Evaluation and Design of Interfaces for Online Social Networks
Principal Investigor: Milena Head
The Internet and especially the Web has enabled a revolution in social networking opportunities. Personal social networking websites such as MySpace, FaceBook and Friendster have matured from 'kid-connection' sites to a normalized part of society.
FaceBook membership more than doubled to 47 million within the first six months of 2007 and the majority of the 110 million MySpace users are over the age of 35. Similarly, professional social networks such as LinkedIn had grown to 12 million registered users spanning 150 industries as of July 2007.
The objectives of this research are to explore the application of human computer interface methods to personal and professional online social network (OSN) environments, and to design, construct and evaluate interface alternatives for various network types and users. The novel expected contributions of this research will be:
- the development of a new theoretical model that will help explain users' preferences for existing OSN interfaces (for diverse user groups across personal and professional contexts) and predict the appropriateness and usability of new designs;
- the design and evalution of an adaptive and adaptable OSN interface that reflects the diverse preferences of various user groups across personal and professional contexts; and
- the provision of explicit design guidelines for OSN interfaces.