genre. All these functions can be summarized by
three key features—sharing, contacting, and collaborating (see Figure 3).
When designing a UI to support rich social communication, there can be a deliberate process for
fashioning features, such as sharing, contacting,
and collaborating [ 3]. This process is started by
writing a sentence that describes a social behavior
pattern. Sharing, for example, is characterized as a
subject-verb-object construct. (Families share photos, or fans share music.) Similarly, constructs are
made for other relevant social behavior patterns.
(Friends exchange information about their whereabouts, or members create new videos.) To conclude,
three core components (people, goal, and content—
or actor, action, and objective) are coherently wedded together in order to visualize three key features
of socializing (see Figure 4).
With these three constructs, UI for mobile community is conceptualized (see Figure 5). The top row
sets up a community’s common goal. Sharing, contacting, and collaborating with people in the group
who have something in common is automatically
located in a second row, along with user actions
dealing with the goal (features). Finally, content
such as various multimedia objects and text are
attached at the bottom.
Additional features necessary for community
activity, such as schedule sharing and personal
broadcasting, can be customized for various mobile
devices. For example, an SMS thread in Figure 6
entitled “rolling paper” expresses tacit intention
through messages collected from the participants.
A group schedule-sharing application shows members’ schedule status from the community server,
which encourages participation.
The infrastructure of a mobile community consists of hardware, software, an interface, and services that knit together everything. People working
in the mobile device industry already understand
the importance of user interface and interaction for
complicated mobile services. We hope our approach
contributes to this understanding and suggests
ways of adding new and exciting features that
encourage end-user adoption, without sacrificing
Ultimately, all characteristics, including environment, people, objects, and processes, should be
considered when tailoring a UI to the specific needs
of a community. While the communication tools
available for communities are often highly attrac-
• Figure 6. Actual screen shots of the implementation of the UI on a mobile device, which
required us to modify the original “wireframe” due to specific requirements of the device;
however, the key features are consistent with those described earlier.
tive, we must keep in mind that the tools should fit
the community, not the other way around.
As we previously pointed out, mobile devices have
been designed primarily for private communication
for the past decade. Thus most mobile phone UIs are
optimized for private (one-to-one) use. The role of
a mobile device as a personal multimedia manager
is now expanding into social media and connecting
groups of people. These emerging applications ask
us to develop features that support rich social communication, both within and across applications.
We believe that our novel UI approach is capable of
enabling rich interaction for groups of people who
are forming and maintaining community.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS Youngho Rhee is a
senior UX designer at SAIT (Samsung Advanced
Institute of Technology). His main research interests
are in the areas of context awareness, agents, and
social networking. He has been actively engaged in
numerous projects dealing with mobile Internet ser-
vice design and methodologies for subjective evaluation of mobile
applications. He holds a Ph.D. in industrial system engineering
from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is on the program
board for Human Interface and the Management of Information at
HCII (Human Computer Interaction Institute).
[ 3] Schulze, A.
and Hoegl, M.
and the Generation of
New Product Ideas: A
Research Policy 37
Juyoun Lee is a UX designer at SAIT. Her main
research themes are pervasive computing, context
awareness, social networking, augmented reality,
and interactive media. Recently, she has been
working on service design and user behavior stud-
ies of mobile Internet services. She has a degree in
industrial design and computer science from Korea Advanced
Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
November + December 2009
© 2009 ACM 1072-5220/09/1100 $10.00