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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Better Facebook posting and acknowledgements

( 9/20/2015 ) 

I wanted to do a blog entry in-which I document the thinking behind the suggestion. Elaborate more on my initial approach of what is the user, environment, emotions, goals and the interaction. Document what runs through my head when I approach a problem. 

I do my blog mostly for fun because I like to improve existing world experiences I find ... For this one : Better Facebook posting and acknowledgements.

Facebook built their empire on the simplicity of the 'Like' my post, Google is attempt to relegate them with the '+1' that. The battle continues...

Recently I have found life events being announced on FaceBook, including death announcements of people that I knew. I also have been finding announcements of local weather events or people on the loose that might be dangerous. In-fact, I was just informed that two people from a former team passed-away today!

'Facebook has informed me that someone passed away, do I like that post???'

These leave me confused on whether to 'Like' the posting or not? It seems inappropriate and I decline to respond to these posting. Obviously, the poster's stimulus to keep posting is knowing people saw and thought about your post. I'm not supporting that loop, I'm breaking it.

'Like' doesn't work for all posting. Wouldn't it be cooler if the poster was able to tailor the acknowledgement they want to receive? For the viewer, wouldn't it also be cooler to appropriately respond?

To improve this experience, first I identify the users. This one is very broad, it includes nearly everyone. The experience needs to stay neutral to gender, age, sophistication and culture. If this were gamers, I would consider that they are probably very tech-savvy and need less hand-holding and instruction.

Next, let's look at the environment, again this is just about anywhere and across many different devices. Most common the toilet, more extreme would be driving a car. The experience needs to stay as easy and ubiquitous as the one I'm changing.

Emotionally the user viewing the post is generally calm and inquisitive. Facebook browsing is a somewhat habitual task that can be done infrequently or multiple times per day. While they peruse the postings their emotions are obviously affected by the postings.

The experience is pretty passive with scrolling and occasionally liking a post. When deciding whether to like a post or comment, the user considers what this action will say about about them. They have different classes of people contained in their network, they will almost automatically like the upper caste and rarely do more than glance at the low-end of the spectrum. Emotionally, this is all pretty much common sense and Facebook is a popularity contest ... But your parents always got your back ;)

The interaction has two sides. The poster posting posts and the viewer viewing posts and reacting. The reaction is glancing, liking or commenting. ( and some other stuff like sharing and flagging )

Let's look at some mock-ups : 

Posting that doesn't feel like a 'like' is the right response.

My suggested solution is to give the poster another option that offers suggested actions the viewer can select. I'm thinking of two new ones : 'My Regards' & 'Heard' The poster selects that from the additional UI pictured above.

For the viewer when they see a posting, they still just have one quick action. The displayed action is the one the poster selected. Simple, right?

Thanks for taking a look at a simple experience improvement coupled with my thoughts behind the idea!

I also like to throw in one more idea at the end, from time-to-time. Facebook, can you please add the number of times one of your posting was viewed? If you look at your own posting, you see the number of views. ( Above : 245 Views )