Common Craft does Social Design for the Web

A while back I wrote about the re-branding of Common Craft and first proposed the idea that what Common Craft does is “Social Design for the Web�?. Since then, I’ve bounced this off of a number of people and the responses have been convincingly good. Most people tend to think that it makes sense.

So, now I need to get more specific about what Social Design for the Web means. Unlike graphic design, interaction design, interior design, etc., there isn’t a book (yet) that outlines what it means to be a “social designer�? in terms of the web. My friend Amy Jo Kim is about the only other person who I know that has used the term and we’ve talked briefly about it. (please let me know if you know others)

For one, I think there is a huge opportunity here. I believe that Social Design for the Web is a profession that is practiced and has gone unnamed for too long. Sometimes, when I’m inspired to think BIG, I think the opportunity is about creating a new profession- a movement. The history of Social Design for the Web could start today.

How Social Design for the Web Fits:

I’m convinced that many web projects in the future will have a significant social focus (using elements of blogs, message boards, wikis, social networking, etc.). These projects will need someone who can provide strategies, designs and consulting that are focused on the appropriate uses of the social elements of the project (much like a graphic designer focuses on visual elements). This may include:

  • Introductions to various social tools and concepts
  • Appropriate selection of social software
  • Conceptual designs, mocks ups and specifications of social software
  • Support and maintenance planning
  • Communication strategies, guidance and examples
  • Inter-team communication support

So, with this, I’m outlining the very beginnings of my version of Social Design for the Web. I’m planning to focus on this in coming weeks and months and I want you to help. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and challenge my assumptions.