Permission and Content. Evaluating Sharability through Quick-MI

This is the third entry of the Modular Innovation series by our guest blogger, Jeremy Horn – The Product Guy.

The first of the 5 components of Quick-MI, which I will be discussing in greater depth, is Sharability. Sharability is the measure of how much and to what degree information can be shared.

For relationships to work, between products, just like with people, sharing must be present. And to share, to receive, there must be both Permission as well as the more fundamental characteristic of having something to share, having Content.

In abiding with the overarching goals of both Quick-UX and Quick-MI (quick assessment for summary, directional guidance, and quantitative comparison) the variables constituting the minimal representative subset for Sharability are…

  1. Content
  2. Permission

Each variable (e.g. Content, Permission) is assigned a value that can be compared and combined. When all the categories’ values are combined they form the Modular Innovation Index of a product.


Without any Content that can be shared, the ability to share breaks down pretty quickly. The Content that one can share with another can be many things, from that which is personally generated (directly or indirectly), to Content available to a specific group, to part or all of an individual’s settings / customizations.

Further examples of Content can be seen as metadata, text, images, settings, stories, conversations – a blog post, comments within a forum, avatar image, and identification of one’s favorite topics.

Determining the value for the Content variable is done through briefly surveying the product, followed by the assignment of a value…

  1. 0 if there is no Content that exists that can be shared, or
  2. 1 if some of the Content is found to be sharable, or
  3. 2 if all of the Content, personal, group, global, including all user settings, are sharable.

For example, an individual’s Twitter Content can be shared with all or just a few friends, while the majority of one’s settings and preferences remain out of sight to all but the Twitter account’s owner; achieving a Content variable value of 1.


Some products allow sharing of Content with only registered users. Others allow sharing within parameters based on the type of user or method of access.

The Permission variable value is broadly determined as the sum of affirmative confirmations to the following conditions (with the starting value of 0)…

  1. If the Content can be shared with everyone, add 1, and
  2. If the Content can be optionally shared with specific groups (e.g. clubs, types of members), add 1, and
  3. If the Content can be optionally shared with specific individuals, add 1.

One such exemplary product provides for very fine controls by the account holder of their permission settings, controlling what Content is public and can be seen by all, what content is limited to specific user Lists and Groups, and what content is meant for the individually targeted eyes of a select friend; achieving Facebook a Permission variable value of 3.

Quickly Shared

Quick-MI is all about understanding and measuring the relationships formed and supported between online products, especially those pioneering the next generation of web products via Modular Innovation.

Sharability, as the summation of both variables of Content and Permission, when combined with the other categories of Quick-MI

  1. Interoperability
  2. Portability
  3. Convenience
  4. Flexibility

… present a sound, representative, quantification of a product’s ability to foster relationships both within and without – yielding an oft missed, yet critical, perspective into the success and sustainability of a product online.

Enjoy & Discuss!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

PS Try it out, tweak it, learn more about Modular Innovation and share you experiences.

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