Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Design for Social Networking: If the primary goal of social networking sites is to provide a venue for people to share their thoughts, what does this mean for design? It seems that a great deal of this is about customizing, making choices from templates, and tagging. How then do we create individuality within each experience? Or, is that even the goal? Rather than "individuality" are we evolving toward an era a consumer-driven decision making as a model for design? If so, where is the craft in this? It does have a large-corporate ring to it, the "have it your way"-ification of design. It also rings true that design, in this vein, requires a level of resources that would otherwise be inaccessible to many many people in the world. What percent of China, for example, is able to create their own blogs, or tag their preferred sites on de.lic.ious? How many underprivileged people are able to create their own shoes on NikeID's site? Design has always been at risk of being elitist. How can we counter this liability when a very strong movement in design requires even more resources and access to information?