Posts Tagged ‘social software’

Mozilla Presentation on Space & Narrative: Designing for Social Interaction

by Hang

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.


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


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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June 10 2009

social inviting

by Hang

Social networks rely on invite mechanisms to generate a bunch of their traffic but social proof says that the likelyhood of a person participating in an activity scales non-linearly to the number of their peers doing it. One person inviting you may lead to a 3% chance of action but two people may lead to 15% and 3 people might be 30%. Would a group invite mechanism help social adoption? The way I’m envisioning it, there would be a pointman who’s really, really passionate about someone else getting onto the tool. But what they could do is send out an invite for other people to be part of the invite. So what the user would see in the end is:

“John, Paul & Mary all want you to join facebook”.

Of course, once you join, you would automatically become friends with all of them and thus, be well on your way to a compelling user experience.

Similarly, on that vein, filling out voluminous profiles is a major disincentive for someone to join something. Why not let other people collaboratively pre-fill out parts of your profile so all you have to do is essentially add in your password and you have a fully functioning social presence.

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