Designing Social Interfaces
Designing Social Interfaces
Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience
Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone
O’Reilly Media and Yahoo! Press

Designing for social interaction is hard. People are unpredictable, consistency is a mixed blessing, and co-creation with your users requires a dizzying flirtation with loss of control. We will present the dos and don’ts of social web design using a sampling of interaction patterns, design principles and best practices to help you improve the design of your digital social environments.

Christian Crumlish is the curator of Yahoo!’s pattern library, although he prefers to describe himself as a pattern detective. He’s a design evangelist on the Yahoo! Developer Network team and helped develop the Yahoo! Open Strategy. He has been participating in, analyzing, designing, and drawing social interactive spaces online since 1994. He is the author of the bestselling The Internet for Busy People (McGraw-Hill, 1994), and The Power of Many: How the Living Web is Transforming Politics, Business, and Everyday Life (Sybex, now Wiley, 2004). He co-hosts the blog conference on the Well and is mediajunkie on Twitter. He has spoken about social patterns at BarCamp Block, BayCHI, South by Southwest, the IA Summit, Ignite 2 (SF Web 2.0 Expo), and iPhoneDevCamp. Christian has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Princeton. He is currently serving on the board of directors of the Information Architecture Institute as director of technology.

Erin Malone is currently a partner with the user experience design firm Tangible UX. She spent the last four years of her 22-year career at Yahoo! managing experience design teams and designing websites and applications, social experiences and components, and building the internal and external Yahoo! Design Pattern Library. During her tenure at Yahoo! she was responsible for Community products and platforms, and for helping develop the Yahoo! Open Strategy, including its social offerings. Before Yahoo!, she was a Design Director at AOL, with teams working across community, and personalized products, including AOL groups, AOL Journals—the first AOL blogging tool, My AOL and You’ve Got Pictures—AOLs picture sharing tool. Prior to AOL, she was the Creative Director at AltaVista and launched the AltaVista Live portal and their community offerings. She built first generation community tools at Zip2 for national newspaper consortiums, including the NY Times offering NYToday, and for AOL greenhouse partners before AltaVista.
She was the founding editor-in-chief of Boxes and Arrows, author of several articles on interaction design history and design management, and a founding member and recent advisory council member of the IA Institute.
Erin has a BFA in Communication Design from East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina and an MFA in Graphic/Information Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York.

Follow the book’s progress and participate in the pattern creation / review process by joining the wiki.

(via Info Design)


  1. For those interested there’s an interview between Will Evans and Erin Malone, Christian Crumlish, and Lucas Pettinati on boxesandarrows concerning design patterns for interaction design, social interaction/interfaces etc. Enjoy!

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