User experience (UX) patterns for audio-visual networked applications: inspirations for design

Author(s): Marianna Obrist, Daniela Wurhofer, Elke Beck, Amela Karahasanovic, Manfred Tscheligi
Venue: NordiCHI '10 Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries
Date: 2010-10-16

Type of Experiement: Survey/Multi-Case Study


This paper introduces and validates 30 user experience design patterns related to 'AV networked applications' (YouTube, Facebook, etc.) and explains how each can be applied according to five identified UX problem areas.

Here's a quick breakdown of and excerpts from each pattern, by category:

Increasing the feeling of being part of the community

  1. Self Presentation: The presentation of oneself and of others leads to a more positive experience. ex. ability to customize a profile page and have others see it.
  2. Common Goals: Having something is common with other application users or experiencing something together. ex. establish 'social groups' through competition that require team play and cooperation.
  3. Content Sharing: Ability to share and appreciate user created content.
  4. Content Creation: Features that enable users to produce content and to place the created content on the platform increate the user's feeling of active involvement in the platform.
  5. Social Interaction: Abiility for users to share their experiences and knowledge. Letting users interact with each other via the platform enables them to 'partake or profit' from their experiences.
  6. Content Co-Creation: Enabling users to collectively create content supports the user's sense of community. [Patterns 7-12 are features that clarify this pattern.]
  7. Interest Groups: Meeting other users with similar interests. ex. subscribing to special groups or channels.
  8. Visible Interaction: Users see the community as lively when other members are aware of them and their content. ex. Displaying activities and feelings or sending users messages about their friend's status or activities.

Increasing the percieved trustworthiness and security of the application

  1. Privacy Management: 'Users must feel in control over their self-generated content in order to be able to shape their online identity and self-disclosure. The feeling of trust towards
    the application, its providers and the other users depends on a balanced degree of privacy and publicity of all personal information and uploaded content.' ex. User settings to reveal different parts of their profile/identity.
  2. Gradual Involvement: Providing more features and a higher status to active community members to build trust and encourage 'lurkers' to covert to active members. ex. StackOverflow's reputation system.

Increasing personal and Social Benefit

  1. Real-Life Benefit: The application includes aspects of the real life of its users. ex. offline activity is closely related to the activities within the application.
  2. Innovation and Tradition: If the platform is too familiar to other applications with the same service, the user will not be motivated to try it because it does not offer additional value. Conversely, it the platform is too different from existing applicaitons, the user will find it difficult to identify the purpose of the service and won't enjoy investigating how it will benefit them.
  3. Explicit Purpose: Explicitly state the purpose of the platform on a welcome page to help users quickly identify the benefit they stand to gain from it.

Interest Maintenance

  1. Fun Factor: Prevent the user from getting bored with the platform. ex. Provide users with entertaining of surprising elements.
  2. Content Variety: Outdated content and lack of new features can lead to a loss of interest in the platform. ex. Mark new content and keep the application updated.
  3. Social Rewards: Provide users with social rewards for their contributions. Attaining status is a motivator for contributing knowledge and content. ex. feedback or an indication of how much attention the contribution received by the community.
  4. User Responsibility: Giving users to opportunity to actively shape the application. ex. Providing tools for organizing content, a method to give feedback, and a way to get in contact with the developers.
  5. User Challenges: Adding challenge elements like games and competitions keeps users from getting bored with the platform.

User Support

  1. Initial Support: Offer users an interactive tutorial to learn the features of the application.
  2. Easy Orientation: Users tend to feel overwhelmed when entering an application with a ton of content. ex. Reddit provides a short list of default subreddits, but users can gradually increase the amount of content shown by subribing to more subreddits.
  3. Information Management: Users want an easy way to manage the content they consume and contribute. ex. enable user-defined grouping of content and information, provide users with a way to add new content and delete outdated information.
  4. Fast Data Input: Redundant and complicated user actions lead to boredom and frustration among users. ex. Take into account individual usage habits and typical choices of users when builing user functions. Input suggestions or preditive text suggestions help when users enter data.
  5. Dynamic Information Grouping: The amount of information a user sees must be just right. Too much information can be overwhelming, while too little can lead to bordedom and a loss of interest. ex. provide a way to fileter content based on the user's interests, needs, and/or social circle.
  6. Constant Feedback: Users need application and service status information. ex. Provide progress bar on content upload and success or error messages to convey the result after a user takes an action.