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Designing for the Social Web [Kindle Edition]

Joshua Porter
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

No matter what type of web site or application you’re building, social interaction among the people who use it will be key to its success. They will talk about it, invite their friends, complain, sing its high praises, and dissect it in countless ways. With the right design strategy you can use this social interaction to get people signing up, coming back regularly, and bringing others into the fold. With tons of examples from real-world interfaces and a touch of the underlying social psychology theory, Joshua Porter shows you how to design your next great social web application.

Inside, you’ll discover:
• The real reasons why people participate online and the psychology behind them
• The Usage Lifecycle—or how people use your web application over time
• How to get people past that trickiest of hurdles: sign-up
• What to do when you’ve launched a web application and nobody is using it
• How to analyze the effectiveness of your application screens and flows
• How to grow your social web application from zero users to 1000—and beyond

Designing for the social web is about much more than adding features. It’s about embracing the social interaction of the people who make you successful—and then designing smartly to encourage it.



Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

No matter what type of web site or application you're building, social interaction among the people who use it will be key to its success. They will talk about it, invite their friends, complain, sing its high praises, and dissect it in countless ways. With the right design strategy you can use this social interaction to get people signing up, coming back regularly, and bringing others into the fold. With tons of examples from real-world interfaces and a touch of the underlying social psychology theory, Joshua Porter shows you how to design your next great social web application.

Inside, you'll discover:
• The real reasons why people participate online and the psychology behind them
• The Usage Lifecycle—or how people use your web application over time
• How to get people past that trickiest of hurdles: sign-up
• What to do when you've launched a web application and nobody is using it
• How to analyze the effectiveness of your application screens and flows
• How to grow your social web application from zero users to 1000—and beyond

Designing for the social web is about much more than adding features. It's about embracing the social interaction of the people who make you successful—and then designing smartly to encourage it.

About the Author

Massachusetts-based JOSHUA PORTER is a web designer, consultant, and blogger who has been building web sites for over a decade. His company, Bokardo Design, focuses exclusively on the interface design and strategy of social web sites and applications. Josh also publishes the popular blog, Bokardo.com.


Product Details

  • File Size: 3421 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (April 7, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DWIQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,808 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very uneven book August 21, 2008
Format:Paperback
The book is a fast read. It's written in a conversational style, which means it's sometimes very verbose but rarely difficult to understand. There are some references, most of them to blog posts or web sites. A lot of the information sounds more like opinions and the background info is not really explained. The writer makes many unnecessary comments and opinions on things that are very loosely related to the treated subject.

The scope of the book is large. This means that the treatment of topics is shallow. Inside one chapter I could find very interesting paragraphs and then a couple of pages of uninteresting (too shallow or repetition of something that was self evident or repetition) musings. The book would have benefited from more editing and condensation of ideas, as it seems the writer would have had more to say on many topics. This is why it's a shame that the expression is not more condensed and organized.

I would recommend the book as an introduction to many issues concerning modern web site design from a non-technical perspective. I didn't find many new things in the book, but found some inspiring thoughts or comments on existing sites. The problem was that due to the unevenness, there was no fast way of recognizing the less interesting material. But, it's a fast & easy read, so not too much time is lost on the boring parts. I felt i got some ideas & inspiration from it which is always nice.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Joshua Porter pours his knowledge about user interface design in social media in this title. While the AOF method (Activities, Objects and Features) he presents early in the book gets a bit confusing when you first read about it, very quickly you get his point.

The design framework he presents is aimed at taking new users of a social site through the steps that make up the usage lifecycle: not being aware of the site > becoming interested in it > using the site for the first time > becoming a regular user > becoming a passionate user.

I see a practical application of Joshua's design philosophy in the way Ning.com (a platform for you to create your own social network) is put together: it is easy for a new member to sign up and create/manage a profile page, interact with other members and sharing with others inside or outside the network so as to make more people aware of the network.

The main downside I found to the book was that, in an attempt to be more comprehensive, it went into certain topics that had little to do with design, such as the case with the chapter on "Authentic Conversations" (why they are the most important thing you can do for your social web site) and the closing chapter on "Funnel Analysis" which seemed a bit rushed and disconnected from the rest. Still, the chapter on authentic conversations was useful and even the one on metrics carried weight and useful tips, just not as much as the rest of the book.

Overall, a very good reference for folks needing to catch up with the social web in the sites they manage.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written May 21, 2008
By TR6zo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First, this is not a programming book- there are no lines of code. Instead, this is about the design of social websites. It is very well written, with many illustrations and examples, in a style which makes it both easy to read and useful as a reference. It's clear that the author put a lot of time into this- probably because he's read countless books himself lacking in these areas. You can probably find books with more information on each topic he discusses but I have never seen one that pulls the information together so completely and coherently. For this alone, he deserves high marks.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New, but a great packaging of knowledge June 5, 2008
Format:Paperback
I highly recommend any web developer read this book. Its a very quick read (I think I spent 5 hrs total with the book over the course of a few weekends), and well worth your time.

It basically presents a lot of common knowledge about designing social features into web software as a coherent package. There aren't a lot of earth shattering ideas in the book, but having all the info in one place was very helpful. It focuses on the user experience, so don't expect any graphic design, or programming knowledge to be inferred, but it will get you thinking about how the social web works, and how to get it to work to your advantage. The last chapter on measuring your success is also quite good, and is tool agnostic.

There was nothing in the book that I didn't agree with, which is rarity for me. And all of the links cited in the footnotes will expand on the topics he presents to get the depth of the topic at hand the book may be lacking.

Buy it now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of how to design a Social Web site January 13, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having only used Social sites and not having been active in designing them, this book was eye opening for me. It summed up some ideas, I was not familiar with and gave me some insight on how to pursue the design of a Social web.

I found it a nice overall view of
* "somethings to do" and "somethings not to do"
* along with the structure of how to do it
* as well as how to see if I was successful.

It was chock full of examples as well.

I felt this book had to be a challenge to research for and write as the references needed to be current to be most useful and for me they were.

Thanks for an easy to read book and a quick overview of a subject that is all to pertinent to designers today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very insightful
Joshua breaks it down into understandable elements of how to drive traffic to a website. He helps to answer the questions we all want to ask but were to scared to look like... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kartik Kanakasabesan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good as a baseline for seeing how social motivations are evolving
It's interesting to read this book 4 years after it was written to look back at earlier ideas about social websites to see how they played out and are playing out as interactivity... Read more
Published on August 5, 2012 by Tom Sales
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written justification for the fuzzy line between web site and...
A well written justification for the fuzzy line between web site and web application interaction design. Read more
Published on July 31, 2011 by Joe Lippeatt
5.0 out of 5 stars a timeless, macro-level book
If you imagine a spectrum from macro concepts like "understanding why and how online social relationships work" to micro concepts like "choosing a hosting technology" this book... Read more
Published on July 10, 2011 by B. Field
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book; easy read
This is an excellent book that easily goes through everything you need to know to design for the social web. Read more
Published on May 17, 2011 by Russell R. Corrie
5.0 out of 5 stars A great overview of the social aspects and forces involved in social...
If you are designing and implementing a social network, this is what you need. It covers every issue one must tackle for the success of the social application, with real examples... Read more
Published on February 26, 2010 by Nuno Luz
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener!
This book was a great eye-opener; it brings to the reader's attention many of the elements that one overlooks when using websites. Read more
Published on October 27, 2009 by Ghaida Zahran
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast intro on designing social web sites and applications
This book didn't teach me a whole lot of new things about social media. The ideas and design principles in this book can be read from various blogs from a last couple of years. Read more
Published on June 3, 2009 by Pirkka Rannikko
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe Design
This is a terrific book on a subject that is of increasing importance to those heavily involved with web properties of any kind. Read more
Published on May 25, 2009 by Dave Carpenter
4.0 out of 5 stars Straight forward, high-level view on what should go into a social...
Designing for the Social Web is a short read, probably about 2-3 hours. The author breaks down the design of a site in terms of life-cycle based on user relationship... Read more
Published on March 7, 2009 by E. Welker
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