On March 18th, I was invited to Mozilla to present some of the work I’ve been doing on Social Interaction Design.

In the talk, I discussed how the software industry has traditionally adopted a tool-builder mentality when it comes to thinking about the design of software. I argue, instead, that it’s more correct to think of social software as spaces rather than tools and that this demands a new approach to thinking about how to design social software. When people interact in social spaces, they are engaged in the communication of “narratives” and that social software needs to be designed with narratives in mind, rather than features. I talked about what it means to design for narratives, a design methodology that allows the analysis of any piece of social software from a narrative perspective and demonstrate several novel social designs that have come out of my thinking.

Video

Space & Narrative: Designing for Social Interaction from Xianhang Zhang on Vimeo.

Slides

Unfortunately, due to the lax nature of my documentation, this video currently serves as the most complete and representative sample of my work although I’m working hard to publish all of this stuff in articles and essays.

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