On March 18th, I was invited to Mozilla to present some of the work I’ve been doing on Social Interaction Design.

In the talk, I discussed how the software industry has traditionally adopted a tool-builder mentality when it comes to thinking about the design of software. I argue, instead, that it’s more correct to think of social software as spaces rather than tools and that this demands a new approach to thinking about how to design social software. When people interact in social spaces, they are engaged in the communication of “narratives” and that social software needs to be designed with narratives in mind, rather than features. I talked about what it means to design for narratives, a design methodology that allows the analysis of any piece of social software from a narrative perspective and demonstrate several novel social designs that have come out of my thinking.

Video

Space & Narrative: Designing for Social Interaction from Xianhang Zhang on Vimeo.

Slides

Unfortunately, due to the lax nature of my documentation, this video currently serves as the most complete and representative sample of my work although I’m working hard to publish all of this stuff in articles and essays.

Find out more

  • If I’m just the person you’re looking for, and you would like to hire me for your company, as of March 30th, 2010, I am available. Shoot me an email at [email protected] to get in touch with me.
  • If you would like to invite me speak about this or other, related topics, and you are in Seattle or San Francisco, shoot me an email at [email protected] and we’ll try to work something out.
  • If you would like to invite me to speak somewhere other than Seattle or San Francisco and you’re willing to pay travel expenses, shoot me an email at [email protected], especially if you’re in New York/Boston.
  • If you’re interested in reading more about my work, check out my portfolio at the Bumblebee Labs Site.
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  • If you enjoyed the presentation or thought I missed something crucial, post a comment on the blog and I’ll endeavor to respond to it ASAP.
  • If you want to read my thoughts on philosophy, atheism or ideas, check out the other facet to my blog, Figuring Shit Out.