From the creators of Yahoo!'s Design Pattern Library, Designing Social Interfaces provides you with more than 100 patterns, principles, and best practices, along with salient advice for many of the common challenges you'll face when starting a social website. Designing sites that foster user interaction and community-building is a valuable skill for web developers and designers today, but it's not that easy to understand the nuances of the social web. Now you have help.
Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone share hard-won insights into what works, what doesn't, and why. You'll learn how to balance opposing factions and grow healthy online communities by co-creating them with your users.
* Understand the overarching principles you need to consider for every website you create
* Learn basic design patterns for adding social components to an existing site
* Rein in misbehaving users on an active community site
* Build a social experience around a product or service and invite people to join
* Develop a social utility without having to build an entirely new infrastructure
* Enable users of your site's content to interact with one another
* Offer your members the opportunity to connect in the real world
* Learn to recognize and avoid antipatterns: emergent bad practices in the social network and social media space
Malone and Crumlish have done the user-experience design community an amazing service with this volume. It does the hard, rigorous work that most of us simply do not have time or dedication to do -- creating the first solid set of building blocks for designing socially driven digital platforms.
The book goes beyond the easy categories of things like "blogs & wikis" and breaks those and other compounds down into their essential elements, helping us make more informed and less platform-dependent decisions.
Design patterns are always challenging to produce, especially since designers inevitably nit-pick them to death. But these patterns are up to the challenge: they actually make sense, and I suspect will stand up handsomely to the persnickety-designer test. But even if you differ with some of their particulars, it's incredibly valuable to have the heavy lifting already done, so all you have to do is react, refine and "improve" for your own use.
More than a mere collection of patterns, the book doles out large helpings of hard-won wisdom from the authors and other veterans of the industry who have wrestled with the volatile, emergent nature of socially driven digital design.
If you're doing anything with social design, from being asked to create a corporate blog to enhancing the way employees share knowledge on your intranet, do yourself a favor and get familiar with Designing Social Interfaces.