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Social Design Principles

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Social Design Principles

  1. A SET OF PRINCIPLES FOR DESIGNING SOCIAL EXPERIENCES @PADDAY PAUL ADAMS UX LONDON APRIL 2013
  2. Social Design matters to a! of us because the internet is changing. It is evolving "om being built around content linked to content, to content organised and filtered by people’s interests and relationships.
  3. Friends Interests Friends’ Interests We’re moving "om this... To this...
  4. EVERYTHING PERSONALISED + CONNECTED. EVERYWHERE.
  5. Social Design The design of products + services that help people communicate with one another, and understand each other’s opinions.
  6. 1. NETWORKS 2. IDENTITY 3. CONNECTEDNESS 4. COMMUNICATION
  7. NETWORKS
  8. PEOPLE LIVE IN NETWORKS.
  9. Many design projects consider people as independent actors, interacting with a user interface. So ca!ed ‘human-computer interaction’. But people are not independent. We a! live in complex systems where our behaviour, attitudes and perceptions are continua!y shaped by other people around us. People live in networks. We are almost always designing human-human interaction. HCI interfaces are o$en a means to an end.
  10. BUYING A FLIGHT?
  11. OR GOING AWAY WITH FRIENDS?
  12. Our social networks are complex and scale exponentia!y. We can’t comprehend the complexity so we a! live in ‘an invisible network’ of "iends and "iends of "iends. Our invisible network can dramatica!y change our behaviour.
  13. You and your five closest "iends.
  14. You and your five closest "iends. Plus one of your "iend’s "iends.
  15. You and your five closest "iends. Plus two of your "iend’s "iends.
  16. You and your five closest "iends. Plus three of your "iend’s "iends.
  17. You and your five closest "iends. Plus four of your "iend’s "iends.
  18. You and your five closest "iends. Plus five of your "iend’s "iends.
  19. You and your ten closest "iends. And their "iends.
  20. You and your twenty closest "iends. And their "iends.
  21. So people live in networks of incredible complexity. However, these networks have clear patterns, and understanding those patterns leads to lots of opportunity. More on that a bit later.
  22. DESIGN SYSTEMS, NOT DESTINATIONS.
  23. If the web is being rebuilt around people, and people live in networks, then it becomes very clear that we need to design systems, not destinations. Just as an architect must understand how their new building wi! impact the surrounding landscape, and how that landscape wi! shape the use of the building, we must understand the network in which what we create wi! live. This means understanding a! the components, the relationships between the components, and the ways in which they wi! impact each other.
  24. FACEBOOK IS NOT A WEBSITE.
  25. NEWSFEED STORY "fb:app_id" "og:type" "og:title" "og:image" "og:description" OPEN GRAPHTIMELINENOTIFICATIONS CANVASPAGE MESSAGESGROUPS log-in with fb plug-ins APIs SDKs PLATFORM FACEBOOK IS AN ECO-SYSTEM. *and this diagram is only a sma! part of that eco-system
  26. NEWSFEED STORY "fb:app_id" "og:type" "og:title" "og:image" "og:description" OPEN GRAPHTIMELINENOTIFICATIONS CANVASPAGE MESSAGESGROUPS log-in with fb plug-ins APIs SDKs PLATFORM *and this diagram is only a sma! part of that eco-system
  27. So it is clear that designing destinations (to drive traffic to) is becoming redundant. The best designers wi! design systems, and to do that successfu!y they wi! study how people interact with one another.
  28. Social interaction has been studied by academics since records began. It’s complex, and easy to get lost in the details. But we care mostly about shipping great products and services rather than academic thoroughness. So we need to: - Simplify the complexity into three areas. - Look at key research in those areas. - Generate design principles to inform development. - Build and ship something to test if it works.
  29. THREE AREAS OF SOCIAL DESIGN IDENTITY How we control how others perceive us. CONNECTEDNESS A! the people we’re connected to and how we feel about a! those people. COMMUNICATION Why we talk to people we’re connected to, what we talk about.
  30. IDENTITY
  31. How we control how others perceive us...and how they perceive us despite our attempts at control...
  32. We have a personal identity and a social identity. Therefore design for either personal or social identity. Our personal identity helps us feel unique. Yet this differentiation is often illusory, as many people distinguish themselves similarly. We can feel unique while objectively looking very similar to others. Our social identity helps us feel the same as others. It is our identity that is shaped by the world around us. It helps us connect to others based on feelings of sameness. Our identity is shaped not just by what we say and do, but also by what our connections say and do. They write on our Facebook walls; their behavior is apparent when beside us in photos. Our connections also say things about us, which shapes our identity in the eyes of others. When people observe us, and judge our identity, they also look at the people we spend time with, their behavior, and the environments we inhabit together. Therefore... ...when designing, consider both personal or social identity. It’s usually best to optimize an experience for one of personal or social identity. It’s possible to incorporate both into one experience but the best way to do so successfully is to consider each independently first. Facebook Timeline is primarily about personal identity.
  33. Our identity is shaped by the communities we grow up in. Therefore influence social norms by building on existing community behavior. How we see ourselves, and how we wish to represent ourselves to others, is shaped by years of life experiences, by the cultures and communities we grew up in, and by the people we surround ourselves with every day. Our values were transmitted from our family, community, church, profession, society, country, and so on, and are continually refined by the people we spend time with and the environments we spend time in. We use everyday conversation to continually shape and refine our identity, which in turn influences how we act. We’re not born into a neutral environment. We’re born into a specific culture, a set of habits and rituals, attitudes and beliefs, that guide how we behave. We learn these unwritten rules from observing the behavior of people around us and their reactions to our behavior. Culture is an emergent system. It forms from the common actions and behaviors of many people who are reacting to other peoples’ behavior. Therefore... ...influence social norms by building on existing community behavior. My Timeline during the Euro 2012 footba! competition. I am Irish and it profoundly impacts how I see the world.
  34. We remain consistent with past behavior. Therefore design new experiences to fit with pre-existing beliefs. Once we decide something, we tend to stick to that decision, even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This is true for things we say, things we write down, and things we do. This effect is greatest when other people see us act. Even if the decision turns out not to be in our best interests, we still stick with that decision to be consistent with our past decisions. When we receive new information, we analyze and store it in ways that reinforce what we already think. We may act one way with one group, forcing us to act consistently when with them in the future, whereas we may act differently with another group. These subtle differences in behavior with our different groups lead to awkward interactions when these groups come together, for example, at weddings and birthday parties. Therefore... ...because of our desire for consistency with past actions, we are more open to ideas when they fit with our pre-existing beliefs. It makes it easier for us to accept the new idea. ...understanding your consumers’ beliefs is also important for determining what they will share. Content that fits their beliefs and past behavior is much more likely to be shared than content that conflicts with their past behavior. The things I have ‘liked’ in the past wi! inform what I do in the future.
  35. Privacy is a process of boundary management. Therefore give people privacy controls in context with other actions. Privacy is about controlling how much other people know about you and is directly related to the relationships we have with other individuals. We tell our doctor things we wouldn’t tell our friends. We tell our work peers things we wouldn’t tell our boss. And there are some things (for example, health issues, infidelity, surprise parties) that we keep secret from those closest to us. We tell different things to different people depending on whether they are a strong, weak, or temporary tie. People extend the most trust to people they know offline. Our strongest ties know our likes and dislikes, our opinions, our relationships with others, our character, our emotions, our capacity for loyalty. We trust them to keep this information private, and not spread it to others unless it’s appropriate. Therefore... ... give people privacy controls in context, rather than relying on their privacy settings being set appropriately. ...the best solution for some privacy issues may not be to give people lots of controls and options, but to design an environment in which the social norms people have offline are replicated online. Facebook redesigned privacy controls to put them ‘in-line’.
  36. People have a very poor understanding of how businesses use their data. Therefore explain why personal data is needed, and how it wi! be used. People often don’t realize how much information they have disclosed, and how easily accessible it is. They also tend to forget what they have disclosed in the past. People are aware that by transacting digitally—for example, buying things with credit cards, using store loyalty cards, or entering information for online purchases—they are giving personal information to the companies they are interacting with. But they don’t realize that data is increasingly being aggregated, organized, and passed on to advertising networks and independent applications. Therefore... ...always explain to people why personal data is needed, and how it will be used. Loyalty is based on trust, and trust is dependent on transparent interactions. ...give people the option to remove data that has been previously recorded.
  37. IDENTITY Design for either personal or social identity. Build on existing community behavior and norms. Design new experiences to fit with pre-existing beliefs. Give people privacy controls in context. Explain why personal data is needed, how it wi! be used.
  38. CONNECTEDNESS
  39. A! the people we’re connected to, a! the people they are connected to, a! the people they are connected to... and how we feel about the people we’re connected to...
  40. Our social network is hard to visualize. Therefore give su(estions for who to communicate with. Our network is all the people we are connected to, and all the people they are connected to. We are born into a network: our parents, our family, their friends. As we grow older, we develop our own network, which slowly changes throughout our lives. We become closer to some people, we lose touch with others. People we are indirectly connected to, for example our friends’ friends, can influence the decisions we make. People find it very hard to visualize their network. It is hard to remember who they are connected to, and impossible to know who their connections are connected to. Therefore... ...don’t rely on people being able to remember who they should share with, or assume that people have a map of their network. Give suggestions for who to connect with around different pieces of content. These suggestions can be specific people to connect with, or can be broader and mapped to the products target users. ...don’t assume that it is possible to understand how content spreads by looking at first degree connections. The hidden network of second and third degree connections is often what drives distribution. 6 friends like this 2 friends listened to this Matt Brown is going
  41. Who we are connected to is limited by homophily. Therefore show people things they have in common with others. People associate with people like themselves. This is known as homophily and is one of the most established patterns of social science. Homophily limits who we are connected to. Different dimensions separate us from others: geography, race, income, education, religion, personal interests, our access to technology, and so on. When people are distant in multiple dimensions, they perceive each other as far apart even though they may be connected. If people perceive each other as far apart, they are unlikely to share things. Therefore... ...if you want people to share content to people they are not very close to, it is important to surface what people have in common in order to reduce the perceived distance between them. This can include common interests or people they both know. Friend requests Adam Benjamin 4 mutual friends You both like Arsenal Adnan Khan CJ Hudson and 2 other mutual friends You both like surfing and 4 other things You and Michael Lage Things you both like 12 mutual friends2 life events
  42. We have evolved to form groups. Therefore help people create and strengthen groups. Groups helped our ancestors stay safe from their predators, and helped communities survive through the toughest of conditions. Needing to belong to groups is hard-wired into all of us. Many research studies have shown that: We have a tendency to form groups, some of which are based on very arbitrary characteristics. People will make considerable sacrifices for the benefit of their group. In certain situations, groups think better than individuals. Therefore... ...thinking about how groups are structured is as important as thinking about individuals. People are highly motivated to act when it is in the best interests of a group they belong to. ...opportunities exist for helping people form new groups and communities, especially when they have things in common. College friends Write something... Friends using Nike+ 4 runs 12 runs 7 runs Write something...
  43. We build relationships through many lightweight interactions over time. Therefore support lightweight ways for people to interact. People build relationships with others slowly, one interaction at a time. We often first meet others through a friend of a friend. It may be multiple meetings through mutual friends before we chat to a new person in-depth, or agree to meet up on our own. It takes months and years to build relationships with people, and they all are built on many lightweight interactions over time. All this interaction used to be face to face, but now these lightweight interactions happen across multiple communication technologies. Much of our communication with the people closest to us is lightweight interactions over time. We have quick phone calls, we send text messages, we use instant messaging, we like and comment on each others content. Therefore... ...support lightweight ways for people to interact and show the aggregations of those lightweight interactions over time. e..g. Like, Comment, Share, Message, Give Gi$, Post.
  44. We have stronger ties with some people and weaker ties with others. Therefore show more information about the people closest to us. Highlight things in common with those we don’t know so we!. Strong ties are our closest friends and family. They are the people we trust the most, the people we turn to for emotional support. Most people have fewer than ten strong ties, and many have fewer than five. The majority of communication is with these people as they are most likely to reciprocate attention. Weak ties are often friends of friends, or people we met recently. We communicate with most of our weak ties infrequently. Online social networks are making it easier to feel connected to many of our weak ties because we can more easily follow what is happening in their lives. Our weak ties are at the periphery of our social network, which means they are connected to more diverse information than our strong ties. Often new information comes to us from weak ties but we often know less about their knowledge, and whether to trust their judgment. Therefore... ...build experiences around strong ties by showing more information about a small number of close friends rather than less information about a greater number of people they don’t know as well ...when designing experiences, consider that although people’s weak ties may be more knowledgeable than their strong ties, they may trust them less, so it is important to maximize the amount of trust and familiarity between people. Recent purchases Adam Benjamin Bought Levi 511 commuter Bought Lacoste Polo black Adnan Khan Bought Nautica dress shirt Bought Kenneth Cole short sleeve See all recent purchases from friends Paul Adams, Blaise de Persia and 11 others like this. Paul Adams and 2 others are mutual friends. Studied biochemistry. Worked at Kaiser Medical. Has advised 3 friends and 136 others. You and Adam both responded on 3 questions. Adam Benjamin
  45. CONNECTEDNESS Give su(estions for who to communicate with. Show people things they have in common with others. Help people create and strengthen groups. Support lightweight ways for people to interact. Design for specific relationship types.
  46. COMMUNICATION
  47. Why we talk to people, who we talk to, and what we talk about.
  48. We talk to survive, to build social bonds, and to help others. Therefore design experiences that help people get through life by building relationships. Communication was an effective survival mechanism for our ancestors, who shared information about food supplies, dangerous animals, and weather patterns. It continues to help us understand our world, including what behavior is appropriate and how to act in certain situations. People talk because sharing information makes life easier. People talk to form and grow social bonds. Conversations ensure that we understand one another. Talking to someone sends out strong social signals. It shows people that we consider them important enough to spend time together. People often like or comment on an update to build a relationship, independent of the content in the update. In many cases, the conversation that follows a status update is much more important than the status update itself. Many people talk to help others. This is an altruistic act with no expected reciprocity. For many, it is important to them to be perceived as helpful, and so they try to share content that they think other people will find valuable. Therefore... ...design experiences that help people build relationships. To support their Olympics 2012 TV campaign around celebrating athletes’ mothers, P&G built a lightweight app on Facebook that enabled people to take a moment and thank their mothers - a simple meaningful gesture.
  49. Most of our communication is with the people closest to us. Therefore optimize for communication between people who know each other. We talk to the same, small group of people again and again. People have consistent communication with between 7 and 15 people, but that 80% of our conversations are with our five to ten strongest ties. The more people see each other in person or talk on the phone, the more they communicate online. Approximately half of our conversations that mention brands are with a partner or family member and of these, about 70% happen face to face. Therefore... ...optimize for communication between strong ties as it is easier to support an existing behavior than it is to create a new one. No experience you design is likely to have a dramatic effect on who people are talking to. Communication patterns map to our network structure.
  50. A large number of our conversations are about others. Therefore make it easy for people to talk about others. A large number of our conversations are gossiping about who is doing what with whom. Only 5% is criticism or negative gossip however. The vast majority of these conversations are positive, as we are driven to preserve a positive reputation. Of the conversations about social relationships, about half are about people not present. Conversations about other people and their behavior help us understand what is socially acceptable in different situations by revealing how the people we’re talking to react to the behavior of the person not present. Understanding how others have acted, as well as how the people we care about and trust react to those actions, shapes our behavior. It shapes what ideas we agree with, and how we may behave in the future. Therefore... ...design experiences that help people talk about others, whether they are present or not. Help them understand what others are doing, and with whom, by surfacing this content where appropriate. Seeing "iends’ latest content helps us talk about them.
  51. A large number of our conversations are recounting personal experiences. Therefore building experiences that a!ow people to talk to others about memories is very powerful. People often talk to others about previous experiences - what they did, where they went, who they were with, their memories of those experiences. We talk about things that happened recently, all the way back to memories from childhood. Our recollection of past experiences is very inaccurate. Our brain isn’t hard wired to remember details. It only remembers the relationships between things. When it recalls a memory, it fills in the gaps in detail with fiction. This is subconscious, so people don’t know which details are inaccurate. In fact, the more we remember something, the more inaccurate it gets, as each time, more new fictional details are added. Therefore... ...building experiences that allow people to talk to others about memories is very powerful. ... there are many opportunities to help people remember past experiences more accurately.
  52. We talk about feelings more than facts. Therefore create content that arouses emotion rather than reason. People share content that triggers the most arousing emotions. This includes positive emotions such as awe, and negative emotions such as anger and anxiety. Emotions that are not arousing, for example sadness, do not trigger sharing of content. Content that is positive, informative, surprising, or interesting is shared more often than content that is not, and content that is prominently featured is shared more often than content that is not, but these factors are minor compared to how arousing the content is. Content that is non-arousing, for example, content that makes people feel comfortable and relaxed, is unlikely to be shared. Therefore... ...create content that arouses emotion rather than reason. Resist the temptation to fill experiences with factual data about people, companies or brands. 1. Sate!ite photos of Japan tsunami, before and a$er. 2. What teachers rea!y want to te! parents. 3. No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed. 4. Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps. 5. Father daughter dance medley (video). 6.At funeral, dog mourns the death of Navy SEAL. 7. You’! "eak when you see the new Facebook. 2011 MOST SHARED ITEMS ON FACEBOOK
  53. COMMUNICATION Design experiences that help build relationships. Optimize for communication between people who know each other. Make it easy for people to talk about others. Build experiences that a!ow people to reminisce. Create content that arouses emotion rather than reason.
  54. BACKGROUND People live in networks. Design systems, not destinations. This is just Design, not Social Design. IDENTITY Design for either personal or social identity. Influence social norms by building on existing community behavior. Design new experiences to fit with pre-existing beliefs. Give people privacy controls in context with other actions. Explain why personal data is needed, how it wi! be used. CONNECTEDNESS Give su(estions for who to communicate with. Show people things they have in common with others. Help people create and strengthen groups. Support lightweight ways for people to interact. Design for specific relationship types. COMMUNICATION Design experiences that help build relationships. Optimize for communication between people who know each other. Make it easy for people to talk about others. Build experiences that a!ow people to reminisce Create content that arouses emotion rather than reason.
  55. Lots more details and further design patterns in my book...
  56. THANKYOU! @PADDAY PAUL ADAMS UX LONDON APRIL 2013

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