ERL12 – Between physical and digital: understanding cross-channel user experiences

Andrea Resmini @resmini

  • In the Name of the Rose: labyrinth in the book and labyrinth in the movie have to be shown/described differently even though they are the same thing
  • Institute for the Future think tank – “cyberspace is not a place you go to but rather a layer tightly integrated into the world around us” (like foursquare, or big realtime displays in airports/train stations constantly updated, or all the information coming into our smart phones)
  • same task but many different interfaces – can get a book from the circ desk, search on the library website, go to Amazon, check the library mobile app, etc. – but the only thing that matters is getting the damn book
  • activities and artifacts merge into complex experiences
  • channels are all the different media devices/info sources – physical library is a channel, labelling system is a channel, circ desk is a channel, website is a channel, mobile app is a channel – but they don’t work together –silos – things don’t communicate with each other, can’t start transaction online and finish it at the local branch, etc. (well, depends on what task and what library)
  • in cross-channel experiences user constantly move between channels and will not stay in any single one of them from start to finish

Manifesto:

1. info architectures are becoming open ecologies– no artifacts isolated, all artifacts are connected in one single user experience – things need to flow! Think of Apple’s various products working seamlessly together

-artifacts are competing in open ecologies – when I decide to buy a pair of shoes, I decide between brands but I also decide to buy shoes rather than a PS3 – users have competing desires and we can’t always predict what these are

2. users become intermediaries- participants in these ecosystems actively produce and re-mediate content and meaning all the time

3. static becomes dynamic – ecologies are perpetually unfinished, always changing, always open to further refinement and manipulation – agile development? –wikipedia for example, always being edited

4. dynamic becomes hybrid –boundaries separating media, channels and genres get thinner

5. horizontal prevails over vertical – intermediaries push for spontaneity, ephemeral structures of meaning and constant change

6. products become experiences – focus shifts from how to design single items to how to design experiences spanning multiple steps – the book is not just about the book, but the information and experience it provides – your library fails if it has all the books but the circulation experience sucks

7. experiences become cross-channel experiences – bridge multiple connected media, devices and environments into seamless ubiquitous ecologies

Questions:

Jill Emery, Portland State – “Who doesn’t have a cell phone?”rather than “Who here has a cell phone?” -trying to not out-design our audience’s technology and thinking of those people who don’t have all these fancy devices and can’t use all the channels

A: we still have to service everyone. Not talking just about mobile experiences, but by thinking about cross-channel experiences we can help these people without fancy phones etc. because we always have a backup plan or other options that can fill the void – multiple ways they can do the same thing and get to our services

–this is a big problem for us in libraries as we keep looking forward trying to see what new tech we need to jump on – but we still can’t ignore our users who don’t have this tech (or don’t have it yet)

@JWhyteAppleby: how do you build a seamless experience when it feels like you’re battling publishers/vendors at every step?

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