Secondary Elements of Social Interaction Design
Understand that the user returns as much to see if anyone's looking as to traffic your property
Users Own It
To users, social media are a daily part of life, a way of getting through to friends and a way of getting things done. Users may have no more interest in the social media platform than in the company behind it. They're interested in their own presence on the system, and in that of others.
- The social media application platform is not in our hands — it must be handed over to users and the community of users
- Shift of thinking from "what it does" to "what users do with it"
- Users need to feel that it is theirs, need to own it and their relationship to it
- Create the system so that it can become what it will mean to each user, and as a result, service the community
Windows and Views
Social media sites show users themselves and each other. Because of basic screen real estate constraints, and because social media are constantly changing and reincorporating those changes back into themselves, information about users and audiences needs to be packaged and delivered in digestible quantities.
- Views of information, stats, traffic, and activity measure, describe, and show user and audience participation.
- Views create aggregate perspective
- Users look at views
- Windows containing user generated content are a selection of relevant contents
- Windows contain
- Users look through windows
- Users take interest in others
- clickthroughs, rating, favoriting, friending, tagging, etc
Reflections and Mirrors
Users get into their own presence on a social media site, even if they're not regular profile tweakers and maintainers. If these systems didn't show users back to themselves, in the form used to show others, users would quickly lose interest. There's something in the basic exteriorization (publishing) of a user's participation and activiity that can create a persona and representation — something we refer to increasingly to restore continuity to a disparate and disconnected routines.
- Social media show users their own activity back to them
- Reflections show users their presence to others
- Users are interested in how they appear and how they appear to others
- Mirrors show users their reflection
- Users need to see themselves represented
- Users take interest in themselves
- numbers, ranking, ratings, votes, friends, testimonials, lists, gestures, winks, compliments all reflect upon the user
- It's necessary to show users their own actions, particularly the social consequences and reception of their actions
- Users need to establish trust in the system's own functions and features
- Users want to feel competent users of the system
- The system's feedback is confirmation of their actions and recognition of their competence
- Much system feedback is provided by other users, displayed and organized by design
- Stats show users that they are being visited
- Users often check their stats to see how they're doing
- Stats also indicate a site's activity and traffic
- System messages can be used to make user activity visible
- Even though these updates are system messages, they communicate on behalf of the user
- Users will often craft their messages so that systgem messages read with personality and style
- Have the advantage of being social without being conversational
- Are written anonymously and to the audience at large
- Are undemanding for not soliciting response
- Provide the user with a convenient and quick means of showing his or her participation and presence
- Gestural icons and tokens are a means of expressing interest without having to put it into words
- Are often easily returned and reciprocated, and so they beg for reciprocation and promote interaction
- Indicate interest in other users without stating what for, how much, or what to do
- Their effectiveness in engaging users can benefit from a certain ambiguity of intent: what did the user mean by his or her gesture, and what's the right response?
- common examples include favoriting, emoticons, crushes, winks, compliments of various kinds
Related blog posts
- From user to practice-centric design
- Podcasts and Podcasting on my mind
- The Opacity of Users in Transparent Technologies
- The User of Social Media: A Second Self?
- Bela Tarr's Sound Images: Cinema of Proximity
- Gilles Deleuze and Contemplative Cinema
Related white papers
- Social Interaction Design Guide: Social Media, Social Practices, Social Content 2006, 800k pdf, 76 pages.
- Social Interaction Design and the User Interface 2006, 8M pdf.
- MySpace Case Study Draft 2006, 5M pdf.
- Attributes of Online Social Systems Draft 2005, 130k pdf.
- Culture, Groups, and Individuals in Social Software Draft 2005, 341k pdf.
- Proximities Book Abstract 2003, 164k pdf
©2007 - 2009 by Adrian Chan. All Rights Reserved. Adrian [ at ] gravity7 [ dot ] com 415 . 516. 4442