ER&L 2012 – Between Physical and Digital: Understanding Cross-Channel User Experiences

UX Brighton 2011 - Andrea Resmini
photo by Katariina Järvinen

speaker: Andrea Resmini

He starts with a brief description of the movie The Name of the Rose, which is a bit of a medieval murder mystery involving a monastery library. The “library” is actually a labyrinth, but only in the movie. (The book is a little different.)

The letters on the arches represent the names of the places in the world, and are placed in the library where they would be in the world as it relates to Europe. They didn’t exactly replicate the world, but they ordered it like good librarians.

If you don’t understand the organizational system, it’s just a labyrinth. The movie had to change this because it wouldn’t work to have room after room of books covering the walls. We have to see the labyrinth to be able to participate in the experience, which can be different depending on the medium (book or movie).

Before computers, we relied on experts (people), books, and mentors to learn. With computers, we have access to all of them, at any time. We are constantly connected (if we choose) to streams of data, and the access points are more and more portable.

“Cyberspace is not a place you go to but rather a layer tightly integrated into the world around us.” –Institute for the Future

This is not the future. It’s here now. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare… our phones and mobile devices connect us.

Think about how you might send a message? Email, text, handwritten, smoke signals, ouija… ti’s the same task, but with many different mediums.

What if someone is looking for a book? They could go to the circ desk, but that’s becoming less common. They could go to a virtual bookshelf for the library. Or they could go to a competitor like Amazon. They could do this on a mobile phone. Or they could just start looking on the shelves themselves, whether they understand the classification/organization or not. The only thing that matters is the book. They don’t want to fight with mobile interfaces, search results in the millions, or creepy library stacks. They just want the book, when they want it, and how they want it.

The library is a channel, as is the labeling, circ desk, website, mobile interface, etc. Unfortunately, they don’t work together. We have silos of channels, not just silos of information.

Think about a bank. You can talk to the call center employee — they can’t help you if it’s not a part of their scripted routines. You can’t start an online process and finish it in a physical space (i.e. online banking then local branch).

Entertainment now uses many channels to reach consumers. If you really want to understand the second and third Matrix movies, you have to be familiar with the accessory channels of information (comic books, video games, etc.). In cross-channel experiences, users constantly move between channels, and will not stay in any single one of them from start to finish.

More companies, like clothing stores, are breaking down the barriers to flow between their physical and virtual stores. You can shop on line and return items to the physical store, for example.

Manifesto:

  1. Information architectures are becoming open ecologies: no artifacts stand alone — they are all apart of the user experience
  2. users are becoming intermediaries: participants in these ecosystems actively produce and re-mediate content and meaning
  3. static becomes dynamic: ecologies are perpetually unfinished, always changing, always open to further refinement and manipulation
  4. dynamic becomes hybrid: the 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 are becoming experiences: focus shifts from how to design single items to how to design experiences spanning multiple steps
  7. experiences become cross-channel experiences: experiences bridge multiple connected media, devices and environments into ubiquitous ecologies

unintentional redesign

Due to some issues with the new version of WordPress, the blog is undergoing some re-construction. I hope to get it back to normal soon, but until then, it won’t be quite as pretty or functional.

Also, for those following my lifestream elsewhere, I will be writing and posting some things about my choir tour through the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary (with a brief excursion into Austria).

Kai Ryssdal is my best friend

Do you keep an eye on the currency markets? If you’re an acquisitions librarian, you should. In particular, pay attention to the dollar against the pound or the euro. I remember a professors in my graduate program emphasizing that point, but it wasn’t until recently that the practical implications sunk in. If you think 5% annual price increases are bad, factor in the current rate of exchange and be prepared for a shock.

Many major journal publishers, if not most, are headquartered in Europe. Pricing is therefore based on the euro or pound, which are both currently much stronger than the dollar. I’m not suggesting that you watch the market daily or scour each issue of The Wall Street Journal, but be aware of economic trends, and when the bill comes for your annual renewals, you’ll be ready with either additional funding already secured, or a list of titles to cancel.

update on swets & zeitlinger

“Shareholder cash boost gives Dutch subscription giant a renewed opportunity to invest further in e-services.”

Looks like they’re getting some help to keep going. I hope they use the capital investment wisely and don’t end up sinking us all.

The Euro 45m The Euro 45m (£30.8m) cash boost will be privately placed with existing institutional shareholders, including NPM Capital and Compagnie Benelux Paribas (Cobepa). The Swets family now has only a 29% stake in the operation.

Paige Davis would be a cool librarian

Isn’t weather (in general) rather amazing? I am always reminded of how awesome nature is when She gets my attention.

It is both sad and ironic that the New Rochelle Public Library may lose all city funding and be forced to close. It’s sad because without public libraries, cities lose out on places of learning. It’s ironic because New Rochelle Public Library is in the Westchester Library System, under the direction of ALA President Mitch Freedman.

I rarely watch TV anymore, but when I do, it’s usually because Trading Spaces is on. Most of the time, I’m listening to public radio, whether I’m at home or in the car. So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when I heard this on the radio last night.

Jessamyn West has been elected to ALA Council! Yippee! (I voted for her – did you?)

Get your fascist ice cream here. [thanks aw]