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Posted by Alexa Andrzejewski in the Adaptive path blog.

I found that Scrapblog is up and working beautifully! After playing with it briefly, I was impressed. I’d found the tool I’d been looking for!

The Flex-powered interface is intuitive and fluidly responsive…

The vast collection of backgrounds and stickers express a broad diversity of moods and styles and have an Apple-caliber elegance…

You can easily import content from Flickr (and other external sites)…

And the potential for using it with participatory design research methods seems great…

Collage Activities and Mood Boards

Imagine: Instead of printing out dozens of pages of images, which still limits your research participant to whatever you’ve selected, you can open up the entire Flickr universe to the participant to create their collage. Or, if you want the participant to choose from pre-selected images, you can create a Flickr gallery and ask the participant to draw from those.

Remote Participatory Design

The interface is pretty intuitive, so with little explaining, you can now conduct collage exercises with remote research participants. While it’s unfortunately not a collaborative interface (where multiple people can work on the same collage simultaneously and see updates dynamically), it’s easier than constructing and mailing participant a collage kit! (I’d love to see some collaborative functionality built in though.)

Diary Studies

Multiple page “scrapblogs” (which are actually what the site is designed to produce) can easily be created and published both publicly and privately. I can see scrapblogs being used for or supplementing diary studies, allowing participants to tell their experience stories in a fun and creativity-inducing way.

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The online social network field is broad, and any literature review can only focus on a selection of articles. The present article highlights recent research in the field and focuses on centrality, linkage strength, identity, trust, activity and benefits. By no means is this review comprehensive, but it should give practitioners some useful concepts to consider as they design social network based web applications.

 

An interesting article pointing out the theoretical concepts to leverage social networks. Article from Shiv Singh from Avenue|Razorfish.

 

Article Link

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Flare is a collection of ActionScript 3 classes for building a wide variety of interactive visualizations. For example, flare can be used to build basic charts, complex animations, network diagrams, treemaps, and more. Flare is written in the ActionScript 3 programming language and can be used to build visualizations that run on the web in the Adobe Flash Player. Flare applications can be built using the free Adobe Flex SDK or Adobe’s Flex Builder IDE. Flare is based on prefuse, a full-featured visualization toolkit written in Java. Flare is open source software licensed under the terms of the BSD license, and can be freely used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Visit the Flare Website

Here’s the embedded slide deck from Slideshare, but I would recommend downloading the Powerpoint slides as some of the text isn’t legible in the Flash conversion.

Different views of self: We expose different views of self. Our home self, our work self, and each of the services we use provides a different view into our lives, different relationships, different interests. Our Facebook profile, for example, shows a different window into our social network than our LinkedIn profile does.

Interesting question: if all of our online profiles were added together, would it be representative of the *real* us?

(this is a very pertinent question given the recent claims that Facebook is trying to map *the* social graph…it’s not clear at all that anybody but a single individual knows the extent of their own social network. In my own case, I have many more parts to my life than exists on Facebook. None of my high school friends are there, a couple college friends, mostly professional colleagues. My wife promises she will never join Facebook. It will never consist of my entire social network)

Facebook mapping the social graph is similar to Google mapping the web of documents.

Social software question: “How do you add the human element into software?”

Lots of the talk was leveraging the major axes of social software, starting with Stewart Butterfield’s building blocks. These include Identity, Presence, Relationships, Conversations, and Groups. Gene Smith then took these a step further and created a honeycomb diagram out of them, a useful starting point to introduce the topics. Also includes Reputation and Sharing.

“You no longer own your message” – referring to the idea that your customers/audience will find ways to talk about you even if you’re not listening – GetSatisfaction

Big idea: “by designing the environment thoughtfully, you can get the behavior you want” follows Lewin’s equation: Behavior = a function of personality and environment. (you can’t change people, but you can change the environment they’re in)

As an aside, lots of social psychology research, with Milgram’s Obedience Study being the most famous case, suggests that the notion of “roles” is powerful. When we are placed in roles (environments play a big part of roles) we tend to act the role. We can pretend easily…it’s easy to give up our personal opinions and act the role. To this end, Milgram started his research in part because he wanted to know the answer to the question: “Could it be that (Adolph) Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?”.

Strategy: “Strategy is knowing what not to do” – Michael Porter

This is probably the most important quote from the entire talk. Instead of trying to build the next MySpace or graft the features of YouTube into a non-video site, it’s important to realize how people’s motivations are affected by the actual interface they’re using. So knowing what not to do, where not to spend a lot of energy, is crucial to success. Christina’s talk was a great overview of the issues involved, and a lot of what not to do.

 

Chris Messina of Citizen Agency has put together a great gallery of interface designs. Everything from 404 pages to calendar views, footers, navigations, tab designs etc.

 

77 Vector Buttons Preview

Do not have the time to make a custom vector button? Wish a few stylish ones would come your way? Need a little inspiration? Here is small set of 77 high quality vector buttons put together for you, hoping it will save you some button making troublesomeness’s on your design queries. If you do not use Illustrator there is also a .jpg/.svg image supplied for your convenience.

Download LINK

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