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Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #8

What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks based on your experience in this course and your project? Please describe them and a little bit about how you have developed them.


When I had to design or foster a online community or network one of my first principles would be that ‘it is all about the user’ just like a product is all about its consumers. Because in the end a online community or network is nothing else than a product.

So you have to think about your target group and try to see things from their point of view. What would they expect from the platform? What kind of tools would they like to use? Because from what I have seen people do not hesitate to look up a different community or network which fits their needs or expectations better.

Therefore I would have one principle: ‘The user is always right.’ , because without users there is no community or network.

Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Project Community
3 comments on “Personal Blog Reflection Prompt #8
  1. Nancy White says:

    Hm, this is fascinating. Are you talking about the platform for an online community, or what people do together ON that platform?

  2. Busra says:

    Heey,
    I think you are abolutely right. It is all about the user!

    However, is the user always right? A user may want something, but that wouldn’t be something they need?

    So purpose of the user and target audience as you said are very important to consider. I would also dig in the core problem to *why people change platforms.
    I mean the disadvantages of online platforms/communities in general. So what doesn’t work? Improving upon these, and starting from here, will perhaps provide what the user “needs” instead of ‘wants’?

    I think looking for the problems will always provide an answer to what is needed.

  3. Nancy White says:

    I’m not saying users are always right. Haha, in fact I don’t think anyone is always right. The issue is more like “how do we ensure that we, as designers, understand the user and her or his needs? How important is it, with any particular design challenge, for the end user to be involved and “own” part of the process? Designing a consumer product is quite different in a commercial market than in, lets say, a disaster response market. Does that make sense?

    In the end, for me, it is about multiple perspectives. The more I learn of other perspectives, the better thinker it makes me. And to me, that is part of being a better designer. But I also acknowledge I am biased in the direction of participation! So personal preference does come into play, doesn’t it!

    Thanks for “thinking out loud” with me here on your blog. I appreciate it Busra!

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