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Designing for the Social Web

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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.
Paperback, 188 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by New Riders Publishing
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Amira Salah
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-books
The book is just AMAZING. So simple yet so strong. It describes how you can design social websites and it has some great tips. What I loved the most is that Porter describes how people feel and talks a lot about how the website elements affect people's feelings and reactions.
Ash Moran
Don't be mislead by the title: Joshua Porter's book is primarily about social psychology and the impact this has on web-based software. Design is the set of considerations you need to need to create the desired behaviour.

The first part of the book is about taking potential users from Unaware (of your app) to Passionate Use, and the stages they pass through to get there.

Porter uses the increasingly standard model of the Social Object - the things people manipulate on a site. This he fits into the
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Designing for the Social Web is an engaging look at social behavior. Joshua Porter deftly covers both the anecdotal, insightful and research based insights about the keys to the social web.

This is one of those books where the clarity may in fact hinder it from being taken fully serious. By focusing on a clear approach applicable to practitioners and summarizing as opposed to focusing on the research foundations, the book became more accessible and usable.

Here six years after publication the
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Finally, a good book on social media! The last few books I’ve read were all style and no substance, and I was getting weary of even trying new ones, so this was a breath of fresh air. It was actually useful, not just impressive-looking.

Not so much about practical design as it is about psychology applied to making smart choices about your web software, this book touches on many interesting aspects of building online apps and leveraging people’s need to be social. It looks at why people feel the
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Well, first up, this has been the easiest read of any web book I've ever tackled. I *zoomed* through it. And the information is really interesting. Yes, quite a bit of it is common sense; yes, there's some repetition, but I think it's an excellent introduction to how people behave online. It's a book that would be useful not only for people developing social networks, but people attempting to achieve anything online.

It's also - apparently contrary to the title - not just for designers. The
Jun 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
While reading the introduction I had a short moment thinking "oh please, not another "social web=twitter, facebook & co" book", after a couple of chapters I realized that this book can be a quite valuable reference for designing social interactions. Joshua continously keeps providing you with tips and hints that sometimes may sound trivial at first, but are often forgot during the design process. This book is quick and easy to read and - although not overwhelmingly inspiring - definitely a ...more
Jason Hando
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book that covers many of the aspects of web design often forgotten about or not understood by university computer science lecturers and high school computing studies teachers. As a teacher I would use this book in my classroom to inspire students to see the depth of thought that needs to go into modern web design. I also think that teachers setting coursework could do with more of these techniques when curating their content. The Usage Lifecycle in the Introduction could ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web
Great overview of why and how social networking sites work to build a strong and active userbase. I took notes throughout that either support some of the work that I have in progress or provided new ideas. I've also suggested to higher ups so they have a more detailed understanding of why we're spending time building some of the functionality that we're building. It's heavy on examples and little psychological support; light on technology and details.
Brian Gupton
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is a few years old now, but I'm stroke by how few companies are actually doing these basics around designing for social experiences that Mr. Porter lays out. Every page is chock full of good design nuggets.
Osamah Islam
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of very few practical, Objective, facts & statistics based book
i highly recommend it
its only issue is being a bit outdated in terms of new social media apps, however core concepts are very useful
Basically applying social psychology to web app design. Heavy referencing to Cialdini and borrowing some ideas from persuasive technology field as well. Meaty and worthwhile parts on designing sign up and doing funnel analytics.
Nicole Califano
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
fully recommend for those interested in social web communication & social network start-ups
Aug 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
not done reading this yet, but learning that psychology is a very important component to compelling website design!
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book has excellent information. The references are a bit outdated since it was published in 2008, but it's still very useful.
Sjors Timmer
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Good book, maybe a bit simplistic, but still a good use of two hours of your life
Ben Nevile
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Psychology + design = social design
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
Great primer on how social features can enhance the user experience on the web.
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: products-design
A must-read book on product design for knowledge workers and entrepreneurs.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
good overview of the basics.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is great. I will recommend to my friends.
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Clear and simple,
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