APR: Updating Our Vision

scope and vision

We defined the vision for our agile project last week, and in this article propose an addition.

Social Software Honeycomb

Gene Smith at nForm wrote an article that uses a great framework for describing social software sites and products like digg.com, flikr, linkedIn, stumbleUpon, etc. In his framework, he re-purposes the user experience honeycomb developed by Peter Moreville.

Any given product or site can be described in terms of seven key attributes of social software (read Gene’s article to find links to the source of this list):

  • Identity – a way of uniquely identifying people in the system
  • Presence – a way of knowing who is online, available or otherwise nearby
  • Relationships – a way of describing how two users in the system are related (e.g. in Flickr, people can be contacts, friends of family)
  • Conversations – a way of talking to other people through the system
  • Groups – a way of forming communities of interest
  • Reputation – a way of knowing the status of other people in the system (who’s a good citizen? who can be trusted?)
  • Sharing – a way of sharing things that are meaningful to participants (like photos or videos)

Gene Smith

Recreating the same diagram from Gene’s article:
social software honeycomb

Ratings Site Vision

Here’s what we previously defined:

Create a site that allows people in our niche to help each other find great articles, regardless of who wrote them. People will identify and evaluate (rate/review/score) articles on their merits. People will also categorize (taxonomy/folksonomy) the articles to make it easier for others to find documents that they are looking for at that time. When a person is searching in our space for an article, it is either as a beginner or an expert (on that subtopic). This site should help people filter to look for articles appropriate for the type of search they are doing at that time.

APR: Scope And Vision

Here’s what we would like to add:

Using the language described in Gene Smith’s Social Software Building Blocks (http://nform.ca/publications/social-software-building-block), we want to focus on sharing and reputation, while incorporating elements of identity, conversations, and relationships.  We do not want to focus features on groups or presence. The diagram for our site would therefore look like the following:

ratings site honeycomb


While not specifically changing the previous language, this clear diagram provides guidance for prioritization of use cases, requirements, and features and design elements. I’ve updated the previous document to include a link to this article.  The update has also been made to include these changes in that document.

4 thoughts on “APR: Updating Our Vision

  1. This very well suits my view that priority is one of the most important attribute of a requirement (vision, goal, …). In one of my current projects I have to learn the hard way that not explicitly prioritized requirements can mean significant changes to a system’s architecture, if suddenly a different architect is in charge. :-(

  2. Excellent. I found that just drawing the diagram brought me a sense of clarity. Sorry about the refactoring that you’re going through. I hope it is at least happening early enough that you aren’t messing with the users too.

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