with immediate surrounds• Facebook/IM/Cities• Warrens scale by adding more warrens• Hard to start, easy to scale
Plazas & Warrens• Every Social System is a combination of Plazas & Warrens Warrens Plaza Plaza
• Currently, mainly a plaza• How do we scale?• How do we avoid bad elements?• Journeyman/Apprentice/Master?• Geographical/Time Segregation?
Plazas & Warrens• The architecture of your product will determine how people communicate• Designing the correct Social Experience involves making sure this architecture is correct• The necessity of Plazas vs Warrens will change as your community changes
Three Methodologies • Apply generally to all social systems • Abstracted knowledge • Allow for generalizable learningSociotechnical Systems, Social • The ﬁrst step in a scientiﬁcAffordances & Plazas/Warrens discipline...