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Designing Social Interfaces with Christian Crumlish

IxDA Los Angeles

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)

Designing Social Interfaces with Christian Crumlish

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Hello IxDA family,

I am happy to welcome back this speaker and announce our next event:

Designing Social Interfaces with Christian Crumlish

As we use social tools on the web, design patterns are emerging. Social design must be organic, not static, emotional, not data-driven. A social experience builds on relationships, not transactions.

Along with his friend and once colleague, Erin Malone, Christian created a wiki to gather social design patterns and published a snapshot of the wiki in book form.

Among the many principles of social design, Christian presents five:

  • Pave the Cowpaths: Watch what people do, then support and adapt to that behavior.
  • Talk Like a Person: Use a conversational voice. Be self-deprecating when an error occurs. Ask questions.
  • Be Open: Embrace open standards. Support two-way exchange of data with other applications.
  • Learn from Games: Give your application fun elements, like collecting and customization.
  • Respect the Ethical Dimension: Understand the expectations people have in social situations and abide by them.

Christian then describes five practices:

  • Give people a way to be identified and to characterize themselves.
  • Create social objects that give people context for interaction.
  • Give people something to do, and understand the continuum of participation, from lurkers to creators to leaders.
  • Enable a bridge to real life.
  • Let the community elevate people and the content they value.

Finally, he discusses five anti-patterns, commonly-used design choices that appear to solve a problem but that can backfire and pollute of the commons. Examples:

  • The Cargo Cult: Copying successful designs without understanding why they are successful.
  • Breaking Email: Sending an email alert, but rejecting or silently discarding the reply.
  • The Password Anti-Pattern: Asking people for their password to another service encourages poor on-line hygiene.
  • The Ex-Boyfriend Bug: Connecting people who share a social circle but who have reasons to avoid each other.
  • The Potemkin Village: Building groups with no members. Instead, let people gather naturally.

Christian stresses that social design is an ecosystem in which designers must balance many trade-offs. Not every design pattern applies to every application, but good designers can use patterns to strike a balance that works.

Christian Crumlish

Christian Crumlish leads product and user experience teams to deliver amazing cross-channel experiences. He is director of product at CloudOn, co-chairs the monthly BayCHI program and has been director of messaging products for AOL, curator of the Yahoo design pattern library, and director of the Information Architecture Institute.

He is the author of the bestselling The Internet for Busy People, and The Power of Many, and co-author most recently of Designing Social Interfaces with Erin Malone. He has spoken at BarCamp, BayCHI, South by Southwest, the IA Summit, Ignite, Web 2.0 Expo, PLoP, IDEA, Interaction, Web Directions, the Web App Masters Tour, the Italian IA Summit, and UX Lisbon, and Web Visions in Sydney, Tokyo, and London (@media).

AND! The event will be hosted and sponsored (with food and beverages) by:



Please try and find street parking. There should be plenty. The parking garage for Fandango is quite expensive, and they will NOT be validating. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Have questions about Designing Social Interfaces with Christian Crumlish? Contact IxDA Los Angeles

When & Where

12200 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)

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IxDA Los Angeles

IxDA Los Angeles
The Interaction Design Association (IxDA) is a member-supported organization dedicated to the discipline of interaction design. Since its launch in 2003, IxDA has grown into a global network of more than 80,000 members and over 173 local groups, focusing on interaction design issues for the practitioner, no matter their level of experience.

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Designing Social Interfaces with Christian Crumlish
Los Angeles, CA Events Networking

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