This slideshow introduces a view of the social media user that emphasizes the sociability, communication, and interaction skills and competencies. In it I make the argument that user experience and interaction designers approach social media with the user’s social interests in mind — and not “needs” and “goals.”
I set the user’s interest in his or her self image, interest in others, and relational interests. These can be used to build a set of social media competencies, from “telling” about oneself to moderating conversation. Based on social skills but modified to fit the particularities of web and social apps, these competencies might offer a better approach to grasping the user experience than concepts based in a model of user needs.
The big idea here being that social, communicative, and relational “interests” are radically different than the interests based in a cognitive science-based view of the “rational actor.” That said, the presentation’s light on theory!
A follow-up presentation will look at psychological personalities and propose alternate “personas” for use in social media design.