Davide Casali = Folletto Malefico: Hybrid UX Director = Design × Psychology × Technology / Simplicity × Complexity

The Social Usability Workshop at Frontiers of Interaction 2010

Social Usability is one of the core elements in my and Gianandrea Giacoma's research about psychology applied to interaction design because it describe the enabling elements able to create social network dynamics. In the last year we developed the Checklist in order to make easier to use it, and this year we built a workshop to explain, hands on, how it works for both existing and new services.

This year’s Frontiers of Interaction in Rome was amazing: theme, location, people, weather and of course speakers, and not just because I was one of them. In 2009 my presentation lasted just a few minutes due to overtime issues and I wasn’t able to really deliver what I had in mind. This year I held a workshop and it was completely different, for both me and the participants.

The workshop on Social Usability is designed for an audience ranging from 10 to 30 people and it lasts for about two hours, while the discussion part usually goes on a little more, informally, so probably the best timeframe is 3 hours, as it is now.

The workshop is splitted in 4 different parts:

  1. Social Usability (20′): theory, checklist and method
  2. Analysis (45′): group work and discussion
  3. Design (50′): individual work, pair testing and discussion
  4. Wrap up (5′): closing remarks

I’m usually stunned by the results of this workshop, because interesting ideas, solutions appear so often and also interesting discussions will arise. During Frontiers of Interaction I’ve seen at least two great ideas that alone could make an interesting service (if not business!) and a few other that merged together could make some interesting tool. Sorry, but I can’t say which ideas they are. ;)

As a sidenote on the workshop: I find interesting when imprecisions in my slides or in my speech are able to trigger interesting questions and debates. I wonder if I should build workshops deliberately missing a few pieces of the puzzle. :)

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