Following on from my last post about designing for social engagement on OpenIDEO.com, I’ve started playing with our user data to better visualise the make-up of the community.I thought that DNA sequencing might be a nice visual analogy for the unique signature of a social ecology and so created a DNA sequence of the Maternal Health challenge.
The DNA is really interesting, revealing a few things that I found surprising, and very likely many more insights that are hidden within.Below, the Community DNA shows each user as a vertical column. If you’ve participated in the Maternal Health challenge at all, you’ll be a vertical column in this map! The colour-coded rows show each of the interactions available:
- If you’re following the challenge
- If you’ve applauded anything
- If you’ve made a comment
- If you’ve submitted an inspiration
- If you’ve uploaded a concept (our challenge is still has another week to go of concepting to go so this DNA is still evolving)
Intensity of the color indicates number of interactions for that user. Note that this DNA doesn’t reveal the number of submissions to the site, only number of users and what they’re up to. For example, there’s a lot more individual comments on the site than there are inspirations, but in the DNA they look relatively the same.
We’re engaging a new set of people in each phase! You’ll notice that with the Concepting phase, a chunk of people that didn’t participate at all in Inspirations has started submitting their ideas. This confirms our initial design ideas about breaking up the design process into phases to cater to users with different skillsets and inclinations. It’s essentially how the Design Quotient works, breaking out the 4 different types of contributions you can make on the site and allowing users to gain points along the dimensions they’re most interested in.
People are engaging with multiple interactions on the site, from submitting a new piece of content, to commenting on other people’s work, to applauding. We still have a portion of the community that submit and then don’t participate socially. It looks like these people are submitting multiple items, but perhaps lurking the rest of the time.
About half the people who’ve participated at all on the site have submitted something! Great news. This turns my pyramid model on its head a little, or at least suggests a few more classes of users:
- Passionate contributors – Those that do everything from concepting to inspirations, commenting, applauding.
- Engaged contributors – Those that contribute new content and engage socially on the site.
- Contributors – Those that just contribute new content but don’t engage.
- Collaborators – Those that just comment and applaud, build on other people’s ideas.
- Regulars – Those that just come to applaud.
Over time, I hope to make a few more of these DNA sequences for our various challenges. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Community DNA, what you see in the sequence and how we could improve this view…