Erin Malone and I introduced some of the fruit of our effort to carve out a pattern language for social user experience design. At the Information Architecture Summit in Memphis this past week we taught our pattern library workshop and then delivered this tandem presentation:
At the IA Summit a week ago in Miami, I co-taught two full-day workshops (on patterns with Erin Malone and Lucas Pettinati, and social design with Christina Wodtke and Joshua Porter), moderated a panel (on presence and other aspects of social web architecture with Gene Smith, Wodtke, Andrew Hinton, and Andrew Crow), and gave a presentation with Austin Govella from Comcast on designing with patterns. (Phew.)
I finally got my slides posted to slideshare today from the panel and the presentation. (Eventually, if and when audio becomes available, I’ll sync them up.) You’ll notice if you look at my recent talks that I am remixing a lot of the same points. I am trying to learn to be more shameless about this, since the material is usually fresh for each new audience until it’s fully distributed.
In that same vein, if you’re in SF you can find me at Ignite SF tonight doing a five minute talk (yes, covering some of the same ground as my BayCHI talk in this case) on the topic “Grasping Social Patterns.” I’m nervous as hell, not least because the lineup of other speakers is so incredible. So even if I bomb, you’ll get some pretty inspiration stuff from the likes of Kathy Sierra, Annalee Newitz, Lane Becker, and others.
For now, here are my summit talks:
If you’re interested in interaction design patterns or in the elements of social web design, then come on down to Miami in April for the IA Summit and either sign up for one of the two pre-conference workshops I’m helping teach or see my presentation or panel in the main program.
Here are the basic facts about the two workshops (more details in the title links):
* **Design patterns: from interaction to design to build** is a full-day workshop I’m teaching with Erin Malone and Lucas Pettinati, colleagues of mine from the user experience design team of the Yahoo! Developer Network. Erin founded the pattern library and has captained it throughout its entire existence (going on four years) with the help of three curators, me being the third. Lucas is the lead designer on the YDN redesign project and works directly with the Yahoo! User Interface library team, so he’s intimately familiar with the development challenges and issues involved with implementing design patterns in the real world.
* **Design and architecture of social web experiences** is a full-day workshop I’m teaching with Christina Wodtke and Joshua Porter. Christina is a director of product management at LinkedIn, a co-founder of the IA Institute, founder of Boxes and Arrows (the leading online user experience design magazine), and founder of Cucina Media, the makers of PublicSquare, the publishing/community software B+A now runs on. Joshua Porter is a former associate of Jared Spool’s UIE and writes the popular Bokardo blog on social web design.
And here are the basic details about the presentation and the panel:
* **Designing with Patterns in the Real World** is a presentation I am giving with Austin Govella, a senior information architect at Comcast Media. We both have plenty of hands-on experience with the trials, tribulations, and occasional triumphs that stem from applying design patterns to real world interaction, information, and interface design problems and we plan to let it all hang out.
* **Presence, Identity, and Attention in Social Web Architecture** is a panel I’m moderating featuring a “murderer’s row” of some of the leading thinkers in user experience and social web design: Christina Wodtke of LinkedIn, Andrew Hinton of Vanguard, Gene Smith of nForm, and Brian Oberkirch of Small Good Thing. I’ve been talking to all of these folks for some time about my latest hobbyhorse (presence) and the rest of the “human OS” stack that social web applications are built on. I plan to run a tight ship and am expecting a great multi-perspective dialogue to ensue.
I’ll devote a whole blog post to each of these items as the Summit gets closer, but wanted to mention it now while there’s still time to sign up for the conference at early-bird prices.
See you in Miami?
At BarCamp Block earlier this year I led a discussion of social media design patterns. The slides I posted were really more just about patterns and how we deal with them at Yahoo! But the group exercise was to brainstorm a huge list of social media and social networking activities that could be described and documented as patterns.
These are not the patterns themselves, but at least one pattern could probably be written around each of these gestures. We found it easiest in the brainstorm to just rattle off a list of gerunds (“adding, blocking, friending,” etc.).
The list we came up is also not exhaustive or definitive. It’s one group’s idea of the various patterns that a social system could support. The initial list was posted at the BarCamp Block wiki. Then Kent Bye, one of the participants, took a stab at re-sorting it a bit and created a visualization. He also then hand-copied it into an outline format and sent me his “version two” of the list.
Since then I’ve made a few more tweaks and have produced a version 3 outline. I’ve been working on visualizing it myself, so I turned the OPML into an OmniOutliner file and then imported that into OmniGraffle. The map is so tangled that Graffle had a hard time displaying it without crossing lines, so I spent some more time dragging the various nodes and clusters around until they were each separate. The end result is that it’s huge of course, and still by no means final or exhaustive or authoritative.
In fact, it’s decidedly *not* the taxonomy of social media patterns we’re working on internally at Yahoo! Think of it as an open source, collaborative work in progress. The thumbnail image above links to a full-sized PDF you should feel free to grab to get a better look at the current state of play of this idea, and if you’d like the OPML file or any other format, just drop me a note and I’ll send it to you.
When I get a moment, I’ll drop by the BarCamp Block wiki and upload the file there in several formats too, at least until someone provides a better place for hosting this project.
Michael Wesch, who created the virally popular internet video called Web 2.0: The Machine is Us/ing Us (its success drew on a sort of meta-application of the very concepts it discussed), was the keynote speaker at IDEA 2007 last week. As part of his keynote, he previewed two videos he has now released to the web.
The first, Information R/evolution, examines the challenges we all face in this age of information glut and shortening attention spans:
The second, made collaboratively by one of his classes (Wesch is a professor of anthropology at Kansas State University, where he is launching a Digital Ethnography working group to “examine the impacts of digital technology on human interaction”), looks carefully at how we are teaching today and how out of sync it has become with the lives of contemporary students:
In some ways, for me, the highlight of the conference was Wesch’s story about how he frightened himself one night in the communal sleeping quarters in New Guineau when he thought his own arm, which had fallen asleep, was a snake lying across his body. This story became the kernel of Wesch’s reputation with the people he was studying and living among, and helped him realize that telling stories is a big part of how we gain identities and fit ourselves (and others) into society.
I regretted not being able to attend the first-ever IDEA conference last year in Seattle and I was thrilled when the organizers decided to hold the second IDEA conference in New York City, my home town, at the legendary Parsons School of Design.
IDEA has already in one year established a reputation for bringing big-idea folks together to share their ideas about design, architecture, shared information spaces, visualization of dataa, and what it means to be human in an internetworked machine age. I expect this year’s conference program to be every bit as stimulating.
IDEA stands for Information, Design, Experience, Access, and its presented by the IA Institute, an organization on whose board I have the privilege of serving at this time. My involvement in the conference planning has been focused on getting the website up and recruiting volunteers for the technical tasks required (my portfolio, as it were, on the board of directors of the IAI is technical matters). Events director Sarah Rice, IDEA founder Peter Merholz, and volunteer event coordinator Greg Corrin deserve the credit for pulling this year’s conference together.
Technical volunteers Beck Tench, Chi-chi Oguekwe, Grace Lau, Susan Wong, and Gordon McLean have all chipped in to build and maintain the site, with very little supervision or input from me, so they deserve a great deal of credit as well.
For anyone attending (or thinking of attending) IDEA this year, consider signing up in addition at the Crowdvine social networking site. There’s still time to register (the conference runs on October 4th and 5th, with an optional pre-conference event on the 3rd), and if you do manage to come to New York, look me up at Parsons and say hi.