To design social Communities of Care, you must commit to framing a narrative of human behavior mediated by interfaces – with a strong understanding of conversation models, social interaction and interpersonal engagement models that, while well understood in academic and gaming communities – are not as well known in the user experience design community of practice.
Social Interaction Design is not web design. It’s not interaction design, but it does fall within the rubrik of user experience design. It’s about designing complex ecosystems that support conversation, collaboration, intimacy, and play — in short, community. Problem is, many people – especially in the UX world – don’t understand how to design for engaging communities.
Further, many designers don’t understand the social-psychology of how
people actually engage with one another in mediated spaces. Often,
designers just reach for a design pattern without ever thinking through
the social impact of their decision. Add to this the arrogance of
certain start-up companies in understanding people’s desire for privacy,
control, and trust, and you realize the try-as-you-go
hack-a-social-system ethos is not just flawed – it’s potentially
Many healthcare providers and startups are rushing to deliver on the promise of supportive online communities for people while simultaneously trumpeting personal health records and electronic medical records– creating potential privacy and trust issues. They are looking to this self-same UX community to hack together yet-another-online community site – and without the proper understanding of tools and frames – you just know things could get bad.
Amy Cueva is Founder, Chief Experience Officer, and Healthcare Principal at Mad*Pow, an experience design agency. She partners with clients like Google, Aetna, Fidelity, and Monster to create strong cross-channel digital strategies, first class user experiences, and streamlined internal processes. She has built Mad*Pow’s user-centered design methodology as the vehicle to synergize business goals, customer needs, and technology requirements.
She was selected as one of Mass High Tech’s Women to Watch in 2009 and grew Mad*Pow along her business partners, Will Powley, and Bradley Honeyman to be noted as one of Inc 500’s fastest growing privately held companies in 2009. She is the secretary and one of the charter members of the NH UPA and is speaking at the 2010 IA Summit in Phoenix, AZ and the 2010 International UPA Conference in Munich, Germany.
Will Evans is Director, Experience Design for Semantic Foundry with 14 years industry experience in interaction design, information architecture, and user experience strategy. His experiences include directing UX for social network analytics and terrorism modeling at AIR Worldwide, UX Architect for social media site Gather.com, and senior interaction designer/information architect at kayak.com. He worked at Lotus/IBM where he was the senior information architect, and for Curl - a DARPA-funded MIT project when he was at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science. Prior to Curl, Will was an interaction designer for Dataware working on various search (Northern Light) and KM related product suites including KM Suite II and QueryServer.
Will earned an mba as well as masters degrees in human-computer interaction and cognitive psychology. His passions include design and critical theory, information architecture, information visualization and red wine. He lives in Philadelphia, PA, drinks far to much coffee, wears only black, and was Experience Design Co-Chair for the IxDA’s Interaction10 conference in Savannah, Georgia in February, 2010. He was recently elected to the board of directors of the Information Architecture Institute. He is Chair of the Information Architecture Institute's IDEA2010 Conference.