Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
Human Computer Interaction
4 - 8 July 2011
Typically, local communities have limited resources and technological know-how which may explain why they fail to fully exploit the features of ‘web 2.0’. This is problematic because web 2.0 can increase social capital offline as well as online. Social capital contributes significantly to wellbeing. The aim of the research was to establish if a good design may significantly increase engagement for a diverse demographic typical of a local community. Diversity is critical for developing certain kinds of social capital. However ‘designing for everybody’ is challenging in both style and content. In the FutureVille design, an atypical range of Web 2.0 applications to those normally seen, were conjoined. The design incorporated ‘status icons’ as metaphors for the ‘health’ of the community. Evaluations by users across a wide demographic showed a high intent to use the design. Compared to a good standard community website, intent to use, was significantly higher. The FutureVille design merits further assessment with a greater number of users. This paper offers insights into engaging wider participation in Web 2.0 applications for community wellbeing and outlines challenging and potentially fruitful research avenues.