Mini pattern

Alternate titles: Expression.

Problem summary

People seek opportunities to add a personal touch, resulting in deeper and longer engagements


  • Use when there is a drive for users to to create artifacts that express identity, opinions, and

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Find ways for users to express themselves. Allowing customization, posting content, commenting, following, sharing, and using emoticons are all ways that enable self-expression. Feedback mechanisms such as comments or likes can work as great rewards for efforts of self-expression.

The psychological drive to create artifacts that express identity, opinions, and affiliations is not new2. Give people a way to express themselves, tapping into the fundamental human motivational drive of self-expression.


As humans we are social beings who will always use technology to be social as a form of self-expression.


1 Six Patterns for Persuasion in Online Social Networks

2 Grey, A., Individuality, conformity and collective identity. International Forum of
Psychoanalysis, 9–12 (1993)

User Interface Design Patterns