Archive for the 'Information Design' Category

Learning from Advertising

greatpockets.jpgGreatpockets.com is an advertising site for Nokias new phone. But I didn’t know that when I entered the site and I thought of it only as a joyful and well-crafted piece of critical design. It has some nice interactive storytelling and humour and so on. But then when I thought I was exiting the site, the real point of it flew in and landed delicately in my lap. Nice!

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Sociability: Purpose, People and Policies

Short summary, chapter 3 “Sociability: Purpose, People and Policies”.
Book: Preece, Jenny (2000). “Online communities: designing usability, supporting sociability” Chichester: Wiley, cop.

Purpose
If a community has clear stated goals it attracts people that have similar goals and this creates a stable community. Interesting is that off-topic ideas from outside the community can have positive impact on discussion. The purpose is one of several factors that influence people’s interactions as well as the character of a community. For new visitors, knowing the purpose and stating it clearly also help to prevent casual visitors who lack commitment. People with similar attitudes and ideas are attracted to each other. One advantage that web communities have is the disappearing prejudging based on someone’s looks.

People
They are the pulse of a community. Without them there is none. Alive discussion, new ideas, and changing content tell apart communities from basic web-pages. Communities with a wide purpose attract a wider range of people, and create a bigger challenge for the developers. Knowledge of cognitive and social psychology is a resource for understanding people’s online behaviour. Moderators and mediators can help to control communities. People can be unusually open, honest and sometimes intimate inside online communities. But people can also be aggressive and unpleasant. Knowing that you may never counter them face to face or online again can encourage venting negative feelings. The moderator’s role can be facilitating, managing the content, expert, editor, discussion generator, and helping the user with general needs.
There are those that believe that the internet should be a place for free speech, regardless of the community’s purpose. Communities that tried this approach have in many cases  started using moderators
after some time. False information and facts posted by its users destroy the community’s credibility.

Policies
“Communities need policies to direct online behaviour” (Preece, 2000). How policies are presented can strongly influence who joins the community and its character. Many online communities clearly stat that antisocial behaviour involving obscene language, aggression, unlawful act and racism will no be tolerated. Carefully developed minimalist social policies can encourage the evaluation of good sociability.

“Developers have much less control over social interaction than over usability, but planning good sociability support for the early lift of an online community can have a strong, positive impact on how it develops” (Preece, 2000)

Check list for usability and sociality online communities

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guidelines.pdf

Icons

Today the web is a full of digital systems, almost all of them with there own navigation system. This forces us to learn how to navigate system by system. By time some universal icons and shortcuts have been created and exist in most Web applications. As an Interaction designer can we use this universal language to create easy to use interfaces?
In the real world airports uses icon language which almost anyone regarding culture and country can understand. It is necessary because airports are a place where people from the whole world passes throw. Airports base their icon language on a limited set of symbols which make it easy to understand. The web is like an airport, also a host to people from the whole world. Can an icon language, based on limited symbols create more understanding for web-surfers? Or will it just limit the creative possibilities for us designers when creating web navigation systems.
When looking for information about this web design issue I surfed into this.
ISO/IEC 11581 Icon symbols and functions
There is a published standard. The question is who uses this standard, and is a standard a good thing?

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Airport shopping

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Web shopping