Guidelines for Virality-Driven Design

In the last decade technology has changed the way people behave, allowing them to share more information quick and easy, creating a phenomenon where a piece of information can be spread massively. This effect is known as a viral effect. Thus, when people talk about viral products or services they refer to designs that display a certain marketing strategy, which aims for such a viral propagation among users. However, there is no record of a design perspective to address this issue, i.e. how to design products or services that imbue some sort of inherent virality. Consequently, this thesis aims to explain and exemplify how services or products can be designed to be viral through a collection of patterns and design guidelines.

The thesis had two aims: to explore how to design for virality, and to design a viral collaborative tool. Therefore, it provides a collection of patterns, which were collected in an extensive literature study. This collection, together with patterns for collaboration, was used in an iterative design process in order to create several prototypes from low-fidelity to hi-fidelity responding to the second task. Finally, the third task was to perform an evaluation in regard to the first aim: to test guidelines and patterns proposed in the document. Unfortunately, as is mentioned in the discussion, a test was impossible to carry out, since the design was not implemented and some of the outcomes of this research were that virality is quite related with to temporal phenomena and real-life interaction, making it difficult to test a design unless launched in a real environment where the users can decide and spread the word freely without any pressure or vicious information. However, the sponsor company approved of the prototype, and it will possibly be implemented to test its viral approach in the market.

Keywords: Virality, Stickiness, Patterns, Interaction Design, GUI Design