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Chapter 7

Contacts SlideShare (www.slideshare.net) is considered to be world’s largest community for sharing presentations on the web. Built on the Web 2.0 ideology, it has made a mark as one of the leaders in the online presentation sharing space and as a strong media innovator Initially the basic theme on SlideShare was the sharing of slide decks. The next stage for SlideShare was to become a rich social arena fostering connections between people, keeping the slide decks as the focus. This chapter looks into the conceptual and functional aspects of SlideShare.

“ Football isn’t a contact sport, it’s a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport. ”

- Hugh “Duffy” Daugherty, former head coach of Michigan State University Spartans football team

“ The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for

ourselves. The basis of optimism is sheer terror. We think that we are generous because we credit our neighbour with the possession of those virtues that are likely to be a benefit to us. We praise the banker that we may overdraw our account, and find good qualities in the highwayman in the hope that he may spare our pockets. I mean everything that I have said. I have the greatest contempt for optimism. As for a spoiled life, no life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested. If you want to mar a nature, you have merely to reform it. As for marriage, of course that would be silly, but there are other and more interesting bonds between men and women. I will certainly encourage them. They have the charm of being fashionable. ” - Oscar Wilde, from his novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, 1891

Relationships


INTRODUCTION CONTACTS

Connecting Users

Target audience, the emerging user segment and the hypothetical personas

Design a mechanism for “bookmarking other users and categorising them. ” - Design Brief

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Understand and Analyse

Design

EV

A

LU

AT

E

Vis an ual d Lo Fe ok el

The next logical step was to help users save or note those whom they found interesting. This would allow a user to keep track of the people he met and interacted with. Helping users categorise the bookmarked users into fixed (or custom) category labels such as “friend”, “family”, etc. would facilitate sharing of specific content with specific members and also communicating his/her socialising attributes to others. Updating a user’s start-up page with his contact’s latest uploaded slide decks was an important consideration which would foster and encourage the spirit of sharing of slide decks among SlideShare members.

Design Methodology

Co nc ep tu Pa ge an al M St d od ru el ct ur e

The My Slidespace page was designed having calculated the essential need of verifying a user’s identity. A usual social behaviour was to verify that someone is who they say they are in order to establish friendships or mark people as their known contacts. My Slidespace made it easier for members to judge others not just by displaying their personal profiles but also by displaying how active they were and what type of content they contributed. This helped in discovering others who shared similar interests.

Co Int m erf po ac ne e nt s

The assignment involved examining the existing contact mechanisms on major social networks, researching on how people relate and maintain relations, how social bookmarking works and coming up with medium-fidelity mock-ups and storyboards showcasing the functioning of Contacts and the connections with other social sharing features.

Re se ar ch

After having focused on features which enable people to easily and effectively upload their presentations/slide decks online, it was necessary to focus on features that would enable people to connect together. The vision was to evolve SlideShare into a rich social arena for sharing, conversing and interacting around slide decks.

Vis io Be U and n ha ser vio ur

Scope of Work

D Sc efin op e e

Design Situation

Prototype, Test and Refine

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STRATEGY PLANE

INTERNAL OBJECTIVES CONTACTS

Formulating the Strategy

What are the business objectiives and the needs of the users ?

What does the Stakeholders want ?

Outlining the Strategic Objectives Having observed and understood how the mechanism of people’s contacts works, the next stage was explicating the underlying strategy for the design and development process and creating the strategy document.

General discussions with the Stakeholders - Rashmi, Jon and Amit, yielded the following understanding of the strategic goals:

How to move ahead ? After getting a briefing on the module application of Contacts, it was important to focus on planning the next couple of steps taking into account the near deadline and agile devlopment methodology.

talk discuss understand

what do we want to do?

user needs observe

SlideShare was being recognised as a good place for uploading presentations, but it was still not a rich social arena for sharing, conversation and interaction around slides. The next stage for SlideShare was to become a place for people to connect through slide decks.

Create Friends on SlideShare

internal strategy

competitive analysis analyse current systems

One of the first steps towards building a social network is the ability to designate users as “friends” and share materials with them. This feature would facilitate other mechanisms such as messaging, forming groups, etc. on SlideShare and would lay the foundation for evolving it into a social sharing network.

Improve Findability by Bookmarking Finding a specific slide deck or slide decks on a particular topic/interest/seminar/domain could very much be linked to a particular user, like a teacher or an expert or an artist. Bookmarking people could greatly improve and utilise the feature as a strong association to particular slide decks. Also, forming relations around the content was a strong consideration and thus a uni-directional approach was in focus. For example, A user could subcribe to the public slide shows of the other without the acceptance of the other.

revise features and goals define

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Create a Social System

scope

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STRATEGY PLANE

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS CONTACTS

Analysing Existing Models

Conducting a Competitive Analysis to gain an understanding of successful contact mechanisms Why do a Competitive Analysis ? In order to gain a good understanding of the successful contact models, their features and respective strengths and weaknesses, the approach of analysing competitors and other similar applications was taken up. This was a quick one day exercise in which the top social networks and applications known for their contact features were selected, their particular features examined through participation and observations and finally the findings articulated. The resulting PowerPoint slideshow of Competitive Analysis findings was presented and discussed with the stakeholders and accordingly reviewed. Main goals of Competitive Analysis were:

E-mail and Instant Messaging

Social Sharing Networks

Chosen ones: Gmail Yahoo Messenger

Chosen ones: YouTube (Video Sharing Service) Flickr (Photo Sharing Service)

Who are the Competitors ? Social Networking

Professional Networking

Chosen ones: Orkut (Friend Networking) Yelp (Social Guide/Reviews)

Chosen ones: LinkedIn (Business Networking)

y Identify the unique features y Evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses

E-mail and Instant Messaging Service Yahoo Messenger (Desktop Version)

www.gmail.com Search and Groups Highlighting search for contacts help in further building the brand identity. Grouping of contacts helps a user maintain custom categories to organise people in his address list.

Integration of GTalk within GMail

List with Status

The ability to message instantly makes Gmail a one-stop communication and interaction tool. The dop-down Ajax list method is also a good model of interaction. GTalk highlighted features are- User’s Current Status, Contacts’ list and their status and Searching Contacts.

Presenting the list of contacts with their current online status effectively communicates where the other person is in the online space. The user may accordingly decide whether to mail someone or instantly message him.

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Status and Privacy Yahoo Messenger enables a user to be hidden from other users on his/her contact list thus giving him total control over his online presence.

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STRATEGY PLANE

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS CONTACTS

>> Analysing Existing Models

Conducting a Competitive Analysis to gain an understanding of successful contact mechanisms www.youtube.com Video Sharing

1

2

3

4

“Subscribe” Feature Youtube provides a feature “subscribe” which enables a user to subscribe to the videos upload by the other user. This feature is uni-directional. The user’s approval or disapproval is not required. A user may thus have many subscribers and he may not even know them. He may subscribe to many users and also have personal contacts. The privacy feature allows the user to select the videos he wants to share with the subscribers or contact. This specialised content sharing feature makes the “contacts” feature more focused towards social networking.

5

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Browse Profile and Add as Contact A user can browse other user’s profile and add him /her as contacts. The added user gets a notification and can approve or disapprove the request.

1

2

Search for People (Search + Add) Search for people, add them up as your contact and then categories them into pre-defined or custom category labels. The user you added gets a notification and has the option of approving or disapproving your invitation. Invite People (E-mail + Add) The user enters the email address of the people he/she knows and they receive an e-mail invite to join YouTube. If they accept and join, they automatically get added to the All Contacts list.

3

Custom Lists YouTube allows users to create custom contact lists along with the pre-defined ones.

4

Add/Delete/Modify Contacts This feature is very similar to the e-mail system’s contacts mangement whereby one can view all his contacts at once, sort them, remove them, select and copy or change them into custom lists.

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STRATEGY PLANE

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS CONTACTS

>> Analysing Existing Models

Conducting a Competitive Analysis to gain an understanding of successful contact mechanisms User’s Start-up Page

Browsing Comments posted to other users 1

5 2

3

6

Navigational Bar 4

1

Contacts Menu Putting all contacts related activites in a menu gives it more prominance and makes it more organised for users. Invitations is a tried and tested promotional tool encouraging users to invite, persuade and bring in more people with similar interests.

4

2

Comments from and to Contacts This feature really helps the users in discovering the updates in their community interactions. What photos were commented and by whom? When users use a profile-activity-start-up page, they are most interested in knowing what’s latest on their shared photographs.

5

3

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Photos from your Contacts Browsing through latest photos from contacts keeps the user more focused, excited and more aware of the people he know. People relate better and are more motivated towards creativity and innovativeness.

6

People Search A strong people search helps in finding people on Flickr even on the basis of their email addresses. Finding people on the basis on their interests and other features is an interesting feature as most of the people connect through similar interests. Friendly and Fast Interactions One can add someone as contact from the drop-down menu just by rolling over the user’s profile image (avatar) anywhere within the website. Categorising Contacts In just two steps and without navigating out of the page one can define his relation with the contact bookmarked also as either friends (limited access to content) or as family (contacts who have higher privileges)

www.flickr.com Photo Sharing

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STRATEGY PLANE

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS CONTACTS

>> Analysing Existing Models

Conducting a Competitive Analysis to gain an understanding of successful contact mechanisms www.linkedin.com Business Networking

1

Informing the users and the site visitors of the strategy employed towards networking, works great for LinkedIn. Since the theme of business networking is a more specialised form of networking, LinkedIn showcases a strong implementation of Contacts Mechanism.

2

Simple Name Search

3

Advance People Search

4

Saved Contacts Lists

5

Reference Search

2

3

LinkedIn Networking Model

Search for a person by his/her first name, if the search is successful, add him/her. The user gets a notification to join your network which he/she can accept/reject. Search for a person through various parameters. This makes it possible to locate someone even whose name is not known (a total stranger) which is very much in the context of networking for business prospects. The ease of adding your contacts to LinkedIn is further enhanced by exporting contacts from any Address Book software. Basically works on the keyword based search using the various labels available in user’s profiles. A lot used by the HR nowdays to trace the social behaviour of Potential Employees.

5

4

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STRATEGY PLANE

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS CONTACTS

>> Analysing Existing Models

Conducting a Competitive Analysis to gain an understanding of successful contact mechanisms www.orkut.com Social Networking

1

2

3

Friends Section

Orkut displays a user’s contacts (friends) on his profile cum start-up page. Anyone can then further navigate to other people’s profiles and even add them as friends. This works great if finding new people and networking through known links.

1

Controls defining Relations

The controls below a user’s profile image extend the notion of relations further by enabling him to define if he/she finds a user hot, have a crush on him/her or even want to ignore a user.

2

Public Scrap Messages from Contacts

Scrap Messages form the main content in Orkut and enable finding of interesting users and further connecting to them. Every Scrap has the user’s image displayed and a link to his profile page.

www.yelp.com Social Guide/Reviews

3

4

Friends Section Very similar implementation to the Orkut’s Friends section, but Yelp provides more contextual information along with the user’s image in the form of special symbols showing their friends and reviews with their relative quantities.

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STRATEGY PLANE

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS CONTACTS

Tabulating the Findings

Comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses while highlighting unique features

Gmail

Yahoo Messenger

YouTube

Flickr

LinkedIn

Orkut

Yelp

Basic search with Name

N.A.

N.A.

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Advance Search

N.A.

N.A.

NO

YES

YES

YES

NO

Invite People

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Add as Contact with Approval/Decline

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

Import Contacts

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

NO

NO

Categorise people into Custom Categories

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

NO

Subscribe to Content Only

N.A.

N.A.

YES

NO

NO

NO

NO

Receive Content Updates from Contacts

N.A.

N.A.

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Privacy Features

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

Contacts Search

Bookmark People

Contact Updates

Unique Contact Features YouTube

Flickr

YouTube follows both a uni-directional approach by emphasising on sharing of public content with every other member and a two-way controlled one by sharing certain private content with only those one likes.

Flickr really presents a very organised approach to handling Contacts. Their mechanism of recommenting photos, tags and comments from contacts really creates a strong community feeling among the members. Unique Feature: Photos,Comments from Contacts

Unique Feature: Subscribe to Videos

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LinkedIn LinkedIn provides one of the strongest people search features. Searching someone with keywords and not name and through people you know is a very strong feature helping people to build quick business networks. Unique Feature: Advance and Reference Search

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STRATEGY PLANE

USER NEEDS CONTACTS

Identifying User Needs

Steping into the user’s shoes

What does Brian want ? Meets other speakers, experts, students etc. at IA Summit 2007 in Los Angeles, California

Two students, Joe and Rahul, and three other experts ask for his presentation

He tells them he will upload it to SlideShare and share with them... but he has to note and remember their e-mail addresses

y Share his presentations with others (Professional Goal) y Discuss with fellow experts across the world (Professional and Personal Goal) Peter wants to discuss his talks and concepts with other fellow experts regulalrly

He uploads his work as slide decks on SlideShare

y Refer to someone’s presentation remembering the name (Professional Goal) He met his dear friend and usability expert Dave at a conference at Irvine.

After uploading, he types in the e-mail addresses of his contacts everytime he has to share with them

Peter likes Dave’s presentation on “Discount Usability Engineering” and would like to refer to it

Dave tells him, he will upload this presentation and lots more in the days to come and Peter can regularly check his Slidespace for updates.

=

= Search,

Bookmark Users

= Bookmark Users as Contacts

Updates from Contacts

What does Celma want ?

Subscribe = to content She also navigates to those of others user’s Slidespaces who costantly comment of photographs

Address list, Privacy Features

=

She has created multiple profiles and after uploading slide decks manual feeds in the e-mail addresses to whom she wants to send

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Browse Interesting Slide decks (Personal Goal) x She constantly searches and bookmarks certain user’s Slidespace URLs, who regularly upload cool stuff

Jennifer likes to see slide decks on Photography and also upload her explorations as photo albums

Share her new slide decks with friends (Personal Goal) x She uploads all such slide decks to SlideShare but doesn’t like to share it with all the people she knows

Jennifer likes creating slide decks of the photographs she takes, paintings she makes and on humorous topics

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SCOPE PLANE

SPECIFYING FUNCTIONALITY CONTACTS

Defining the Scope

Carrying out affinity diagramming activity to fix the priority features

Based to the Competitive Analysis results, Use scenarios and internal objectives, the affinity diagramming activity was carried out mapping the goals and needs to the brainstormed and derived features. The results were then grouped into the following diagram, with the cuurent focus on those essential

ADVANCED

ESSENTIAL

Privacy Features

Address List (DIsplay)

y Recent Slide decks

User Search (Control and Display) Bookmark Users (Accept and Reject)

Pre-defined Categories of Contacts (Control)

Import Contacts from other Places liks Social Networks

Define Custom Relations

Custom Relations Invites

of Users

y Recent Comments

Updates From Contacts

y Recent Messages

E-mail Updates

(When Implemented)

y Recent Pings

(When Implemented)

Process

Import Contacts Lists from other software

Subscribe (Connect only to Content) Advance People Search

Brainstorm/Derive Features Filter and Make Notepaper Labels

Status Update Subscribe to User’s Slide decks

Discuss and Sort into Structure

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STRUCTURE PLANE

CONCEPT GENERATION CONTACTS

Concept Generation

An iterative process of brainstorming, discussions and refinements

The Approach We first articulated the internal goals and the user needs; and then went ahead with resolving the focus areas and priority features. The next step was to use all this understanding and form a conceptual image of the required design within the scope boundaries. The Concept Generation stage involved the iterative procedure of brainstorming for ideas, discussing them with the stakeholders and developers and refining them accordingly. A set of concepts were decided upon and storyboards depicting the particular scenarios and involved tasks created. The various models were then reviewed and a final model selected which was further worked upon in greater detail.

Refinements Task-analysis Storyboards Brainstorming

Technicalities

Jon (CTO)

Rashmi (CEO & Usability Expert)

Concept Sketches

Goals

Evaluate and Refine

Amit (COO)

Feedbacks

Me (Designer)

Storyboards

Stakeholders

The Resultant After having brainstormed for conceptual ideas in a non-linear fashion, the realisation in the end was that I was revolving around three main areas and interlinkages between them. After having discussions with Rashmi, Jon and Amit; this became further clear and I shifted to a more focused explorative path. The three aspects were as under:

Updates from Contacts Add/Modify and Classify Find and Identify

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STRUCTURE PLANE

CONCEPT GENERATION CONTACTS

>> Concept Generation

Noting down the essential tasks performed by the user

CONTACTS

Browsing

Notify the Person that

Generated List

he is added as Contact

Invite a Person to

SEARCH for People on SlideShare

SlideShare

Accepts / Rejects

ADD a Person as Contact

the request

DELETE / MODIFY Contact VIEW Contacts List

Update

CLASSIFY contacts into various categories like friends, colleagues Latest from your contacts

The General Task Model

VIEWS VISIBLE TO ALL (LinkedIn, Orkut)

RESTRICTED VIEW

VISIBLE TO ALL INDIRECTLY (Flickr)

The Task Model was built from the most commonly observed behaviour with respect to the chosen essential contact features. It was important to note all the tasks in order to understand the vague functionality of the concepts to be generated and where exactly they should be placed.

Placing the Components A look into the placement of the contacts components highlighted the major role that would be played by ‘My Slidespace’ page. New pages to be build up were: y

y

Recent from Contacts: A landing page that would act like a mashup including the latest activities from various contacts. Contacts Listing: This page would act like an address box and include all contacts, categories and common functions.

View Contacts My Slidespace

y

Modify/Delete and Classify y (New) Contacts Page

Friends / Colleagues/ Contacts Due to the absence of privacy features, current every person would be added as a Contact. A user can thus subscribe to the other user’s content without the other being interested in connecting. With privacy being incorporated the users could classify their contacts as Friends or Colleagues National Institute of Design (Year 2007 )

Views and Updates

Add as Contact y My Slidespace

Updates from Contacts y My Slidespace y (New) Recent from Contacts Find /View y Homepage

Add/Modify and Classify Find and Identify

y

SlideView Page

y

Search Result

y

and other pages where the user appears

Identify y My Slidespace Diploma Project Social Networking on SlideShare

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SKELETON PLANE

MOCK-UPS CONTACTS

Task Scenario Mock-ups

Building the structured experience

Task: Add a User as Contact y View a particular user or Search for him/her y Navigate to his profile (My Slidespace) y Add as contact

View on Homepage / Search

One strong consideration here was to add the user as quickly as posible without much steps. A two stage process of first adding a user as contact and then specifying him/her as a ‘Friend’ or ‘Colleague’ was followed. Navigating to another page was considered inappropraite for this task.

One can view this on anyone’s Slidespace

Contacts Menu in the second level navigation

Shows the number of Contacts

An Inner HTML replacement and not a pop-up. The form will slide down instead of making the user to navigate to another page National Institute of Design (Year 2007 )

Send E-mail to User

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SKELETON PLANE

MOCK-UPS CONTACTS

>> Task Scenario Mock-ups

Building the structured experience

Task 2: E-mail to user (in one’s specified e-mail address) Content of the Mail Hola Rashmi GregJames700 added you as a contact on Slideshare. Maybe you know GregJames700, or maybe GregJames700 just wants to bookmark your slideshows. In either case, there is no obligation to reciprocate. Here is a link to GregJame700’s profile on Slideshare. LINK Enjoy your day!

Remove as Contact

Send E-mail to User

May delete the user as Contact

the Slideshare team

Latest from Contacts Public View of Latest from Contacts (New Page - Only Content Shown)

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SKELETON PLANE

MOCK-UPS CONTACTS

>> Task Scenario Mock-ups Building the structured experience

Contacts List View

Contacts on My SlideSpace

The Contacts Section on My Slidespace

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LAUNCH CONTACTS

First Release of Contacts First version of Contacts was launched on 24th January, 2007

The Launch Procedure

The first release of the ‘contacts’ feature was launched alongside ‘Filter slideshows by language’, ‘Zing it!’ and the ‘Favorite notification’ features. ‘Filter slideshows by language’ feature allowed a user to see slide decks only of a selected language, for example, only french slideshows. ‘Zing it!’ feature allowed one to vote for a slide deck in case he/she liked it and thus behaved as a mark of collective appreciation. The ‘Favorite notification’ allowed a member to receive an e-mail when his/her slide deck was marked as a ‘favorite’ by a SlideShare member. As stated in the post “Rolling out new features in SlideShare” dated 24 th January, 2007 on the SlideShare blog, the ‘Contacts’ feature allowed a SlideShare member to add another member as his/her contact. The member needed to ‘log-in’ to SlideShare and visit the particular member’s Slidespace page in order to mark him as ‘Contact’. This formed a one-way relation which connected the two people on the basis of content (slide decks). The member added as a ‘Contact’ would just receive a notification about he/she being added as Contact.

In the current day world, communication plays the most critical role in the society. Because we now live locally and globally at the same time, we need communication to translate between the two and to help us conduct all the commerce and interactions that turns the world on a daily basis. But besides playing its role in our economies and systems, communication is what binds people. It is what keeps our society healthy and sane. It’s how we maintain our relationships, and how we make new friends. How we extend trust, as well as how we maintain it. Technologies of communication become the means of production, or production format, of communication. Their use in communication is not transparent. In fact, technologies introduce new contingencies and contexts into communication. Analysis of communication and interaction in society today needs to account for the transformative effects of mediation. Having allowed the SlideShare users to see each other without having to know each other or be present at the same place, there was a need to open up further channels of communication and interactions. As members of SlideShare, users had a virtual presence all the time - their profile pages, slideshow contributions, comment postings, and other interactions were regularly

Requirement: Updates from Contacts

Urgent Requirement: MySlideSpace Change There was a strong need to highlight a user’s contact on his My Slidespace page, thus also making other users visitng his profile check other profiles and form connections. The current process of choosing the ‘Contacts’ option from the ‘My Slidespace’ menu options was very ineffective and less encouraging to foster socialising on SlideShare.

National Institute of Design (Year 2007 )

The release just allowed users to mark others as ‘Contacts’ but didn’t allow them to receive slide deck updates from their Contacts at a single point on SlideShare. The next release was poised to be launched with the redesign of the My Slidespace page, thus taking care of updates from Contacts.

Requirement: Better People Search The search for users on SlideShare needed to be highlighted and folow a simpler process. Currently, there were too many tasks involved in finding a user and then adding him up as a Contact.

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Part 4_ThesisDocument_2007  

Chapter 7 of the Thesis Document on the "Contacts" features

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