How to Design Social Interfaces

Christian Crumlish has a fantastic job. He maintains Yahoo’s design pattern library. He gets to think about the little things that make the web work that you never have time to think about.

Christian teamed up with Erin Malone to write this incredible book just out from O’Reilly. When my electrician cut my power at 9:30 am and didn’t restore it until 2:30 pm, I used my time off the grid to dig in.

The book draws on the logic, organization, and faith of Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language. Check out the book’s wiki to see what I mean.

I’ve been reading and interacting with the web since Sir Tim went online. However, I hadn’t thought of the net as an accumulation of patterns of identity, presence, reputation, collecting, broadcasting, feedback, collaboration, and community. It’s like seeing an aerial photograph of your neighborhood for the first time. I have a better vision of the forest because the book explains a lot about its trees. Take a look at the pattern of Identity or Personal Dashboard to grok what this way of thinking is about.

Designing Social Interfacesnull

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