Social Experience Design: A New Imperative

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The Web, as we know it today, has undergone transformational shifts across multiple dimensions. Its been only 20 years since the very first website appeared however; we have seen the web grow from a purely static brochure-like experience to one with rich interactivity and functionality. This is the era of the Social Web which consists of complete social ecosystems for people to connect and interact with each other.

Gone are the days where brands could survive with static websites, also known as a brochure websites, that only present pre-defined, static information to the user about the company and its products. A static website essentially displays the same information to all visitors, just like handing out a paper brochure to customers in-person. Customers do not connect to the Social Web to be handed over brochures and catalogue-type of information any longer. They seek connections and relationships that are meaningful to them and that enrich their lives.

As such, Social Experience is parallel to user experience (UX). In the past, when the web was no more than just the Web of content and commerce an organization would formulate a Web strategy and execute this strategy in part through UX design.  With the emergence of the Social Web, organizations are now formulating a Social strategy the execution of this, in part, relies on the successful implementation of Social Experience Design.

Social Experience Design Takes An Organizations Social Strategy Beyond Just Likes, Fans & Followers

Organizations have been responding to the Social Web imperative in myriad ways. A common response has been to participate in social media creating Facebook brand pages, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, blogs and community review sites. The standard business practice in many industry verticals is to start by crafting a social media strategy, identify the purpose and measurable goals, and select the tools that will be used for monitoring, analyzing and publishing social media content. For many organizations, execution of this social media strategy begins and ends with participation in popular third-party social sites. Each of these sites consider its user base and social experiences as competitive differentiators giving organizations with only a limited amount of control over the experience on the host site.

Organizations are quickly realizing this limitation and are looking to build social dimensions into their online portfolio of sites and web applications. Some organizations undertake to design and build new social sites from the ground up however designing and building such systems requires the skills and practices of a trained social experience designer. The successful social sites of today lead the way by setting the principles and best practices. These principles must be adapted to the enterprise setting, with the same fervor that the now well-known principles of UX design have been assimilated into the enterprise sector.

Check back in to learn about key design elements for successful social experiences!

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