It's a Big Web!

Case Study & Paper

May 8, 2012 @ 09:30, Room: 19AB

Chair: Wayne Lutters, UMBC, USA
Talking in Circles: Selective Sharing in Google+ - Paper
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: This paper describes a mixed-methods analysis of selective sharing behavior in social networks through study of Google+. It also offers a glimpse into early behavior in a new social system.
Abstract » Online social networks have become indispensable tools for information sharing, but existing �all-or-nothing� models for sharing have made it difficult for users to target information to specific parts of their networks. In this paper, we study Google+, which enables users to selectively share content with specific �Circles� of people. Through a combination of log analysis with surveys and interviews, we investigate how active users organize and select audiences for shared content. We find that these users frequently engaged in selective sharing, creating circles to manage content across particular life facets, ties of varying strength, and interest-based groups. Motivations to share spanned personal and informational reasons, and users frequently weighed �limiting� factors (e.g. privacy, relevance, and social norms) against the desire to reach a large audience. Our work identifies implications for the design of selective sharing mechanisms in social networks.
Omnipedia: Bridging the Wikipedia Language Gap - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: We present Omnipedia, a system that allows users to gain insight from 25 Wikipedia language editions simultaneously. We discuss the system, its multilingual data mining algorithms, and a 27-user study.
Abstract » We present Omnipedia, a system that allows Wikipedia readers to gain insight from up to 25 language editions of Wikipedia simultaneously. Omnipedia highlights the similarities and differences that exist among Wikipedia language editions, and makes salient information that is unique to each language as well as that which is shared more widely. We detail solutions to numerous front-end and algorithmic challenges inherent to providing users with a multilingual Wikipedia experience. These include visualizing content in a language-neutral way and aligning data in the face of diverse information organization strategies. We present a study of Omnipedia that characterizes how people interact with information using a multilingual lens. We found that users actively sought information exclusive to unfamiliar language editions and strategically compared how language editions defined concepts. Finally, we briefly discuss how Omnipedia generalizes to other domains facing language barriers.
Social Annotations in Web Search - Paper
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: Surprisingly, using eyetracking and interviews, we found social annotations in web search to be neither universally useful nor noticeable. However, further experimentations show possible improvements to annotation design.
Abstract » We ask how to best present social annotations on search results, and attempt to find an answer through mixed-method eye-tracking and interview experiments. Current practice is anchored on the assumption that faces and names draw attention; the same presentation format is used independently of the social connection strength and the search query topic. The key findings of our experiments indicate room for improvement. First, only certain social contacts are useful sources of information, depending on the search topic. Second, faces lose their well-documented power to draw attention when rendered small as part of a social search result annotation. Third, and perhaps most surprisingly, social annotations go largely unnoticed by users in general due to selective, structured visual parsing behaviors specific to search result pages. We conclude by recommending improvements to the design and content of social annotations to make them more noticeable and useful.
Designing for a Billion Users: A Case Study of Facebook - Long Case Study
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: A case study of what it is like to design for a billion users at Facebook. Highlights the perspectives of designers, engineers, UX researchers, and other product stakeholders.
Abstract » Facebook is the world’s largest social network, connecting over 800 million users worldwide. The type of phenomenal growth experienced by Facebook in a short time is rare for any technology company. As the Facebook user base approaches the 1 billion mark, a number of exciting opportunities await the world of social networking and the future of the web. We present a case study of what it is like to design for a billion users at Facebook from the perspective of designers, engineers, managers, user experience researchers, and other stakeholders at the company. Our case study illustrates various complexities and tradeoffs in design through a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lens and highlights implications for tackling the challenges through research and practice.