7 UX Best Practices of Community Design

January 26, 2012 Business Processes, General

7 UX Best Practices of Community Design

By Julia Salem

January 26, 2012

Most companies today are working to reach out to their online communities to get ideas for innovation, sales, etc. These best practices can be used by anyone trying to improve their community design.

1) Design for Two Goals
These goals are showing the value of the community and to making it easy to browse and contribute.

2) Accommodate the Spectrum of User Behavior
The spectrum includes all aspects of user behavior on community sites, which are browsing, searching, and contributing.

3) A Welcoming Homepage, Before and After Sign-In
Before sign-in, the homepage needs to have quality content that the users would expect that supports browsing. This pre-sign in page also needs to have a prominent call-to-action button to invite new users into the community. After sign in, the homepage should show content from the company and the community. Content on the homepage should be prioritized based on user and organization goals.

4) A Broad and Flexible Information Architecture
This is needed because content and contributions are not typically tied to one topic.

5) Navigation That Works Overtime
The site navigation needs to prepare for the user landing at multiple places within the site and from various sources. These include search engine queries, Facebook, LinkedIn, emails, on-site links, off-site links, etc.

6) What’s Good for the Community Is Good for Me
Community functionality must support social networking interaction, such as Facebook’s “like” button. This will make it easy for users to recommend content and/or products to each other.

7) Cult of Personality: User Profiles
Community sites thrive on members and their contributions, so profiles are necessary to promote members and their contributions to the community.

Source UX Magazine