Social Media User Experience

In this day and age, we can evidently see that the rapid rise of social media has been pretty overwhelming. In fact, social media is closely a part of the user’s experience. People use various channel to communicate and they won’t stick at only one single channel. Therefore, UX designers have to design all of these channels to be one consistent user experience.

For example, latest Facebook designed with social plugin.

As a Facebook user, you’re able to comment or like post on any Facebook pages. Other than that, Facebook provide home page with full of activity feeds that allow users to see what their friends have been carry out on their websites. Facebook also give some pages suggestions for users to click like, this is based on their daily activities on Facebook.  For example, since I am a big fans of Taylor Swift and often type “Taylor Swift” on Facebook search bar. So, Facebook will automatically recommend me to like more fans pages about Taylor Swift or else. Live stream on Facebook lets users share comments and likes in real-time during live event. Live stream could generate bigger audiences to allow your video access to worldwide. The great significant is users can easily sign up to another website by using their Facebook account.

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There are some websites designed with “follow us” buttons. But what is the purpose of adding such words in a website? Why should people follow ‘you’?

social2I’ve read an incident about somebody visited an e-commerce website. The guy intentionally looking for a DSLR camera, however the first sight caught by him was a Facebook button with “follow us on Facebook“. Sometimes website design might be too complicated, so users prefer to go back to something which has the more familiar interface to them and also the brand icon tend to stand out more (in this case is Facebook) since Facebook is more friendly towards users.  He said thatSometimes follow us icons can be a distraction from the user’s primary task.”

All social media buttons do is distract the user from completing your primary call to action.

Due to the distraction “follow us”button, it makes him unable to focus on his initial purpose of buying a camera. This is because people might click the button and access to their Facebook page to look for more information. After that, some “promotion” or “sales” will changed their early thoughts of buying only a camera, they might bought more and more stuffs from the website. “Follow us” button is able to break users concentration from their task and also from satisfying the website’s business purpose of earning money.

Next, why people should follow ‘you’? To answer why, there must be a reason.

Here is a brilliant example, instead of asking people simply “follow them” they added some copy, such as:

“Follow us on Facebook for useful advice on how to get the most from your new camera.”

Thus, with “follow us” and “share” options, people can firmly combine websites with social media. This is the method on how UX designers design all of channels to be one consistent user experience.

References

Boag, P (2012) Social Media Is A Part Of The User Experience. Smashing Magazine. [Online] Available at: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/06/social-media-is-a-part-of-the-user-experience/ [Accessed: 5 December 2016]

Boag, P (2014) Saying no to social media buttons. Boagworld. [Online] Available at: https://boagworld.com/design/social-media-buttons/  [Accessed: 5 December 2016]

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UX Designer

According to Oxford Journal Interacting With Computers, 

The definition of UX design:

  • The goal of UX design in business is to “improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.” 

While people interact with the product, it is able to enhance experiences and enable users achieve their initial aim in what ux designers have provided. 

How the product feels? 

Do you ever concerned about it? Yes. You have to concern about it if you’re a UX designer. As a UX designer, firstly, you must guarantee the product logically function well from one step to another step. Next, you have to test and observe user’s behaviour towards the product. This is due the reason that users feedback is more crucial in further development for UX design.

What the !@#$ is UX Design‘ is a youtube video that explained understandably about UX by Matthew Magain. He’s not really explains about what is UX design but he gives a clear explanation about what should a UX designer learn to and what did UX designer did for social media. He highlighted that (UX = User Experience) is mostly refer to: 4W1H

Questioning.
  • what?
  • when?
  • where?
  • why?
  • how?

This is due to the reason that how does a product looks like might affect user’s interaction. Therefore, questioning (about asking 4W1H) is one of their ‘habits’ since they have to get answers in order to come out with a success product’s design.


-Who is the target audience?

-What do we want the website do?

-What do we want user to engage?

-What do we want user to do when they interact? -What are you thinking about the apps?

-How to catch people first sight with button?

-Why is that confuse you? 

-What is the next step to do? 

-Where would user click next?

-How to make people share post after read it? 

-Why place “share” button at certain area?


UX designer will continuously questioning ton of questions and do research on their users in order to understand more about their feeling. According to Matthew,  to accomplish an aim or purpose of UX design, the product (web apps/ mobile apps/ desktop apps) are required to fulfil both user needs and business needs. 


User-centred design process – A process that requires ‘tools’ and ‘techniques’ to take user’s needs into every stage of the product’s lifecycle. It is something scientific which using analysis and measurement. (more analytical and technical)


Besides, UX Design is considered as “design behind the visuals.” This is because UX designers are concerned with the overall feel of the product, unlike UI designer/ interface designers who are particular concerned about how the product is laid out. For example, UI designers normally questioning such questions, what colours can I use? Why this colour will catch attention of user? How many images I can use? And how can I make this look incredible in visual look? 

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

In order to provide a good user experience, it is vital to come out with a design with essential design element that help users get access to exactly what they want. For example, Figure 1 shows that before users login or register account in certain apps, they are required to fill in personal data. If the apps layout repeatedly mention *required* to fill in these parts, it might resulting users skip *optional* part. This is due to the reason that, users might have a thought about optional field may not be crucial, why should I wasting my time on it to fill in that part? In order to create an effective design, UX designers shouldn’t continuously repeatedly mention something even though it’s important, however, you can just only mention one word to catch the eyes of users. 

(with the design principle: less is more) 

Figure 2 is about design carousels on apps or mobile website. We can see that most of carousels are always designed with an arrow to direct user swipe their phone from left to right or right to left in order to get more information.

For example: mobile apps install carousels ads on Facebook. 

However, navigation arrow might not really give user an incentive to click. If change the arrows into something descriptive with meaningful labels, it’ll incentives users to click in and have a look. 

Carousels ads on Facebook.

Let’s look at figure 3, since icon is more representable as symbol of something to make thing easier to understand in order to catch users attention. So, icon have to place in front of text to let users see the icon first. Place icons, texts, or images in a proper way is to make the overall design easy to understand to the viewer’s eyes. Since our eyes seek to balance, focus on visual balance between design elements is vitally important. Therefore, as UX designer, you’ve to ensure that your design is able to maintain balance in presenting information to user and provide them with a visually pleasing picture of the objects placed in the apps/ website. 

Magain, M. (2012) What the #$%@ is UX Design?. [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovj4hFxko7c [Accessed: 2 December 2016]
Lanoue, S (n.d) The definition of UX design. User Testing Blog. [Online] Available at: https://www.usertesting.com/blog/2015/09/16/what-is-ux-design-15-user-experience-experts-weigh-in/ [Accessed: 2 December 2016]
McGough, O (2014) 10 of the Best UX Infographics. [Online] Available at: http://blog.usabilla.com/10-best-ux-infographics-2/ [Accessed: 2 December 2016]

Dilemma (Who to choose?)

On Tuesday, a dilemma I come across is which social group should I use as comparison in this topic? The first two communities come to my mind is designer and normal internet user. Since I will be a designer in future soon, hence I curious to know what is the difference between them in social media. What is the role that played by them? However I still get confused since there are various types of designers. Such as graphic designer, interactive/web designer, user experience (UX) designer, user interface (UI) designer, industrial designer, interior designer, and so forth. 

 

Types of Designer
1. Graphic Designer

  • visual communication
  • problem solving
  • use of typography, photography, illustration
  • branding/ visual identity: logos, business cards
  • product packaging 

2. Interactive Designer

  • use of technology and principles of good communication
  • build website, turns design into actual online experiences
  • knowledge of programming languages such as Javascript 
  • knowledge of CCS and HTML
  • blog templates, banner ads
  • websites, landing pages

3. UX Designer

  • usability testing
  • creating user flows
  • validate business ideas
  • create prototypes
  • *ensure people using a site, apps or tool easily and not confusing.*

4. UI Designer 

  • create beautiful and usage interface
  • graphical user interfaces (GUIs)
  • navigate people through an app, site or tool 
  • buttons, menus, colours, and images

5. Industrial Designer

  • also known as product designer
  • create medical devices
  • appliances 
  • cars, bikes, planes
  • consumer and household items

6. Interior Designer 

  • floor plans
  • diagrams
  • functional spaces
  • visually appealing spaces
Infographic 1 (Velenzuela, C, 2014) shows the types of designers and softwares they used.
I intend to focus on UX designer with normal internet user. Before I go into depth research, I’ve almost zero knowledge with the process of UX design, it was a bit tricky to me. Based on my research I found out that, user experience design (UX, UXD, UED or XD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. In the next entry, I’ll going to explain more on UX Design:  

-What UX designer do

-Why do we care about UX?


References

Braun, K. (n.d) What Type of Designer Do You Need? Upwork [Online]. Available at: https://www.upwork.com/hiring/design/what-type-of-designer-do-you-need/ [Accessed at: 30th November 2016]

Velenzuela, C.(2014) Design: Which skills? What type of designer? Ventureleague of the Americas [Online]. Available at: http://ventureleague.org/main/design-which-skills-what-type-of-designer/ [Accessed at: 30th November 2016] 







Decision + Research

After much deliberation, I decided to focus on topic 4 “Compare and contrast how two different communities or social groups use a specific social media platform. Which of the two groups has more to gain and why?” 


Firstly, I want to discuss about Social Media since it is one of the key ideas in this topic. According to techopedia.com, it defines social media as computer-mediated technologies that allow the creating and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other form of expression via virtual communities and networks. Example of social media platform can be access by everyone such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google, Instagram.  Most Internet users have been registered on different social media platforms. According to Pew Research Center, there is 72% of online user use social networks. They might choose different social media platform based on their age, location, interesting, aims and many other reasons. 


For instances,

Tumblr: Millennials (c. 1980-1995), users under age of 35. 

Twitter: Young people, users age between 18-29.

Facebook: Mother of all social network.

(Popular Social Media Site)

In this day and age, social media keep getting more and more, and without end. It penetrates worldwide and become people’s daily routine. This bar chart shows the number of global social media users from 2010 to 2016 and estimate until 2020. In the coming 2018, it shows that there will be around 2.67 billion social media users, which increase from 1.91 billion in 2014. As the number of social media users increase, it also prove that more and more people rely heavily on internet to get news and information. They found that social media especially useful, since they are able to follow news shared by people in their networks.


Here is an example which shows people commonly spread or receive latest public information on social media. Let’s throwback to May 12, 2008, one of the world disasters happened in China Sichuan. There was an terrible earthquake with 7.9 magnitude and resulted over 67,000 people die and hundreds of thousands people injured during the disaster. At the moment, people started texting from their phone. They took photos of buildings, and also recording videos of building shaking. Afterwards, they uploaded them to QQ (China’s largest instant Messaging & Internet service) and also twittering it. Twitter seems like the most useful source to share the situation at the time. Many of them wrote about difficulties connecting to those people at the quake zone via telephone but internet seems able to be functioning. 

Translated: Sounds like CDMA and local network phones are working in the Sichuan area. 

People twittering earthquake situation in Sichuan. 

People all around the world catch up latest updates from Twitter. Even BBC News got their first update of China Sichuan earthquake from Twitter. Hence, this incident proves that people get news updates from social media even faster than news companies, newspapers and other original methods of spreading news can do. For another instance, President Barack Obama had joined social media platform such as Twitter. In social media, he used to spread news about what he had been done in White House and share about his daily life photos. A step faster than paparazzi or news cameras catch photos of him. 

President Barack Obama on Twitter.

All photos posted by Barack Obama on Twitter. 

This is a list of the leading social networks based on number of active user accounts as of September 2016. 

  1. Facebook: 1,712,000,000 users.
  2. WhatsApp 1,000,000,000 users.
  3. Facebook Messenger: 1,000,000,000 users.
  4. QQ: 899,000,000 users.
  5. WeChat: 806,000,000 users.
  6. QZone: 652,000,000 users.
  7. Tumblr: 555,000,000 users.
  8. Instagram: 500,000,000 users.
  9. Twitter: 313,000,000 users.
  10. Baidu Tieba: 300,000,000 users.
  11. Skype: 300,000,000 users.
  12. Sina Weibo: 282,000,000 users.
  13. Viber: 249,000,000 users.
  14. Line: 218,000,000 users.
  15. Snapchat: 200,000,000 users.

References

Statista (2016) Number of global social media users 2010-2020 [Online]. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/ [Accessed at: 26th November 2016]

Techopedia (n.d) Social Platform [Online]. Available at: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/23759/social-platform [Accessed at: 26th November 2016] 

Duggan, M & Smith, A. (2013) Social Media Update 2013. Pew Research Center [Online]. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/12/30/social-media-update-2013/ %5BAccessed at: 26th November 2016] 

Kennedy, J. (2008) China: 7.8 scale earthquake felt across most of China. Global Voices [Online]. Available at: https://globalvoices.org/2008/05/12/china-78-scale-earthquake-felt-across-most-of-china/ [Accessed at: 20th November 2016] 

Obama, B. (2016) Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Twitter [Online]. Available at: https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/744572774400692224 [Accessed at 20th November 2016]

Obama, B. (2016) Side-by-side for 24 years. Here’s to many more. #HappyAnniversary. Twitter [Online]. Available at: https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/783009809356304385 [Accessed at: 20th November 2016]

Obama, B. (2016) Lions and Tiggers and bears! Oh my! #HappyHalloween 

Twitter [Online]. Available at: https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/793213251077103617 [Accessed at: 20th November 2016]








Topic Choice

There are 6 topic choices have been given by Mr.Daniel for Internet Cultures L4:

  1. Investigate a major controversy that unfolded online. Discuss its relevance to creative professionals.
  2. Cyberspace is vital for protecting and spreading democracy. Explore this question its effectiveness.
  3. How did mobile devices change the way people use the internet? Consider its consumer impact and relate them to a specific creative industry/profession.
  4. Compare and contrast how two different communities or social groups use a specific social media platform. Which of the two groups has more to gain from it and why?
  5. Malaysians are so uncreative that they cannot even make ‘dank’ memes. Argue for or against the statement.
  6. Identify a figure who is generally known to have played a major role on the internet. Evaluate if his/her contributions are justified or mythologized.

Out of the following essay questions in assignment brief, I prefer more to choose either topic 4 or 6.

  1. Compare and contrast how two different communities or social groups use a specific social media platform. Which of the two groups has more to gain from it and why?

Key ideas in topic 4:

  • two different communities
  • specific social media platform
  • benefits from social media platform 

Topic 4 is different from closed ended question which require more thoughts and more than a simple one word answer. It is more focus on comparing and contrasting that require two elements and interpret how are they similar and dissimilar. I am interested in this topic since I wonder what is the contrast between two different communities in their ways of using social media platform. Communities is a huge group of people who communicate or interact with each other by sharing information, technologies via Internet. Hence, I think about the comparison between designers and normal internet users in their way of using internet. Do internet users under controlled by UX designers? Or web designer? Which particular group will gain more from the specific website? How do they gain from it? And what did they gain from? What do they actually need for? I’ll definitely engaging with this topic and wish to dig deeper to gain more knowledge about it.

  1. Identify a figure who is generally known to have played a major role on the internet. Evaluate if his/her contributions are justified or mythologized.

Key ideas in topic 6:

  • Evaluation/ Analyzation 
  • Major role in Internet
  • Contribution of him/her
  • Justified/ mythologized 

Topic 6 is to choose a well-known influencer who played a major role in Internet and write details/ contribution about him/her. It’s a simple straight-forward question and easy to understand. Few famous people who come to my mind at first are Bill Gates, Tim Barnes Lee, Mark Zuckerberg, Edward Snowden and so forth. Internet evolved complicatedly, I wonder what is the contributions from those professors. What do they did to build a complex internet? How did the internet start? It is interesting to do research on their contribution whether are justified or mythologized.