I enjoyed Poter’s reading on designing for the social web. And the examples he gave about users valuing the community generated product ratings on Amazon are so true. As the reading said, what makes people value these community ratings of products is because of the shared experience of trying to purchase a certain product which builds trust between strangers. And when trust is established, a strong community emerges.
There is a Zimbabwean Facebook page called “Zvirikufaya na Kheda”. It translates to, “All is well with Kheda.” Its a page that encourages Zimbabweans all over the world to post and share videos of their experiences in different parts of the world. As a Zimbabwean living in the U.S. this page makes me feel closer to home even though I’m thousands of miles away. What makes me value this Facebook page is the shared experience I have with the other users of being Zimbabwean.
This made me think of an ongoing design project that I’m working on. How can I accommodate the social aspect, and leverage humans need to be in communities and groups into the design. And even more how can I make these designs meaningful like the Zimbabwean Facebook page or Amazon’s user ratings of products. For me, the key begins with identifying the shared experience and building a system that supports that.