Social Interaction Design

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Secondary Elements of Social Interaction Design

Designing the social is a matter of applying leverage, changing the mix, tweaking displays and levels to steer and guide interactions. First order design occurs on the screen and in the system's architecture and features to shape and inform what happens at the second order, where a myriad of individual users create mediated society, economy, culture, and communication. Like using traffic lights to regulate the flow of the rush hour commute through town, social interaction designers innovate to foster living and dynamic human cultures. Designers can at best anticipate, but can't directly control, what they want. But what they want from a site is important, and knowing what design can do is the expertise of the social media designer.

The screen organizes interactions, in what it shows as well as what it doesn't
Design levers
Social media structure interaction as music structures time
Attention economies

Online media work by capturing, structuring, organizing and sustaining individual user and audience attention. They best mass media in their ability to dynamically reincorporate that attention back into the system. A changing top list or tag cloud is an example of this. But because users are interested in site content not only for what it says but for who said, to whom, and why, social media work with many kinds of attention. Personal, emotional, psychological, cultural, and professional attention economies exist online and drive participation in social media sites. Users seek attention, give attention, and pay attention. Though we can't measure it all with the granularity and specificity we would like, and never will, social media offer a great deal of promise to those companies interested in their appeal to consumers and other kinds of audiences.

The Social Properties of Differences
The Social Properties of Numbers and Magnitudes
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