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[liberationtech] ThinkUp

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Sun Nov 20 18:02:57 PST 2011


Nice :)

On Sun, Nov 20, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Nathan of Guardian <
nathan at guardianproject.info> wrote:

> .. and developed as open-source project by Gina Trapani!
>
> https://github.com/ginatrapani/ThinkUp
>
>
> On 11/20/2011 07:24 PM, Yosem Companys wrote:
> > Interesting startup by Anil Dash and former Kickstarter CTO Andy Baio...
> >
> > Yosem
> >
> >
> >
> >  <http://profile.typepad.com/trapani>Designing ThinkUp 2.0
> >
> > Over the past year, through 8 alpha and 15 beta releases,
> > ThinkUp<http://thinkupapp.com/> has
> > evolved into a rich platform that captures and analyzes data from
> Twitter,
> > Facebook, and Google+. All this time, the developer community has been
> more
> > focused on ThinkUp's internal engine than its user-facing look and feel.
> > ThinkUp's current design, generously created by Bill F. at
> > Dash30<http://dash30.com/?page_id=152> in
> > his free time, came together in a piecemeal fashion, bit by bit, as new
> > functionality emerged.
> >
> > So far, we haven't taken a comprehensive, user-focused approach to
> > designing ThinkUp's application interface and design. That's about to
> > change.
> >
> > For the past 7 months, Expert Labs has been working closely with Mule
> > Design<http://muledesign.com/> to
> > define what our target users want and need, and how the application can
> > serve those needs, clearly and in the spirit of ThinkUp's community and
> > mission. We're so pleased with the ThinkUp 2.0 look and feel Mule Design
> > has created, and we're thrilled to finally pull back the curtains and
> > unveil their work.
> >
> > Today, Mule Design's Erika Hall explains ThinkUp 2.0's design, and the
> > research and thinking behind it. Read on to get the details and catch a
> > sneak preview of what to expect in ThinkUp 2.0.
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Now that we have been working with the (terrific) ThinkUp team at Expert
> > Labs for a little while, together, we have arrived at a design that meets
> > key goals and forms a strong basis for future development.
> >
> > We want to share this design with the wider community to make sure that
> we
> > haven’t missed anything essential to ThinkUp.
> > The Background
> >
> > At the beginning of the project we conducted initial research and
> > established key goals for the application design. These goals guided all
> of
> > the subsequent design work.
> > The goals
> >
> >    - Encourage strategic use of data from social media.
> >    - Create a look and feel that is warm, welcoming, and supportive of
> the
> >    strategic goals of Expert Labs.
> >    - Accommodate users from a variety of organizations and technical
> >    backgrounds.
> >    - Structure application interactions around user need and core
> >    application capabilities.
> >    - Simplify workflow and messaging.
> >    - Create guidelines for making design choices that the open source
> >    community can use as the application develops.
> >
> > What we heard from current and potential users
> >
> > During our research we conducted 7 interviews. We grouped these
> interviews
> > into 4 user types: 2 Small Businesses, 2 Content- & Community-Focused
> > Organizations, 2 Government Agencies, and 1 Personality Type User. Of
> these
> > 7 interviews, 5 were current ThinkUp users and 2 were potential users.
> >
> >    - Current users know what they would like to do with the application
> but
> >    not how to accomplish the goal.
> >    - Users know the difference between communication/content creation and
> >    analysis but will focus less on analysis if the way to do that is less
> >    clear.
> >    - Lack of prioritization means users stick to what they already
> >    understand
> >    - Users have high expectations for accuracy. The complexity and
> >    inconsistency of messaging reduces trustworthiness.
> >    - Users had some trouble with language choices that were misleading or
> >    “put them off” the application a bit.
> >
> > In order to meet these goals for the application design, we worked in
> close
> > collaboration with the Expert Labs team to create a simple, extensible
> > interface framework visual design system that would lend itself to
> > continued application development.
> > The overall structure
> >
> > In order to accommodate continued growth and development of ThinkUp, a
> key
> > goal of the redesign was to create a solid, intuitive structure.
> > Dashboard
> >
> > The dashboard aggregates all of the key insights across social networks.
> >
> > The other areas of the application are divided among the basic questions
> > that ThinkUp should answer:
> >
> > Activity: What has [profile] published or interacted with in social
> media?
> >
> > Response: What is the social media reaction to [profile]?
> >
> > Connections: Who is responding or interacting to [profile]?
> >
> > Conversations: What discussions are taking place?
> >
> > Links and Media: What media or topics are appearing in the activity?
> >
> > Each of these acts as a filter and a lens on the social media activity
> > coming through the application, allowing the user to focus on a given
> > aspect of all activity to answer the most relevant questions at the
> moment.
> >
> > Within each of these areas, there is typically an insight stream, labeled
> > Updates, which is an opportunity for ThinkUp to report back any
> > observations of note, insights pulled from the data, relevant to that
> area
> > of the application.
> >
> > Any data relevant to that section can be graphed.
> >
> > And following that is the activity stream for the section filterable by
> > service or activity type.
> >
> > Also, Saved Searches offers the opportunity to save reports.
> > The Look and Feel
> >
> > We designed the application in warm greys in order to be easy on the eyes
> > during frequent use and allow the information to come forward. The
> > interface itself is lightweight while retaining a sense of dimensionality
> > for a little bit of visual sophistication. We intend the navigational
> > elements to very clearly orient the user in the application without
> > dominating the experience.
> >
> > The pages posted here to exemplify the design system are:
> > Dashboard
> > [image: Tu_1_dashboard]<
> http://anil.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345409f069e2015391fa7d55970b-popup>
> > Activity
> > [image: Tu_3_activity]<
> http://anil.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345409f069e2015391fa7e71970b-popup>
> > Conversation
> > [image: Tu_5a_conversation]<
> http://anil.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345409f069e2014e8bee685a970d-popup>
> > Connections
> > [image: Tu_4_connection_2]<
> http://anil.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345409f069e2015435cec804970c-popup>
> > Account Info
> > [image: Tu_2a_accountinfo]<
> http://anil.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345409f069e2014e8bee6589970d-popup>
> > The Interface Elements
> >
> > Here's some of the thinking behind each of the interface elements.
> > Header
> >
> > We kept the header very light and focused on information about the
> profile
> > the current user is working with. If there are multiple profiles, the
> user
> > can switch among them.
> > Secondary Navigation
> >
> > Within an individual profile, the next most important element to the
> > framework is the secondary navigation down the left side. If there is new
> > activity in that area, the green indicator "lights up" to encourage the
> > user to explore the different views of the information.
> > Messages
> >
> > On the dashboard you will see the message styles for system
> > messages/alerts, tips, and new activity.
> > Profile Pics
> >
> > Within ThinkUp we have begun to create a visual language for different
> > relationships, so the user can tell at a glance the significance of
> another
> > user. Arrows signify whether it is a one-way, or mutual relationship and
> a
> > border indicates that the user has exceeded a threshold of
> "importance".We
> > kept this visual language very light so that the user pic remains the
> > dominant visual element.
> > Updates
> >
> > This is a stream of any trends,  milestones, or significant changes
> ThinkUp
> > has noted along with a visual indicator of whether this is positive or
> > negative for the profile.
> > Summary of Activity
> >
> > For cases in which it is possible to visualize activity trends, we have
> > provided a visual language for graphs. We anticipate this will be a rich
> > area of further application enhancement.
> > Activity Stream
> >
> > For cases such as [Profile] Activity and Reponses (From others on social
> > media platforms, this activity can be viewed in a continuous stream and
> > filtered by service or other criteria.)
> >
> > All of the modular elements that appear in the primary content well are
> > designed to be collapsible to the header to help the user focus on the
> > desired set of insights.
> >
> > We also included the design for the Account Settings page to illustrate
> > what any form in the application would look like.
> >
> > NOW: Looking at this model we developed working with Gina, Andy, and
> Anil,
> > let us know if we can clarify anything or answer any questions in order
> to
> > help you, the community, extend the system and further develop the model
> to
> > help ThinkUp be the best, most useful and pleasant way to capture content
> > and get insights from your social media activity.
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Send your questions and feedback about Mule Design's work to the ThinkUp
> > project mailing list <http://groups.google.com/group/thinkupapp>, or
> post
> > here in the comments. We're excited to hear what you think.
> >
> > Posted by Gina Trapani on 09/30/2011 |
> > Permalink<http://expertlabs.org/2011/09/designing-thinkup-20.html>
> >
> >
> >
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>
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