Monday, 12 May 2008

Developing Successful Communities Online - Part 3 - Take Up

The goal of take-up features are to ensure adoption and excitement, and encourage return

  • Provide high functionality – users want utility i.e. make it easy to add and find content

  • Ensure high visibility through exploiting referral channels – if users can't find the space easily they will not use it

  • Distinctive branding – make the interface memorable, but not at the expense of utility

  • Effective/accessible layouts – aim to design interface usability for all literacies, ages and disabilities. Design to linearise gracefully with proper structural rather than visual formatting

  • Create Interactivity with the site – set up challenges e.g. Challenge users to create content that is popular by demand and provide recognition for winners; personality or subject quizzes; games, polls etc.

  • Personalised content and profile recognition – allow users to create their own personal profiles, and then output content to their screen based on settings in their profile. If possible allow them flexibility to select and arrange content(webparts / pageflakes) in their personal member area

  • Allow users to rate or comment on content

  • Provide facility for discussion threads and forums

  • Use fame as an incentive for participation rather than toys or gimmicks e.g. Provide recognition / highlighted profiles for daily or weekly most viewed or highest rated content

  • Allow anonymous posting – limits the big brother effect, and if content is moderated, abuse shouldn't be an issue

  • Create 'Knowledge Networks' to help identify peer leaders / experts, who can then be encouraged to contribute to the community knowledge base

  • Utilise smart phones and portable media – develop compressed mobile interfaces, or create content in the form of webcasts, podcasts etc. to allow users to access it on the move

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