Where is the Ideal Social Media Interface?

Well, let’s take a stab at it. Lots of discussion about Twitter, Friendfeed, and Plurk interfaces, all of which have particular strengths and weaknesses. Stuff has been brewing in the back of my head for many weeks about what would be ideal, so I’m finally going to commit some thoughts to…well, not paper. Blog. With really bad graphical (Powerpoint) design – please excuse the rapid prototyping!

Anyway, this is meant mainly to generate discussion. I’d like to see some company pull off the creation of a fabulous user interface that would truly provide an intuitive way to get started in social media (or share media), AND provide a comprehensive approach. Instead of using words to explain, I’m just going to throw out 3 graphics – if you don’t “get it” based on these alone, then I’ve done a bad job designing it.

Here’s my initial stab; feel free to add comments and create your own designs:

Main screen interface (above)

Chat view interface (above)

Threaded discussion view interface (above)

The rest you can pretty well visualize without any further graphics, I expect. What would you do different? How would you design the “ideal” UI for Social Media?

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

6 Responses to Where is the Ideal Social Media Interface?

  1. Have you tried Jaiku? Supports threads, feeds and channels (rooms). Excellent Mobile UI and easy to access via SMS or web as well.

  2. Karen Swim says:

    Steve, yes, yes, yes! You have covered many of my secret wish list desires. One interface that facilitates sharing links, pictures, thoughts with intuitive design that allows you to filter by user, thread, etc. My other desire is to have an IM like signed in/off feature so that you know at a glance if someone i on or offline. Great take on this, now let’s hope someone out there with the ability to develop will read and take the ball!

  3. Steve,

    Your social media interface would certainly make it easier for organizations to track the word of mouth around their brands.

    As it stands now, tweet scan and Summize provide only a one-off post perspective. Threading and theme would allow for more comprehensive search.

    Great idea.

    Can Ruby on Rails handle it?

  4. Pingback: One Interface to Rule them All (part 1) « StickyFigure

  5. JMacofEarth says:

    Okay Steve, so I am just seeing this post for the first time. You may recall I was triggered by you Uber app search (i think I tuned in at part 3). But this is the first time I have seen your visuals on the Social Media app.

    If you are open do it, I’d love to get a copy of the PPT deck you show here and collaborate on the idea you are striving for.

    I too have a project hatching that is similar. I also believe there is an uber app, or “viewer” that must be assembled. More than likely folks a bit more dev savvy will do the development. But we can dialogue and try to map out the problem/story and design request.

    The project/concept I am working on is FFoFF. Or FriendFeed on FireFox.

    Here is the challenge.
    1/ FireFox 3 is the development platform and interface.
    2/ The tools are widgets, social media sites, online apps, clouds of data and on and on.
    3/ And FriendFeed is my current choice for uber aggregator of social content.

    I believe we can iterate an Uber Interface (a VIEW) that will have amazing flexibility and require a ZERO DOLLAR dev budget.

    My Firefox bookmark bar is already a sort of streamlined UI. It is not good enough, and constantly changing and evolving. But it is FREE.

    Lastly, I am imagining several usage models that I’d like to solve.
    1/ The uber social master VIEW
    2/ BrainTraining and Teaching VIEW
    3/ The newbie VIEW

    That’s it. Forgive me if I collect the comments I’ve left on your blog and begin a wiki page on VIEW development. I anticipate a fruitful dialogue as we continue our quests.

    [and i really would like to get a copy of your ppt deck above if you're open to a creative commons kind of arrangement]

  6. Pingback: One Interface to Rule them All (part 6) - the finale! « StickyFigure

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