Identifying Drivers and Hindrances of Social User Experience in Web Services (2010) Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila et al.


The increasing number of web services (social media) are built around social activities, user-generated content and social interactions, e.g. communication, content contribution, media sharing, social navigation.

Among various dimensions of UX on web service, “supporting social activities” is one of main elements and can be essential contributor to positive UX. In this paper, they define social user experience (UX) is a type of user experience that primarily occurs as a result of social activity enabled by distinct service functionality.


Technology should support ‘sense of community’ and form naturally in virtual community. A number of guidelines and techniques have been suggested. However, those are rather policy-orientated. Examples are: facilitating community construction activities via an appropriate user interface; identifying member’s roles and needs; enabling and promoting interaction between members. There is need for fundamental understanding of social UX.

Aim of this study is to identify (1) the central drivers and hindrances of social UX in web services (2) pragmatic and hedonic aspects of UX

Case study on Facebook(N=11), Dopplr(N=7), Nokia Sports tracker(N=8).

Four-week-long field study by user diaries and user interview.

Document positive and negative experiences in semi-structured diaries for the fist and last week of the study. User interview to clarify the statements on diaries.


Drivers (social motivations)


Self-expression *

Content sharing and feeling and thoughts are expressed through textual and symbolic content. Skill with technology.

Suitability of functionality

Sufficient and usefulness of the functions.

+ meet like-minded persons

– missing social connections

Reciprocity *

Direct communication and responses to shared content (include direct and indirect).

An important source of pleasure.

Suitability of content

Quality of content and up-to-date


Utilize shared information on web for developing one’s self.

Completeness of user network

There are people that the web user wants to form the network with. And must be a way to find these people.

Curiosity *

Content is browsed to appeal one’s curiosity. And also related to playful social interactions.

Trust and Privacy

Avoid sharing personal matters while sharing content. Concern of physical safety.

Pragmatic and Hedonic aspects of social UX



Psychology and emotional needs

*   Self-expression

*   Reciprocity

*   Curiosity

Functional needs

–     Learning

–       Unsuitability functionality and content

–       Incompleteness of user networks

–       Lack of trust and privacy

Notice: it is not an absolute classification.

In conclude, self-expression, reciprocity and curiosity are the most prominent hedonic drivers of social UX.