The experience and the user-experience - Social Media

  • What is user experience outside the digital world? What is it without a starting point to understand the user to sell a product, but to understand human behavior?

  • Being - in - the - shoes - of - a user. Reflecting the text: Bitton, J., S. Agamanolis, and M. Karau, “RAW: Conveying minimally-mediated impressions of everyday life with an audio-photographic tool”. In Proceedings of CHI 2004.

  • Social glances at people and languages by seeing the everyday life of the person by giving them a chance to document their own experiences without being monitored.

  • Understanding Social Media behavior amongst teenagers and comparing digital body interaction to in life body interaction, meaning online profile controlling compared to real-life body control. Reflecting the text: Boyd, Danah. 2007. “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” In MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

What is user experience outside the digital world? Understanding human behavior:

UX is often misunderstood as meaning the same as UI. UX means user experience, that can happen in the technological world or the real-life world. UI means User Interface, being the point of human-computer interaction and communication in a device.

User experience happens everywhere in the non-technological world. Every day we encounter situations where we experience using a product or a service. It means the overall experience of this act. Companies do user experience research intending to understand how to design and market their products in a way that appeals to the wanted audience, the users. But if User experience research is made with just the intent to understand human behavior it can be something much different and much more widespread. In the article about the then-new technological tool to capture user experience by not being present, but just by letting the person document their interactions in everyday life oneself called “RAW" gives an interesting point of view to user experience. This new tool developed gives a chance to let the people themselves tell their story without an outsider that also makes the research results as close to the truth of the real lives lived as possible. Human behavior is such an interesting topic, since the culture that we have grown up and live in the moment affects it so much. What is considered normal behavior in one culture can be odd in another and this can affect the results of user research if an outsider is doing it.

As a Finnish person living in Switzerland I encounter this a lot.

Cultural aspects, age, our previous experiences, and so many more things affect our behavior and through that how we experience products and services.

Social Media, publics, and profiles:

Nowadays there is a lot of Social Media celebrities who are only known through their profiles on the internet. These profiles can be parts of the real-life person's life, but usually, never tell the whole story. Many times these profiles are the polished version of the real-life person. In 2007, when the article “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” was written, the Social Media sites were used differently and not on such a large scale as today. Thus new ways of the Socioeconomic status on the internet were already created. In 2007 Social Media was very much a place where the youth could explore and socialize and try out things that were not accepted by the real-life adult-controlled society. Many parents were not aware of the internet behavior of their teenagers and also it was more looked upon as something bad and unknown. "The internet allows teens to participate in unregulated publics while located in adult-regulated physical spaces such as homes and schools. Of course, this is precisely what makes it controversial. Parents are seeking to regulate teens' behavior in this new space; and this, in turn, is motivating teens to hide. " - Boyd

I think these days Social Media is very different, even though the year 2007 was not a long time ago. Nowadays there are so many social media platforms and many adults are also part of them. These social media platforms are important advertising channels for companies. Boyd refers in her text that It is crazy how the advertisement is often directed to the youth, but still, the teenagers hanging out in the mall are not appreciated. Teens are a marketable demographic for products, even if there is little interest in providing services for them. I think that while this is true, it is a strategy of companies to make teenagers get their parents to buy them new products. In her article, Boyd focuses primarily on the MySpace platform that had been one of the leading Social Media platforms in 2007. She states that "MySpace is the civil society of teenage culture: whether one is for it or against it, everyone knows the site and has an opinion about it." I think nowadays Instagram is comparable to this.

The internet changed the concept of the public. There is not only one public, but it changes according to many factors like where the audience is. Talking about a public is a better way to understand the concept of multiple publics separated by social contexts. Boyd argues that social network sites are public with four properties that are not typically present in face-to-face public life: persistence, searchability, exact copy ability, and invisible audiences. In everyday interactions, the body is a critical site of identity. In passing on who we are to other people, we use our bodies to give information about ourselves. This is done through movement, clothes, speech, and facial expressions. Social norms are adapted and people learn by living how to socialize with others. But how do these social skills develop online? When people create profiles online, they have more options to be whomever they wish to be. People can choose what filters their lives and their bodies to show only stuff that they want to. These digital bodies are making it far easier to misinterpret what someone is expressing. and therefore makes communication many times harder.

Social Media channels are here and their use is not on the decline. The channels will be interesting for the youth and I think that adults should embrace this as a good thing and not try to hide it from their kids. As Boyd also writes in her conclusion: "They must enter that arena, make mistakes, and learn from them. Our role as adults is not to be their policemen, but to be their guide. "

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