Different users

"Incorporating categories like Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out, creates an understanding of why young people really want to learn in one context and not in another, while the available resources are the same. Depending on what we want to achieve, we exhibit different behavior. Internet is the real world." - Mark Schoondorp (Winkwaves). (2010)


Users differ both in physical terms, as well as in the way they use various technologies. Physical differences are clear. Children grow, some are more robust, have longer legs, some wear glasses... The furniture should be either adjustable within certain limits, or different sizes of furniture should be put in place.


More interesting are the differences among users of modern technology and particularly the internet. The literature knows different formats, but the division into the categories Hanging Out - Messing around - Geeking out, is the most meaningful one until now. It is important in this format that one person can always fall in all the three categories. Depending on what you do. Someone who is very active in photography, and uploads photos on flickr, writes comments on other photos... is certainly "geeking out", while someone who at the same time reads some messages on facebook is "hanging out". This description perfectly fits the same person, at another moment or in a different role.

Depending on what you want to achieve, or what your interests are, as a user you take on a different role which can vary over time. Understanding these differences among users is very important when you develop services for users on the internet (or elsewhere). Different users expect to be approached and treated in different ways. A platform that seeks the cooperation of users should therefore be able to integrate the work on different levels.

Source: New World of Learning (VANERUM Group).