Some weeks ago I started to look for social interaction patterns in some sites, as Facebook, Flickr, Last.fm, LinkedIn, Youtube… The usual suspects. I was just looking for detailed patterns suitable for wireframing. You know, best ways to rate or flag content, etc.
As I collected more and more, I grouped them and realized that it seemed to be some higher level information architecture patterns common to every site. Some “big blocks” appeared all the time, way obvious as “Profile”, or rather more unpredictable, as “Statistics”.
Furthermore, it looked like there were not only information blocks, but also main “actors”, primary interaction consecuences driving to new blocks, different browsing paths depending on, and system intelligence extending everything. Even more, as I advanced picking and sorting, it looked like it wasn´t about an inner website information architecture, but extensible and applicable to open social web systems.
So I decided to document all the step-by-step process:
If you want to skip just to results…
The simplified model
The extended model
If you want to play with the model, you can download the Omnigraffle Stencil.
I think that this is a work still in progress, so I´d really appreciate your comments to help me improve the model. Or just if it´s understandable what the heck I´m talking about…