Designing Social Websites

Design & User Experience, Workshop
Location: 2005 Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 27 ratings)

Humans are funny animals, and behave in surprising ways. In an information space, a human’s needs are simple and his behavior straightforward. Find. Read. Save. But once you get a bunch of humans together, communicating and collaborating, sometimes you see the madness of crowds and sometimes the wisdom of crowds. For example, an online news service is as likely to select an insightful political commentary or an illegal crack for a piece of software as their top story. This makes the architecture in social spaces the most challenging work a designer can take on.
While your designs can never control people, but it certainly can encourage good behavior and discourage bad.

This workshop teaches core principals for creating robust and vibrant online communities, and illuminates critical design decisions that help a community thrive. Learn about the building blocks of social software, and which ones are most relevant to your business. Learn how to promote desired behaviors with interface design, and who’s doing it right. Learn when to apply familiar designs (such as with logging in or adding a friend) and when to strike out into entirely new territory.

I’ll answers questions like:

  • When do you let your users be anonymous?
  • Blogging, wikis and message boards: what’s appropriate for your site?
  • Do you need a social network?
  • Spam and trolls – how do you keep the neighborhood clean?

We’ll discuss why wikitorial failed, why social network are hard to launch in the enterprise, and why Twitter works… for Twitter. From The Well to LinkedIn, we’ll examine where community helps you thrive and when it can bite you on the keister.

Group activities will include

  • Brainstorm the elements of a particular community
  • Given a community, design the important social interactions that take place there regularly
  • Envision a social interface
Photo of Christina Wodtke

Christina Wodtke

Wodtke Consulting

Christina Wodtke has led redesigns and initial product offerings for such companies as LinkedIn, Myspace, Zynga, Yahoo, Hot Studio, and eGreetings. Christina has founded two consulting startups, a product startup, and Boxes and Arrows, an online magazine of design. She also cofounded the Information Architecture Institute. Nowadays, she works with startups and entrepreneurs, sharing her strategies for success and inspiring them to pursue big goals and outlandish dreams. Christina is the author of “101 Theses on Design,” Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web, and Radical Focus_, her new book about OKRs. Currently, Christina teaches at California College of the Arts and Stanford Continuing Education. She speaks everywhere from conferences to universities to boardrooms and opines across the Internet but most often on "_Eleganthack":

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Christina Wodtke
Christina Wodtke
04/01/2009 9:01am PDT
Picture of Suzanne Axtell
Suzanne Axtell
04/01/2009 5:21am PDT

We’re asking all of their speakers for their slides. If they share them with us, they’ll be posted here just as soon as we receive them:

Muhammad Saeed
04/01/2009 3:18am PDT

Can we get slides for this session ?

Picture of Roland Rountree
Roland Rountree
03/31/2009 9:29am PDT

Wow. I attending this session last year and it seems there’s been a lot of progress on the Open Stack. I’m looking forward to seeing where this ends up.

  • 3Tera, Inc
  • Ascentium
  • Awareness
  • HiveLive, Inc.
  • ImageSpan
  • Jive Software
  • Juniper Networks
  • Kapow Technologies
  • Keynote Systems
  • LithiumTechnologies
  • Nokia
  • nomee
  • Qtask
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • Remy
  • TamTamy
  • Vignette
  • Yola (fka SynthaSite)
  • Znak
  • IBM
  • eBay
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • EffectiveUI
  • Germany Trade & Invest
  • NeuStar
  • ONEsite

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities

Natalia Dugandzic

Media Sponsor Opportunities

Matthew Balthazor

Speaker / Program Ideas

Have a suggestion for a speaker or topic at Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco? Send an email to:

Press/Media Inquiries

Maureen Jennings


Natalia Wodecki

Contact Us

View a complete list of Web 2.0 Expo contacts.