The Null Device


Yahoo!'s Christian Crumlish posits the five principles of good social software design:

  • Pave the Cowpaths
  • Talk Like a Person
  • Play Well with Others
  • Learn from Games
  • Respect the Ethical Dimension
He also puts forward five anti-patterns, or ways in which sites get it wrong:
Briefly, the Cargo Cult means imitating superficial features of successful websites and applications without really understanding what makes them work. Don't Break Email warns against the practice of using email as a one-way notification or broadcast medium while disabling your users' ability to hit reply as a normal response. The Password Anti-Pattern is the pernicious practice of asking users to give you their passwords on other systems so that you can import their data for them, thus training them to be loose and insecure with their private information. The Ex-Boyfriend Bug crops up when you try to leverage a user's social graph without realizing that some of the gaps in a person's network may be deliberate and not an up-sell opportunity. Lastly, a Potemkin Village is an overly elaborated set of empty community discussion areas or other collaborative spaces, created in anticipation of a thriving population rather than grown organically in response to their needs (see also Pave the Cowpaths).

(via Boing Boing) design design patterns fail social software 0