Call to action is a phrase we use in interaction design to mean “the thing users need to click on to take the next step”. In an interactive system like a web site, the call to action on a page is usually typically indicative of the page’s purpose. For commerce-enabled sites, the calls to action are straightforward: Add to cart, Check out, Confirm order, etc.
Interaction designers know that there are certain design principles we must apply in order to make the call to action clear. It must be prominent so users know what to click on. It must set expectations so users can click with confidence. Poorly positioned, designed or labeled, a page’s call to action can give users pause, preventing them from completing a task.
I’d love to explore this concept related to *social* action. What must design do to facilitate and precipitate “good”? Can technologies designed to educate help people take the next step, to do something with that education?
As technologies become more pervasive, where we have identities on various social networking sites and participate in various online communities, the need for using these platforms for good increases. The design of these platforms must support behaviors for conscience. Does the design of Facebook, for example, make it easy to promote awareness and “do good”? To put it another way, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other social sites give us a framework for interacting with others. We need to learn to use that framework to support our behaviors of conscience, but we should also identify its shortcomings. What’s missing from those sites?
During this session, I’d like to highlight some well-established design principles, provide brief critiques of existing social media platforms, and invite participants to identify new requirements. What would our ideal platform look like?