Beyond the like button: designing for social identity


MODERATOR: I might
just take this around with me for the
entire conference. Right? Yeah, so you could put
your secrets in it. I’ll read them aloud. We’ll live stream it. It will be a thing. VICTOR YOCCO: You have
to whisper your secrets. MODERATOR: Secrets, yeah. VICTOR YOCCO: [INAUDIBLE]. MODERATOR: Yeah, I will. Or maybe I’ll make them hold it. So thank you, everybody,
for coming today. I’m Daniella. I’m one of the content track
co-chairs on the Elements planning committee. And I am here to
introduce Victor. But before we do that,
a couple of things. A reminder to turn
off your phones. No buzzing and ringing. I’m sure Victor would
appreciate that, and I’m sure our Livestream
folks would appreciate that. A reminder to fill out the
evaluation after this is done. I know I’ll find
it really helpful, as on the Planning Committee. And I’m sure Victor wants your
feedback, too, unless it’s bad, then keep it to yourself. No, just kidding. He’s in for
constructive criticism. And then the last thing is,
if you have a question to ask, we ask that you speak
into the catch box. And I hope nobody
in the back row has it, because I’m
afraid to throw it to you. So this is for the microphone
for the Livestream. So if you do have a
question– nope, no questions. No questions from the back row. VICTOR YOCCO: If you’re
sitting in the first two rows, you’re in danger. MODERATOR: You’re in danger. I’m going to make you
guys ask questions. But, yeah, I have to
throw this to you. So yeah, I guess we’ll
go ahead and get started. OK. VICTOR YOCCO: Thanks for
the lovely introduction. I guess we’ll go
ahead and get started. So I’m Victor Yocco. Nice to meet you all. Thanks for coming out today. Admit it, most of us probably
had at least one if not two desserts at lunch. It was wonderful. I did, too, so if I’m a little
sluggish, that might be why. But I’m here today to talk
to you about social identity theory and in particular,
how we can design to address people’s social identity needs. First, a little bit about me,
so I’m a research director at a place called EY intuitive. We’re a design firm
located in Philly. And we’re growing, so if you’re
interested in finding out more about that, come see
me after the session. I spent two years as the
PhillyCHI Vice Chair. It’s just a local
professional organization focused on human computer
interactions in UX type fields. I have a Ph.D from the
Ohio State University. MODERATOR: I’m a Buckeye. How did we sit
here for 10 minutes and not talk about that, Victor? VICTOR YOCCO: I don’t know. MODERATOR: OH and one. OK. AUDIENCE: [LAUGHTER] VICTOR YOCCO: I don’t think–
wrong crowd, and I know that. All right. So if you can
overlook that, we’ll do the rest of the session. And then I regularly
speak and write about psychology and the
application of concepts from psychology to design. And on that note, I have
a book coming out on that, and it’s currently
at the printer, according to my publisher. The only sales pitch
I will give you is I do have some pretty
bookmarks that I created. And if you’re interested
in a discount code and finding out more,
you can come up here after the presentation. It’s not a hard
sell, I promise you. All right. And you can follow
me on Twitter. Today, we’re going
to talk a little bit about theory and psychology. I’m going to do my
best to convince you the Web is a social place. But I’m going to
be willing to bet I don’t have to do too much
to convince you of that. Then we’re going to talk about
social identity theory, which is a specific psychological
principle that tries to explain how
people develop what’s called social identities. I’m going to give you an
example from something very popular and well-known,
which is Facebook, and how social identity theory
plays itself out through Facebook’s platform. And then I’ll give
you a few examples from some other less
known platforms, at least in terms of being
social platforms, all in the hopes
that I can show you how you might think about
accounting for social identity theory in your product,
if you’re a designer or if you’re on a team
that works with designers or if you have any type of say
in how product is developed. All right. So first of all, not so
much maybe for this crowd, but oftentimes, when I’m talking
to designers, it’s like, OK, I don’t understand why theory or
psychology should really apply. It’s very– that’s
cumbersome terminology. So I like to just try to
think of it in the lowest common denominator,
which is just try to think of theory
as how the APA defines it, an organized set of
concepts and principles. So it’s something
that’s organized. People have thought about it. And then it’s a testable idea. So you can’t just have a
theory that can’t be tested, because then it’s
just something that is– it doesn’t explain
anything if it constantly changes to adapt to
whatever scenario it is. So it has to be testable. And the theories that I talk
about and that I write about are ones that have actually been
around for 30, 30 plus years, because they’ve been
tested, and people are still talking about them. And while being around
for 30 or 40 years might not be the coolest
thing if you’re the newest digital product, being around
for 30 or 40 years or 200 years or 500 years if you’re a
theory can be a good thing, because it means you’re
standing up to the test of time. You’re standing up to the test
of being tested by scientists, by academics. And then theory informs your
decision-making process. When I was in grad
school, I had a professor who was known to say,
in the absence of data, people make shit up. Well, rather than
making shit up, you can actually use
some theory to help you inform the design
of your product if you don’t have the
luxury of getting out there and collecting
data with real users, although I advocate doing both. Bringing in the theory
and my job as a researcher is to collect data
from real users. And it provides a
helpful framework, which I’ll talk about more as
I talk about social identity theory, which is there’s just
some key concepts related to social identity that if
you address in your design, theoretically– am I
not working on the mic? Am I on mute? MODERATOR: All that
was for nothing. VICTOR YOCCO: Oh yeah, OK. We’re going to have
to start all over. You guys ready? Hi. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. VICTOR YOCCO: All right. So theory can help explain why
your design isn’t effective. And then psychology,
psychology is just the study of behavior and the mind. So there’s tons of topics under
the umbrella of psychology, and many of them may or may not
apply to your specific product. So what I would
say is there’s not one correct form of psychology. There’s not one correct
psychological principle. There are lots of them. Feel free to use ones that
you feel work for you. Feel free to pick and choose
little pieces and parts from different theories and
apply them to your design if you feel like that’s what
makes it the most effective, that might drive an
academic nuts, who’s trying to write a paper based
on a very specific framework. But it’s OK, in my mind,
if you’re a designer, and you’re trying to pull from
two different, even possibly competing, theories,
because they help explain to you what it is
you’re trying to accomplish. All right. Now, we got all
that, and we’re never going to tell the people
watching the streaming what I just said, which
was nice, because I said a bad word, right? So all right. The Web is a social place. Does anybody disagree with that? AUDIENCE: Nope. VICTOR YOCCO: All right. Some stats to back that up
that I won’t dwell on then. Facebook has lots
and lots of users. They want everyone in the
world to use Facebook. Twitter suggests that they
have over 300 million users. The Pew Research institute
suggests that over 52%, over 50% of US adults
are on at least two forms of social media. And there are a ton of blogs. I didn’t try to count them all. Why does that matter? Well, people really
look to social media for critical information. They do it to socialize
with each other, obviously. But they also do it for
their news and news updates, products for both purchasing. And then also, for
reviewing their purchases, people use social media. And so a lot of that comes
through an influence. So if you purchase a
product, and people who identify with
you read your review, and you say it was good
or bad, then they’re more or less likely to want
to purchase that same product. Or for example, Yelp, where you
look at what other people are saying about
different restaurants that you might want to go to. And we really have
put a lot of faith into this social sharing
that’s going on online. So what that means, especially
if you’re someone like me, and you work with
clients, and you don’t have your own
product– and probably if you have your own product as well,
when you’re talking in meetings with other people,
everybody expects everything to be social. And they don’t necessarily
understand why. And here’s a few quotes
that may or may not be real that come from some
meetings I may or may not have ever sat in. So think about a
telecommunications portal, where you might go on
to pay your phone bill. Well, I want this to be the
Facebook of telecommunications portals. That’s right. I’m going to friend you
over your phone bill. So people should be able to
tweet about their transaction, show their followers
what they’re doing. Banking really wants to
grab on to this, this whole [? FinTech ?] thing, and really
ride the wave of technology. But I don’t know
what you tweet about. Like, I just overdrew my
account, hashtag I’m broke. I don’t necessarily think
that– and thinking about, if you were here yesterday
for Scott Stratton’s talk, and saying, not everybody
should be on social media, or at least, not
everybody should be doing some of the
things they do on it. I’ll make the argument
throughout my presentation that not everything
should be social. And you might try it and realize
that after you’ve tried it. But I think it’s the square
peg, round hole thing, where you go into a
meeting, and everybody says this should be social. But why? Or they don’t know how. And then my last
quote on here, which I think also speaks to that,
is that some people think things should be
social, but they just think it’s because that’s what
the millennials are doing, or that’s what my
children are doing. But they don’t understand why. And social identity theory,
what we’ll talk about tries to bring in
the why and hopefully then can help you
figure out the how, how to make your experience
social, if that’s something that you need to do. And that’s just reiterating
what I said here, is the problem is there’s not
a one size fits all solution. You can’t just put a Like
button on everything. Facebook did that. It works really
well for Facebook, and I’ll talk about that. But there’s specific
interactions that make sense, based on what your product is. And it’s possible that
no interaction, in terms of being social, makes sense. And I do know that there are
appropriate social things for people to do with their
online banking or banking, but I don’t think
tweeting is one of them. All right. So social identity
theory, this is just, in its basic form, a framework
that has two main pieces that explains how people
develop what researchers coin their social identities. And in the ’70s, these two
academics, [? Tashville ?] and Turner, they
published a paper that basically said,
in many situations, people make decisions based on
what their social groups are doing or what other people that
they identify with are doing. And I think the important
distinction to make here is that this doesn’t mean
everyone is a mindless sheep person. It’s actually something
that, as over time, evolutionary is ingrained
in us as humans, which is we make decisions as groups. It’s good for the whole
if we work together. If 10 of us stay up all
night watching the other 10 while they sleep, and then
the other 10 stay up all day watching the other
10 while they sleep, that works for everybody. Making decisions, working
together with your group, is how we’ve survived. So I don’t think it’s
bad to, say, think of people as engaging
in group think or being persuaded and
influenced by the groups that they’re affiliated with. And it also depends
on the context. So your social identity
might be completely different when you’re attending
the Elements conference than when you’re attending
a conference in Las Vegas or than when you’re meeting
with your coworkers for lunch. So it depends on the
context as to which group you identify with,
because we all know we’re members
of multiple groups. And so it’s going to
depend on where you’re at and what you’re
trying to accomplish, as to which group you identify
with the most at that time. But here’s an example,
a visual example, of what social identity theory
looks like in terms of how it plays out in real life. So a sign like this, which
is suggesting, rather than thinking about the individual
candidates on the ballot, whatever your political
affiliation is– and I have no idea. I just found this online, and
I don’t think it’s current. What this sign is
saying, though, is whatever political
affiliation, if you were going to vote for, say,
or– that person is– you should also vote all
Republican or all Democrat. Don’t bother thinking too
deeply about the candidates. Just, if that’s the social
group you align yourself with, that’s what you should be doing. And here’s a more recent one
from the primaries, which was Jeb’s tweet about being more
Republican than Donald Trump. And what he was
trying to do there is tap into people’s
social identities, which is if you identify yourself
as a Republican, like me, Jeb Bush, then you
know you should want to stick with
me, someone who’s been a Republican for
longer than Donald Trump. It didn’t work, right? But that’s what he was trying
to tap into with that tweet. I’ll walk you through
the individual components of social identity theory,
using two familiar characters, at least familiar, I think. But the older I get, the less
likely it might be familiar. Everybody familiar with
these two crazy guys? All right. So we have Mac and PC. And we’ll walk you through
the two components, which are self categorization
and then social comparison. And that’s simply, that’s
what social identity theory is, as far as what
I think you need to know for the sake
of this presentation. It does get a lot more
academic than that, and there is 30 years
of additional research around that. So self categorization
is when you go, and you start
categorizing yourself based on things that you
like, things that you do. So for example, I
dress in skinny jeans and have a sleeve of tattoos. I wear suits and part my
hair and comb it to the side. And then you start
looking at other people, and you say, well,
you wear skinny jeans, and you cuss a
lot, and you smoke. And so you’re just always–
and think about yourself. As you go through life,
you start to notice things, either about yourself
or about others. And what that is called,
according to the researchers, is just self categorization. You’re always categorizing
things– yes or no, skinny jeans or bell bottoms. And so that’s the first
step in developing your social identity. You’re categorizing things. You’re understanding what makes
up something and whether or not that quality exists in
yourself and in others. Then the next piece
to social identity is, once you’ve started
categorizing things, is the social comparison piece. And that’s when
you start to say, oh hey, we both
wear skinny jeans and have sleeves of tattoos. We’re in what’s called
an in-group relationship. We’re in the same group. Oh, you wear bell bottoms, or
you wear a suit and use a PC. You’re out-group. And the reason that’s important,
according to the researchers, is that your in-group is
going to really influence your behaviors. And you’re going
to want to start to do things that make you
feel more alike your in-group. What you’re trying to do
is strengthen your ties. So if there’s a leader, or
if you’re in the leadership position, the
decisions you make, the other people who consider
themselves in-group with you are going to try to
make decisions that align with what you’re doing. So obviously,
something happened, and Mac is now trying to be
more like PC by wearing a suit. So maybe in this situation
that’s right here, they’re finding themselves
in the same group for something else. Maybe they’re both members
of the I like broccoli club and so they’ve decided that,
because they have broccoli in common, they’re
in the same in-group, and they’re at the
all-you-can-eat broccoli buffet. And so that’s the
social identity that really is coming
through in this scenario. And all of a sudden,
Mac’s like, well, hey, I’m going to start
dressing in a suit, too. But the important
piece is to know that so that’s going to
influence your decision-making in terms of, do you want to make
decisions that make you more alike other people? Or on the opposite
end of the spectrum, do you make decisions that make
you more different from others? And that’s something
that happens, too. And some extreme
situations would be, well, the easy one is sports. I said I graduated from OSU. I’m sure there’s at least
one Penn State fan in here. You would never wear an Ohio
State football jersey, OK? You would do
exactly the opposite of what you think an
Ohio State fan would do. And it’s to show that
you’re different from them. Especially if you have
Penn State friends who are around you,
you’re definitely going to want to
show them I’m not like these people over here. And so that’s what comes out
to play in decision-making. Are you making
decisions that make you feel more like you’re in-group? Or are you making
decisions that make you feel less like people
you consider out-group? And that’s what we need to
think about when we’re creating social experiences for our
digital properties, which is how are our users able to,
first, categorize themselves? So what are the different
ways that somebody using your product can
categorize themselves? The first one is
the easiest, which is are they a user or not? Going from there, are there
other different options? I can’t speak to the different
products that many of you might represent or
if you’re working with clients, the many
products they might represent. But then, how can
their decisions, and how can you show them
that their decisions, make them more like other
people in their group or less like people they
would consider out-group? And so I’ll walk you through
it from the perspective of Facebook, which even
Facebook recently realized just letting people like
things isn’t enough. And so they came out
with their reactions. Who is this good-looking guy? You’re supposed
to laugh, come on. Anyway, so just by
joining Facebook, you’ve categorized yourself
you’re a Facebook user. So for me, the whole profile
picture, that’s my wife. I’ve categorized myself
as a married person, and I make that very clear. I’ve also got pictures of
this little girl, right here. So I categorize
myself as a parent. And everything about
the Facebook platform is meant to let you
categorize yourself. Who am I? Where did I go to school? Where do I live? What sports do I like? Where have I checked in? What music do I listen to? What TV shows do I like? All of that, I’m categorizing
myself by liking things or joining things, liking
other people’s conversations. Of course, it’s not on
here, but along the side, we have our news
feed, where we see what other people are doing. So that’s categorizing yourself. My whole Facebook page,
your whole Facebook page, is categorical information,
the things that you like, the things that make
you who you are. The next step is people come
along and look at your profile. And they are able to engage
in social comparison. So if you look at
me, and you say, well, I went to the
Ohio State University, and I like three
of the music bands that you have listed
on your page, that might make you more
curious to learn about me, because you see we have
these things in common. I might be a part
of your in-group. Or on the opposite,
you might say, OK, he likes a bunch of
things that I don’t like. And I’m probably not going
to share a lot of– maybe you see a lot of very
antagonistic political posts, and you instantly know from
that, well, I’m out-group. I don’t really want to
be on somebody’s page who has a bunch of antagonistic
political things that they’re saying
to other people. And so Facebook, what’s
interesting about it is that you can be diametrically
opposed to somebody and still live just
fine on the platform. You can have your Facebook
page, and somebody with 100% of the
opposite characteristics can have their Facebook
page and their group that they’re a part of. And you can both
coexist on Facebook without really interacting. And so that might
be something that’s relatively unique to
them, because they just have this platform for
people to build profiles on. But thinking about
how might you be able to, if you have
multiple types of users, allow them all to function to
where they’re able to affiliate themselves with the other
groups that they might feel like they’re part of, while
they’re not necessarily butting heads with people that
they feel like are out-group. Another example
though from Facebook is where they have
groups that are actually opposed to other groups. I am not a member, but the
Hunters Against PETA page, when people who are
on Facebook and are interested in either hunting
or being against PETA, they might see this page,
and they instantly know who is the in-group. OK, it’s hunters. Who is the out-group? PETA. And if you join the
page, the whole point is to reinforce that
in-group value set. So you see pictures of meat,
which is yummy and delicious, and proof that
it’s good for you. You see that other
people you know– this is not a true number. I don’t think there’s
nine million of them. But other people you know,
like right here, it tells me I have 22 other friends who
are part of this group. That is meant to
trigger my interest. Oh wait, I’m not a member
of Hunters Against PETA yet. Because I see 22 of my
friends are, thought, I’m definitely going to want
to explore more about this. And that’s where I’ll start
to categorize myself and say, hmm, yes, I hunt. No, I don’t like PETA. Why, these people seem to
be right down my alley. And then once you joined,
or if you’re on the page, you understand
that the things you post are going to be reinforced
by the other people who are reading them. And that’s when you get people
who say some things that are very, I don’t
know, this person is saying things that I
don’t think you’d necessarily say to somebody’s face,
which is like, oh, these people from PETA
were on campus at, I think, Oregon State University. And then at the end, she
calls them freaking psychos. You don’t call
people that you want to be like freaking psychos. But what’s taking
place here is in line with what social
identity would suggest, which is the in-group, the
hunters that are against PETA, are very much saying
things that set them apart from the out-group. So you don’t call
people you want to be a part of a bunch
of freaking psychos. But her comment is going to
get liked by other people who do identify with
her, and that’s going to reinforce– theoretically,
that should reinforce her ties with the group. And from an
evolutionary standpoint, that means this group is
strengthening its ties with each other and, if
they needed to move forward in some type of life
or death situation, that they would stick together. All right. So my premise, though,
is that Facebook does what they do really well. That’s why they’re Facebook. But we can’t all be
and shouldn’t all try to be Facebook. So we can think
about doing things beyond just putting
a Like button or reactions to what people
say or sharing an article. And so I want to show you
some examples that I think are pretty effective
from not just Facebook. And I’ll say up front that
this is my take on it. I’m not suggesting
that either Facebook or any of the next examples
actually sat down and thought about social identity theory
in creating their product. What I’m saying is taking
social identity theory and being Victor, I can sit
down and look at what’s going on and say, well, I can make
an argument that that’s what’s taking place here. So take that for
what it’s worth. I’m pretty sure Mark
Zuckerberg– although he was at Harvard at
the time, maybe he was being exposed to
that kind of thinking– didn’t sit down
and say, how can I address self categorization
and social comparison? But that is what people
are doing on Facebook. So who’s familiar with Mendeley? Come on, we’ve got some
people in here, I’m sure. Yeah, right? They took one of the
most exciting topics in the world, academic
journals, and made it social. Hey, what’s the laughing for? So Mendeley allows you to both
categorize yourself and engage in social comparison
around academic topics and academic journals. So for example, I
categorize myself as a qualitative researcher. Most of the research I
engage in is interviews and is collecting
qualitative data. So I affiliate myself
with that group. And once I join
that group, I know that what other
people are reading in the qualitative
research group are papers that I might
be more interested in. And if you’re
familiar with academia from the standpoint of
trying to get tenure or try to become a recognized
name in your field, it’s all about citations. It’s all about your in-group
propping you up and saying, oh, man, your work is so smart. I’m going to use it as
the basis for my work or the thinking behind my study. So something like
Mendeley, where you’re promoting the
community around academia, is really important for
this specific topic. And so let’s say I
categorize myself as a qualitative
researcher, and I start to look through
these different articles. Well, I start to see who’s
sharing them, too, then. And Mendeley allows me to then
potentially reach out and learn more about individuals. So I can say, OK, you guys are
in the qualitative research methodology group. Maybe I’ll send you a
message and say, hey, there’s this event
that’s going on. And we can all cite
journal articles together if you want to come out to it. On the opposite side,
similar to Facebook, there might be the
quantitative research group. And that might be a
group that I don’t want to have anything to do with. And so I can look at that
and say, no thank you, and pass on that group. But I can still exist on
the Mendeley platform. But I might see maybe there’s
some competition, too. Like maybe I’ll see that some
of the quantitative articles are being cited more
or being shared more. Maybe it’ll make me want to
post some more qualitative work or bump up some of my friends’
articles by sharing them. And so thinking about
how you can actually create a little bit
of positive tension around competition
between groups is another thing to
keep in mind when you’re thinking about designing
for social experiences and social identity theory. And I have a good example of
that coming up, which is KIVA. Is anybody here
familiar with that? All right. So KIVA is an online
microlending platform, basically small loans
for small entrepreneurs. And I really admire,
from my perspective, how they tap into social
identity theory, which is, if you believe in them, and
you believe in their mission, then you think that they’re
trying to do good things, which is fund entrepreneurial
people that are in situations where they can’t
necessarily easily get funds but through these microloans. Well, KIVA allows the
people who are making the loans to form groups. So there’s self categorization
and social comparison going on. And what it should be
doing is creating tension between groups, but around
a positive experience, which is providing more funds
for these small businesses. And so if you look at it, the
number one and number two group are the atheists
and the Christians, two groups that
really probably don’t like each other by definition. So if you were a KIVA
Christian, and you log in, and you see, holy moley, the
atheists are giving more money this month, it might be more
likely to make you whip out your checkbook and
say, how much can I give to have us jump over them? And so by displaying
this, by allowing people to categorize and
then join groups, KIVA is sort of being
devious in a way that they’re tapping into
these social identities that people have and might
feel really strongly about. I mean, I don’t
think it’s by chance that it’s atheists and
Christians that are at the top. Those are topics that’s an area
that people tend to inherently feel strongly about. But what they’re trying to
do, rather than raise money for big business or some
evil thing, you’d hope, is they’re hopefully pumping up
their funds around supporting these small entrepreneurs
in situations where they can’t get traditional loans. And then if you look along the
side, when somebody logs in, it tells you what are the groups
that have new members coming in and what are the groups that are
trending highest for the month. And what that is
supposed to really do is tap into your
social identity. So you come in, and
you say, well, I feel like I’m more of a
Pepsi Company employee today. And so I’m going
to join that group. And when I give money, it’s
going to go under that name, and it’s going to reflect
to the whole public who comes onto KIVA that PepsiCo
employees, my in-group, are really good at giving money. And I think the Christians
and atheists is probably the PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. So they’re probably
thinking like– and hopefully, Coke
employees will log in and see they’re doing really terrible. And from KIVA’s standpoint,
that would hopefully mean that the Coke
employees are going to start to donate more money. Now, there’s an area where
this could also backfire, which is let’s say you were
a member of Hewlett-Packard, which is down here, I
think, at less than nine. And that’s for new
people that have joined. But let’s say you’re
Hewlett-Packard or you’re something that’s–
it’s a real laggard. And you’re like, oh,
this is hopeless. I will never catch up to
the group in front of me. That might make you
less likely to join or, if you’re going to give
money, less likely to give money in the name of
that organization, because there is some
aversion to attaching yourself to either a losing
cause or a group that doesn’t seem like they’re
doing as well as others. And I think that’s
where, in this context, people might be more likely
to switch identities. Like oh, I’m an HP employee,
but I’m also a Christian. I’m going to affiliate myself
more with the Christian group when I join and give money,
if you can only choose one. And then going from there,
if you extrapolate that to something like, OK,
let’s say it’s an article, and nobody’s shared it. Who comes along and
is the first person to share an article if it’s
been sitting there for a month, and no one shared it? So the point is that I think
that in some experiences, if there’s not any activity,
that can actually be– it can take away
from the likelihood that people are going to engage
socially around something. And I’ll talk about
that for another product in a few slides. But I have one more to show you. And this was a guess on my part. But this next slide
is my completely pandering to the audience. Are we Steelers fans here? All right. So this is the slide that–
sometimes it’s the Redskins. Sometimes it’s Ohio
State Buckeyes, whatever. Sports is where it’s at when
it comes to social identity. Who doesn’t like
to paint their face and scream for
their favorite team? But if you think about
it, it is the epitome of in-group and out-group. People are a fan of their team. They’re not a fan of
all the teams usually, and they’re certainly not
a fan of their rival team. Those in-group and
out-group comes into play big time in sports. And so if you take a look
at the Steelers’ page, they do a great job
of acknowledging this. And they know that
what they’re doing is facilitating social
in-group interaction around their product,
which is their team. So you can’t see it
here, but cut off right here is the icons of all
their different social media experiences. So immediately you
know, OK, the Steelers want me to interact with
people around social media and around the
Steelers football. Over here, I mean,
there’s everything from do you want the
Steelers app on your phone? Do you want your baby to
be a Steeler in training? Do you need a desktop? What can’t you do to show other
people I’m with the Steelers, OK? I’m going to have to answer
my phone with my Steelers ring tone and my Steelers app. And if you’re in a
hostile territory, people will know, OK, I’m
not part of their group. But if you’re in a
hostile territory, and you hear the Steelers ring
tone on someone else’s phone, you can be like, I know you
and like, let’s join up. Let’s talk about this. And I don’t know
if it’s on here, but maybe it’s on
Upcoming Events, but a lot of these
pages will have things like let’s go to the
away games together, and you can buy
a travel package. And what that’s trying
to do is keep you in your safe in-group
setting while you go into enemy territory, the
complete out-group, the away field. But you’re going to go there
and cheer on your team. So that’s really the
low-hanging fruit when it comes to
social identity and how that experience plays out. But sports and those types of
topics that people are really passionate about is where
social identity theory really bubbles up to the top
in an obvious way. Now, my next example
is also my last. It’s going to be something that
I don’t think worked very well. And I can say that because I
don’t think it exists anymore. But first, I have to ask,
because I’m always afraid. Has anybody in the
room ever worked for or currently worked with a
product called Social Grocery? All right. I wish. You don’t. Do you really? No way, really? AUDIENCE: Well, I did used
[INAUDIBLE] the company I used to work for developed. VICTOR YOCCO: I hope
you’re just pulling my leg to make me feel uncomfortable. All right. Anyway. All right. So. AUDIENCE: Definitely. VICTOR YOCCO: Definitely? Oh, we’ve got to
talk afterwards. I hope you don’t beat me up. This can’t be true. I’ve said this before,
and this is wonderful. All right. So Social Grocery,
you can Google it. I don’t think it exists anymore. And I’m going to tell you why. At least, through the lens
of social identity theory, I don’t think it exists anymore. First of all, I
don’t think people want to be necessarily social
around their groceries. And that’s what I’m saying. You need to think about, does
a social experience make sense for what you’re doing? I know if people are
out grocery shopping, and they see something
crazy, they’re going to pull out their
phone and tweet it. But they’re not going
to pull out their phone, log into Social Grocery, and
be like, holy moley, right? There’s already an app for that. It’s called Twitter. So what the property
is, though, there’s a website, which I have
a little pop out up here. But then there’s a Facebook
page and a Twitter page. And it’s all around this
concept of let’s make the concept of grocery
shopping and groceries social. The problem is
whether or not people think grocery shopping
should be social, it’s not the kind of behavior
that comes naturally to people. You don’t identify yourself,
in most situations, as a person who eats an orange. Maybe there are situations
where that happens. Or you might, taking it a
little bit higher level, you might identify yourself
as a Giant shopper or a Kroger shopper or a Safeway shopper. But by individual
product, most people don’t identify themselves
at a social level. Like I don’t ever go
out and look for all the other Mrs. Butterworth’s fans. I like Mrs. Butterworth,
but that’s not the people that I want to hang out with. And so if you’re going to do
something like Social Grocery, you have to teach
people that that’s what they should be doing. I want you to be social
around this experience. And so let’s just say that
it was some time in 2015 when I took this screenshot. The problem is this is
their social experience. This is their Facebook page. It hadn’t been updated
since sometime in, I think, 2013 or 2012. I’m sorry. This screen is
horrible, because I don’t think it
exists anymore, and I couldn’t get a newer version. Then I went to
their Twitter page. Same thing, it had been
over six months, possibly over 18 months. But it didn’t have
the year stamp next to the date since the
last time they had tweeted. So they’re not
teaching people to be social around their product. And then the piece where
people could actually build their social identity
was on their website, where they try to do some
gamification by giving people a title. So I’m guessing that’s based on
the number of times you post. This person was
a store wanderer, and her comment, appropriate,
is that Mrs. dash rocks, All right, no
one’s going to argue that. But where do you go from there? Yes. I mean, I think so
how do you teach people what you’d want to
say is Mrs. Dash rocks, and here’s a recipe. Or Mrs. Dash rocks,
and let’s explore what new flavors of
Mrs. Dash should exist. But Social Grocery
wasn’t doing this. And now I’m going to make you
come up front and tell us why. No, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. But I’m really excited
you’re here today. So the biggest piece
takeaway that I would like you to
have from this, though, is if you or
your boss or your client has said, create this social
experience around product x, you’re going to have to
be willing to stick around and do that. If Social Grocery was committed
to having a social grocery shopping experience, I should
check their Facebook page, and I shouldn’t see what’s
your favorite vegetable and it’s a
three-year-old question. I should see
something that’s going to actually pull me into
a conversation, cucumbers, by the way. But where do you go from there? And then I should see it
happening almost every day, even if that means you
have to pay somebody to actually get onto your
feed and make some, I call it, seeding. Call it whatever you want. It’s not being deceptive. But if you have to pay an
employee to post tweets, to do things on Facebook,
again, like what Scott was saying yesterday, not
everybody should be on Twitter. Not everybody should
be on Facebook. But if you hire the person
who should be on there and can make your
product social, you have to commit to that. And there is no finite period
of time that it’s going to take. Social Grocery might have needed
to be a three-year experiment before people are like,
yeah, I can social grocery. And maybe they quit at
two years and six months, because it was frustrating
and because they didn’t budget that
period of time to actually see
the conversation. But if your boss
wants you to make overdrawing on your checking
account a social experience, people are going
to be like, whoa, I’m not used to doing that. You have to be committed
to staying involved in that conversation
so that you start to make it an acceptable
experience to people, and they start to think, OK,
this is what I’m going to do. This is what’s happening. There’s a conversation. There’s an in-group of people
who like tomatoes and avocados and cucumbers, and they’re
having a conversation on the Social Grocery website. And so that’s one of
the biggest things I’d like you to take
away, is if you’re considering a social
experience, is that you’re willing to actually
stay invested in it, especially if there’s not currently
or inherently conversation going on around it. So now for my last few
slides, this is [? Kiran ?]. He’s a colleague of mine. If you’re interested in
meeting him in real life, feel free to come up
afterwards, and I can share his contact information. I’m just kidding. But he’s in all my pictures,
so I wanted to introduce him. First of all, I’m a
researcher, so I always say research should be
part of the process. If you’re thinking
about or currently have a social experience as
part of your product, I’m going to recommend that
you do some UX assessment or heuristic analysis around
what your property is, how it’s effectively engaging
people in social identity. And you can use the two key
components that I introduced, which is self categorization
and social comparison. You can say, how are people
categorizing themselves on our site or with our product? What are the
in-groups that exist? And are those out-groups,
can we play up some friendly competition in
a similar way that KIVA does? Interviewing people,
understanding maybe with Social Grocery, they should
have gone out and understood what is the normal process? Are people just tweeting about
their grocery experience? Because if they’re
doing that, how does Social Grocery maybe
partner with Twitter to become a more social
experience, versus trying to pull traffic from Twitter
and posting about your grocery shopping experience
through their platform? And then usability testing, make
sure your product is actually working for people. Asking some questions– and this
is regardless of whether or not you’re doing research
with your users, but questions you should
ask and understand while you’re designing and
developing your product, which is how can you
make sure that people are able to categorize themselves
and understand what use of your product, what group
that makes them a part of, or what that
separates them from? Is it a PC and a Mac thing? Can two different groups
not use your product? Does use of your product
make– does use of Penn State make you not Ohio State? Something like that. And then can you show users
what they have in common? Are you able to surface
different things that might say maybe that’s where a
social banking experience could go, which is like other
homeowners like you, or other people who are
in the similar age range. And so you don’t necessarily
focus on your account balance when you’re talking about a
banking social experience. You’re talking about some other
different life events or places in your life that
people might have that are common to their group. I always recommend looking,
doing a competitive analysis, looking across the
landscape and seeing what your competitors
are doing, because you can look at what’s working
right and what’s working well. And then you can also look at
what’s not doing very well, and you can avoid that. Where are there
are opportunities to engage in discussion? Are there natural places
to insert a conversation around use of your product? Our forums, chat groups, the
fan page for the Steelers, it takes you to all
their social media. I bet you that’s buzzing
on a Sunday morning. So what are you doing
when there’s times that possibly use
of your product could be creating a buzz? And then the Social
Grocery thing again, which is are you
committed to making sure that you’re going
to stick around during the first fledgling and
probably very frustrating– I mean, I stopped blogging. Every one of the 15
blogs I’ve started, and I look at the traffic,
and I’m like, ahh, what am I doing wrong? I’m supposed to go viral the
first post, second at the most. That doesn’t happen. I think it happened
to a few people, and we all heard about
it, and it was like, yes, I want to be like them. But I came so late in the
game, and nothing I write about is ever going to go viral. But if I write, and I write,
and I write, 15, 20, 30 posts, am I willing to be committed
to that in low traffic until it starts to stick,
and people start to come, and people start to understand
there’s a conversation going on here, and I can join in? Are you willing to go
through that and be patient? And then there’s some
design opportunities around showing your users
how your product aligns them with other users. What are their characteristics? This is really very
individual in terms of what is your product
and how you insert this into your design,
making sure people know when to engage in a
social interaction and how you see the interaction. And then iteration, learning
from your experience, making sure that you’re
able to take lessons learned and update your product. And in the end, if you decide
a social experience isn’t appropriate for what I’m
doing, I won’t be mad at you. So with that, let’s
do some questions. I think we have time
for a half a question. Yes? MODERATOR: Hang on I have
to throw this to you. OK. VICTOR YOCCO: Good throw. AUDIENCE: So social identity’s a
very intriguing concept, right? What’s real and
what’s fake, right? So I could be a 17-year-old
female on Facebook. I could, right? So how does that relate to– VICTOR YOCCO: You’re not? AUDIENCE: So how does that
relate to your research? Because you look
at what you see, but not what’s behind
it, or what people try to hide or pretend, all
this kind of categories. VICTOR YOCCO: So I
think what I would say to that is whether somebody
is truly who they are telling you they are, if you’re
designing an experience that’s supposed to tap into
who they feel they are, that’s not really for you
to say is right or wrong. So if you felt like you were a
17-year-old female on Facebook, and I’m designing an experience
for a 17-year-old female on Facebook, and you are
using it, I don’t care. You’re using my product. I’m not trying to tap
into convincing you you’re anybody who you’re not. It’s actually the opposite. I’m trying to honor
who you are by saying, look, here’s a
space that you can engage in activities that
are going to preferably make you feel more like the group
that you want to be a part of. Now, that’s a very,
I guess, it could be a touchy subject in terms
of a man trying to pretend to be a 17-year-old girl. But taking it to a
more benign place, let’s say you’re a
tomato lover, but you’re pretending to love watermelon. Come on and have a conversation. I don’t see the harm in that. And if it makes you want
to use my product because I let you love watermelons,
even though you don’t, you know what? Buy one. Try one. I don’t know. I’m OK with that. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: I have a comment
more than a question. My whole life is
spent with people who want me to help them be social. We’ve got to do social. And a lot of them are business
people, primarily HR people. And they have a hard
time understanding that nobody on the
planet wants to talk about your sexual
harassment policy but you. There is no online forum. There isn’t. So thank you for Social
Grocery, because I think that’s finally the
example I need to say, nobody wants to talk about
your oranges for very long. There’s not anything. Find interesting conversations. Find other things to
say, so that was great. VICTOR YOCCO: Thank you. I appreciate that. And the only thing I would say
to follow up would be that, and I think it should be fine. They don’t need a conversation
around their policy. But they need people
to be aware of it. So if you make it
available and obvious, and maybe there’s
not a conversation we have, but there’s a share. And you can share it or point
somebody in that direction. That’s fine. Understanding why they
think a conversation should take place around is trying
to tap into that whole so why do you think this has
to be social to be effective? AUDIENCE: Right. Well, part of the problem is
doing social is not a strategy. I mean, that’s their
whole goal, is we need to have a Twitter account. We need to have a Facebook. VICTOR YOCCO: Right. Exactly. Yes, another great point. AUDIENCE: If you need
another example– [INTERPOSING VOICES] MODERATOR: You must
talk into this box. VICTOR YOCCO: He’s
actually got to wear a mask and distort his voice
when he talks [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: If you
need another example, they had one called
My Baby, which was the same company, which
was targeted to parents, which fell faster than that SoGo did. VICTOR YOCCO: Oh,
and it’s called SoGo? I’m using that. All right. Well, thank you. And thank you for
not beating me up, because I’ve told many audiences
that someday, I will meet you, and you will beat me up. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: With the
social grocery thing, I think people do
talk about food on, say, Instagram
and Pinterest. But it’s just with hashtags. There’s no way to monetize
that or host the conversation. VICTOR YOCCO: That’s true. And also, those
are the platforms that it’s happening on. I think with Social
Grocery– and again, I’m not the expert, apparently, on
Social Grocery, in this room. I think the problem
is trying to insert a completely different
platform, which is taking it to another conversation space. People are, trust me, people
are talking about their food. But it’s happening on Facebook. It’s happening on Twitter. It’s happening on Instagram. And if you’re doing it,
and it’s organically happening somewhere, why
would you want to, oh, wait, I’m not going to
post this to Twitter. Because it’s for food-related,
I’m going to go to SoGo and use their app. So I don’t know. But yeah, that’s a great
point, which is, yes, food, and what we do on a daily basis
is naturally being discussed, but it’s happening
in places where the conversation popped up. And I’m not saying
it could never, that Social Grocery would
have never been successful. But possibly, they needed to
invest three, four, five years in having that conversation. Is it worth it,
if that’s what you want to do to shift
the conversation away from where it’s happening? And we probably have to wrap up. MODERATOR: Yes. I was going to say. I think that’s all
the time we have. But round of applause for
Victor, and thanks, everybody, for coming. VICTOR YOCCO: Thank you
all for coming out today. I appreciate it. [APPLAUSE] And if you don’t have
time to get a bookmark, you can feel free
to snapshot this. Allegedly, my book will be out
before the end of, possibly, this week, definitely
by the end of the month. But I would love to
hand you a bookmark and meet you in person, if
we have time for that, too. Thank you. MODERATOR: So
ironically enough, I’m actually a School of
Natural Resources grad, too. VICTOR YOCCO: Are you? High five.

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