Glenn's Reviews > Designing for the Social Web

Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter
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Feb 15, 2009

really liked it
Read in February, 2009

In his book, Joshua Porter targets intermediate to advanced designers who already know the basics and are seeking ways to improve their design skills, especially pertaining (but not limited) to social networking oriented sites.

There are two main themes in this book, the psychology of motivation and what he calls the usage lifecycle. As he goes through each design element, he discusses the psychological drivers behind that design element and how you can leverage those drivers. For example, one way that you can encourage participation is to capitalize on the human need for reciprocity.

The chapters are well organized. First, he establishes that social web sites are a growing, significant trend. Next, he sets up a foundation for social web design. After that, he makes the marketing case for authentic conversations. The following chapters are devoted to designing for registration, ongoing participation, collective intelligence, and sharing. The final chapter talks about measuring goal conversion with funnel analysis.

I bought this book with the expectation that it would stimulate new ideas for my own web properties and, to that affect, I would call it a success. For example, I have a bookmarking feature on a collective intelligence application that I am now considering re-branding as a sharing feature instead.
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