080916 Web 2.0 Expo Notes

I’ve started to post raw notes from events I attend. For more information, see the Notes Policy.

080916 Web 2.0 Expo

John Yestko – Rich UX Documentation


  • posted all files for people to play along. Cool
  • trained as an issustator pre-web, started designing for the wweb in 1993, moved from web designer to information architect
  • UX Lead for Roundarch, works mostly in technical sites

  • paradignm shift from page-based paradigm (single state per page) -> dynamic websites -> w2.0 single page / stateless paradigm. Multiple states per page.

  • Documentationt CHallenges:

    • more complex interacitns (motion, transitios, multple staset)
    • more dynamic content (e.g. user generate, i.e., we don’t kno what ti looks like)
    • more collaborative / simultaneous design processes (IA -> ID -> visual design -> production) in serieal is no longer ideal
    • longer conceptual process (“planning stage”)
    • expanded team (and / or more expirienced)
  • Why does documentation matter?

    • clients need to understand what they’re getting (level of trust varies)
  • outline of this session:
    for each deliverable

    • why we use it
    • what makes it good
    • how its changed with RIAs
    • limitations & challenges


  • User Expirience Briefs

    • discovery
    • requirements
    • agreement about what we’re trying to do with the clients. When they change their mind in 3 mos, we can come back to this

    • see UXBrief_01.pdf

    • these become outdated. Should they be updated or left as a snapshot? Yesko likes “snapshot”.

  • Concept Map / Model

    • start from the core of the experience rather than top-down. Eg on Flickr, the “core” is “viewing photos”
    • see ConceptMap_01.pdf

    • issues: some audiences have a hard time understanding how it turns into a site

    • RIA designs leaps from deliverable to deliverable are big; make them regular to minimize surprises
  • Site Maps

    • establish scope
  • User Flows

  • Wireframes

    • wireframes >> annotated wireframes >> functional spec (w/ all use cases: error, blank, regular)

Josh Porter – Design for Community

Twitter Hashtag: #w2e_ux


wrote a book: designing fro the social web

  1. What is Community?
  2. Growing yr community

  3. Claim: online community i a forced move resulting from the inefficient ecolog of the industrial revolution. We never meet the people who create the things we use.

  4. there’s a disconnect by the people making the product and the people using the product

  5. we purchase increasingly specialized goods
  6. Our neighbors are less likely to have the same goods
  7. we still need te learn how to use the specialed goods
    5 the way to access information bot th porducts is onilen
  8. if you cant’t talk to someone directly, support is much more fiddiculs
  9. software that connects product users and lets them help iach other is the most ipm way out.

  10. the msg will get out no matter what. If you suspend comments, the users will talk elsewhere.

  11. Community is a group of people having a particular characteristic (in w2.0, an activity) in common

  12. thesis: community is not a feature of software. When you support an activy, when you make people better at that activity, eithoer by supporting them directly or helping them support each other, then you gani the opportunity for that fgroup of people to call themselves a community.

  13. 3 types of conversation:

    1. company / person
    2. person / person (within community)
    3. person / person (insiders and outsiders)
  14. software doesn’t make communities, people do

  15. you don’t create communities, you cultivate them
  16. you probably have a community (whether you know it or not)
  17. communities change over time, they grow and evolve
  18. communities need to be managed
  19. communities form around activities
  20. you can’t own a community
  21. not everone gets along
  22. its all about getting better

  23. Benefits – Usage Lifecycle: education about site >> interest >> first time use >> regular use >> passionate use

  24. Benefits – ROI

    • as yr community becomes more mature, yr expenditures on user support goes down; the community takes that load onto themselves

Growing yr community

What features to add?

Short answer: model the interactions that already exist

Long Answer:
– start w the activity yr supporting
– watch how people currently do it
– how do they interact w you / each other?
– what problems do they have?
– how do they currently solve them?
who do they communicate with?

Ask: how can we model this in software?

AOF Method

1 choose an activety
2. what’s the object?
3. look for the verbs; those are yr features

e.g., Youtube:
– video object: play, rate, share, comment, embed, etc.
– the entire page is nothnig but objects and verbs

– recommend, rate, add

Build Outward

  1. start with people you jnow
  2. get them up to speed
    3 let them bring their friends/family/collegues into the fold
  3. get THOSE people up to speed
  4. let them bring their friends/family/collegues into the fold
  5. rinse lather repeat

The Community Manager

  • Craig Newmark (craigslist) is the ultimate expression of this
  • Craig construes CL as “helping people” and an “everyday form of compassion”
  • CM is Responsible for
    1. … the morale of the community
    2. … greeting new members and bringing them up to speed
    3. … handling incoming complains, compliments, and feedback
    4. … advocating fro users with the rest of the team
    5. … watching for and identifying trends in use
    6. … keeping the peace
    7. … enforcing the rules for participation
    8. … evangelizing the software and community
    9. … growing support documentation

Trendfinder: is yr CM actively updating the FAQ, welcome letter, support form emails, etc

Flickr’s 10 keys to CM
1. engage
2. enforce
3. take respondiblity
4. step back
5. give freely
6. be patient
7. hire fans
8. stay calm
9. focus
10. be visible stay human

Designing for Reputation

  • Harriet Klausner: #1 reviewer on Amazon (writes the most reviews). Is she for real? Does AZN care?
  • should we rank people w’in this community?
  • provide multiple metrics (eg total reviews, helpful votes, etc)
  • how do we compare things in the most useful fashion?
  • “Yr reputation si equal to the sum of yr past actinos within a community” – Bryce Glass, Y! Reputation platform

  • Y! publishes design patterns. Check out http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/index.php

  • identify desirable behaviors
  • reward desirable behaviors
  • certain types of motivation favor certain types of users, eg n00bs don’t like leaderboards; give them something else to get excited about
  • identity is community-specific. THings that are necessary to make facebook work are illegal to ask on LinkedIn
  • eBay is the 13th largest economy in the world and almost everything there is anonymous
  • Yelp! deploys the entire Y! Pattern library.
  • Yelp! does a great job of inspiring people to add new reviews by tracking “first”s. Be the first to post a review about a place (ie, add data to the Yelp reviewbase) and get whuffie.
  • be careful what you add, because you can never take it away. Users will freak out.
  • what you expose in an interface becomes the entire universe for the people who use it
  • Optimize for value-added behavior. anything you record, count, or reward should be behavior that you value in the system

  • etsy has 4 CMs, Digg has 4 or 5

Dealing w Trolls

  • don’t feed them
  • specify that you can boot people for any reason, and mention the common reasons


  • people feel a debt
  • VERY high %age of LinkedIn recommendations are reciprocated

Dealing with Hiccups

  • Dreamhost: accidentally overbilled customers. Went public, tried to apologize, got flamed. But they also had people defending them. Lesson: you always have fans. After a day or two, the reaction died down. Respond in the right way and people will move on.

  • jetblue wrote an awesome letter. http://www.perfectapology.com/sample-apology-letter.html

  • Digg top diggers list: top diggers start colluding to push own posts to the top

    • digg rm’d the ability to easily digg from a “top friends” screen. Made it tougher to do & the cascading effect stopped


  • Our job as designers isn’t to make people more passionate, its to make people better at things they’re already passionate about.

  • Organize, Share, and Discover. Show off yr work.


  • started as an information site
  • turned into a social support network
  • as people report their treatment, another benefit: pharma companies can track results in the wild


  1. What is a community? its not a feature set. its a word bestowed upon a proup of people by the group of people

  2. growing yr community: you need a CM to be responsible for finding trends and acting on them

  3. desingnin for reputation

whoops missed the last 2 items

slides will be posted to Oreilly’

Adaptive Path – 10 Tips for Managing a creative environment

  • looked to existing practices among groups that:

  • create as a group

  • they have hard deadlines
  • doing something with the creative process

  • The Neo Futurists: 30 plays in 6 minutes “too much light makes the baby go blind”

    • 50 weeks of the year they roll ice to determine how many plays they’ll rewrite


  1. cross-train the entire team. everyone should know context.
  2. rotate creative leadership. let the stakes change and give people some variety
  3. Actively Turn the Corner: all creative processes have two phases, with very different management needs.

    • divergent phase (open yrself to possibility, research), and
      • let people explore on their own
    • convergence (come together and make something)

      • roles and hierarchy need definition
    • how to make this work? actively turn the corner. Explicitly say, “we’ve made our decision, we’re done with ideas, lets produce”

  4. Know Yr Roles. when its time to produce, specialize and execute and have clarity of communication.

  5. Practice as a team

  6. Make Your Mission Explicit

  7. Kill Your Darlings Softly. Be respectful. Be consistent. Honor the work. Repeatable, respectful, reliable systems. The Neo-Futurists cut at least 2 plays each week. Each Sunday they go down the list and someone needs to acclaim: “i want to keep it”. Opt-in, rather than make people defend why the play has to go. Burden on remaining is on the work.

  8. Leadership is a service. Director isn’t on stage. Conductor doesn’t play an instrument. Its a support position.

  9. Generate Projects around Creative interests. Keep the passion. Explore own ideas.

  10. Remember Your Audience
    10.1: we like to overdeliver. Here’s #11.

  11. Celebrate Failure: learn from mistakes, rm the stigma from failing. Afterparites (formerly “postmortems”) have a format; a whiteboard with:

    1. what worked
    2. what didn’t
    3. whad did we learn?
    4. next steps
  12. reframe what didn’t work as action items for the next project. Free people to take risks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s