A full schedule at WebVisions

· Design, Events, Patterns, Social Design, ukulele stories

WebVisions rockstar badge

Arrived in Portland yesterday and did some prep for one of my gigs at WebVisions, the Ukepalooza set I’m playing with Bill DeRouchey as the duo “Cheeses & Tequila.”

This morning Erin and I are teaching our Designing Social Interfaces workshop. Tomorrow is Ukepalooza, and then immediately afterward I’ll be doing my aptly named Designing for Play presentation.

It’s not too late to register in person!

My Yahoo! years

· Design, long story short, Patterns, Social Design, Teamwork, User Experience, Web Gossip, Yahoo!

This post has turned out to be a lot more difficult to write than I expected. Last Tuesday was my final day at Yahoo! I wrote a valedictory post for the YDN blog as my official signoff.

It wasn’t easy resigning from Yahoo! I started working there more than three years ago and had a splendid time throughout. I met a slew of incredibly talented, brilliant people. I learned a lot about the pros and cons of large companies (and what can happen after a startup experiences hypergrowth). I expanded my network and became a much more visible member of the global user experience (aka “UX,” although I’m leaning toward describing it as “digital design” these days) community.

I’m leaving a lot of friend behind there and I expect to keep in touch with all of them. These days with the twitters and such, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

Beyond my work on the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library, and the social design patterns project, I’m most proud of my involvement with Yahoo!’s Open Strategy, from the earliest days of formulating and fleshing out the strategy, to the difficult, slow, but fruitful efforts to rewire Yahoo! and expose more and more of the underpinnings and utility features to the large web developer community. If you haven’t checked out YQL, for example, you really should.

Right now, I’m on a very brief hiatus between jobs. I just got back from a long overdue return to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, today I’m speaking in Minneapolis on the UIE Web App Masters Tour, and on Friday I start my new job. More about that in my next post.

Social design preso from Beyond Findability workshop presented by the IA Institute at the IA Summit

· Design, Information Architecture, Patterns, Social Design, User Experience

Erin posted the latest version of our “5/5/5” talk, as given in Phoenix last week, to Slideshare:

Also, Erin has also posted a blog entry on our poster shown at the Summit, on our evolving efforts to map and visualize the social design space. You can download a PDF of the poster there if you like.

Note, my presentation at BayCHI last night was very close to this one, with a few very minor tweaks, though I may upload the version just so I’ll have it in my own Slideshare account too.

Back to BayCHI

· Design, Patterns, Social Design, User Experience

About two years ago in April I spoke at BayCHI for the first time. Rashmi Sinha, who was co-hosting the monthly program asked me to come speak about the Yahoo! Design Pattern library and the social patterns research project I had recently begun in earnest.

It was my first time airing a lot of these ideas in public and I discovered that I felt rather passionate about some of the key points. It was scary but it was a great experience. I believe the podcast of that evening will be out in a little while (I shared the program with the legendary game designer and writer Amy Jo Kim, so it was an honor as well as a privilege).

In the meantime, the project turned into a book and wiki and I actually succeeded Rashmi as Paul Sas’s partner in booking the monthly program.

On April 13, I’ll be back at PARC in Palo Alto closing the circle and reporting to BayCHI on what we (Erin Malone and myself) learned from the effort. I’ll still be behind Steve Portigal and a few other multi-time presenters at BayCHI – maybe we can get a little Saturday Night Live type thing going (“Hey everybody, I’m so happy to be back here speaking at a BayCHI program for the eighth time!”).

See you there?

Tags as collecting behavior

· Design, Information Architecture, Patterns, Searching and Finding, Social Design, User Experience, Yahoo!

When I first started curating the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library, I put “tags” near the top of my list of user interaction patterns to investigate. By that time, Yahoo! had already acquired several pioneers in the tagging realm, Flickr and Delicious, and there were some subtle distinctions in how they implemented the experience.

We got down in the weeds on these and did a lot of research, ultimately settled on offering high-level guidance, and finished the patterns in the course of writing the social patterns book, where we filed tagging under the group of patterns known as Collecting, under Social Objects.

Tagging and other forms of collecting are also an example of social design patterns that mimic game dynamics. Collecting objects is a core “easy fun” activity in many games, and similarly these extremely lightweight social interactions around gathering or tagging objects enable a form of self-interested behavior that creates aggregate value and potentially richer forms of engagement.

Our three new tagging patterns are Tag an Object, Find with Tags, and the somewhat controversial Tag Cloud, which some people view as an “anti-pattern.” Drop by, check them out, and let us know if we can make them any better.

Reposted from Patterns: Tag Collection (Yahoo! Developer Network Blog).