T-Shaped Creativity is a way of looking at a type of creative process situated at the intersection of Interactive Marketing+Experience Design. This visualization looks simplistic—but in fact is difficult to pull off. It entails getting the likes of Storytellers, Brand Strategists, and Experience Designers to coordinate activities. Take away just one "building block" of the "T"—and the Interactive Experience is incomplete.
Read More @ Marketing Profs
Just sat down for lunch with one of the team members who worked on Bubble Share. Similar to Flickr, Bubble Share is a photo sharing network with a twist. It boasts features like letting you record audio and displaying it in the form of captions. And it's really easy to use too. That's the beauty of it. It combines fun features such as a "puzzle-izer" that turns your photos into jigsaws, and tops it off with an elegantly simple interface to upload photos. Check it out.
Every once in a while, an application comes along that mimics the way people interact in the natural world. Talk Digger is one of them. Fundamentally, it's a search engine—yes. But, it pulls up results based on what people are saying about the URL you entered. It's like eavesdropping on multiple conversations, with the ability to hone in on the ones that interest you. There is some really nice functionality like a built in preview pane that allows you to "peek" at the referring site without going to it. Give it a test ride, it's pretty neat. Here's how the developer has positioned it:
”You have in hand the URL of a piece of news of the BBC, a blog post, a product page, or any other web page, and you want to know who is talking about it, you want to know what people have to say about it. You copy that URL, paste it in the Talk Digger search box and press Dig it!
Talk Digger will then return results from various search engines. All the results returned contain
a link to the URL. This is what we call a conversation: a multitude of people, all over the Internet,
linking to a specific URL. The following schema describe what a conversation found by
Talk Digger is.”
Apple's latest insult to PC users. Entertaining. But what's even more entertaining is when the PC users fight back. And they fight dirty. Last comeback I saw used the word F@#ktard. I didn't even know that word existed. Who says PC users aren't creative? :)
Finally got your clients or internal constituants to see the value of creating personas? If so, congratulations—that's half the battle. Now that you are empowered to humanize the experience, see George Olsen's Persona Toolkit (can be downloaded from boxes and arrows). It's extremely comprehensive and defines how Personas should be used—along with the many different ways you can approach creating your personas. It's a couple of years old, but great resource.
“This toolkit provides resources for a variety of situations. Pick and choose what’s appropriate for your’s. My goal is to enable you to use personas in several ways:
Allow you and your team to live and breathe your users’ world as if they were a close friend or part of the family.
• Allow you as a designer to filter out your own personal quirks (or those of real users that you
interviewed) and focus instead on behaviors and motivations that are typical of a broader range
of users, while still being able to relate to users as individuals.
• Use this knowledge to make better decisions at the strategic level of matching the product’s focus
and purpose to users needs and goals.
• Use this knowledge to make better design decisions at the tactical level of how functionality,
content and sensory elements are structured and presented.
• Use it as a tool to make the design trade-offs that are inevitable in any product’s development.”
Here's the scoop (at least for 10 minutes before Mark Hurst gets it up on his blog). Winners are Google, TiVo and a tie between del.icio.us & Heifer. Google's Marrisa Mayer, fresh from the Washington Correspondents Dinner, is in NYC to accept the accolade for what is clearly one the world's most innovative companies. The awards, of course, went for the best consumer experiences. cX.
Lot's of companies have blogs now—this is nothing new. And it's probably a trend that will continue to grow. As I was perusing Southwest Airline's blog, I coudn't help thinking about how on-brand the darn thing was. From the peanuts, to the large fonts, to the colors—it felt so right for Southwest. The blog even has a peanut favicon in the url. Then I saw it! That little logo at the bottom of the screen which tells you what design firm actually put this together (rd2). and it all made sense. Now I'll be curious to see if companies start trying to out blog-design eachother—similar to what corporate Web sites went through right before the Internet bubble burst.
I was recently invited to contribute to Marketing Profs Daily Fix blog—and my first piece was positioned as the feature (Delight = Brand + Experience). I'm looking forward to writing about similar topics to the ones covered on this blog.
These plugs are getting shameless aren't they? I promise to track down some good links to atone for my sins.
Ask a designer what's best practice for content design on the Web, and chances are that the NY Times may come up as a common answer. I'm a fan of the NY Times too—have been since I worked on the Chicago Tribune's site back in '97. But I think a lot can be learned from the approach UX Magazine takes in how they've looked at designing content. Where you can see that the NY Times makes a nod to the print paradigm (headlines, columns, snippets)—UX starts fresh and uses a grid like hierarchy to organize information combined with bold visual cues.
Granted this is not a fair comparison. The NY Times has much more content to handle and does an amazing job of organizing it. And you can see how the Times has influenced other news/content sites. But there's just something about UX that stands out. It got my attention.
A few weeks ago, I conducted an experiment. I posted my "Experience Map" on this blog. Primarily because I was curious to see what—if anything would happen. The map illustrates tools and techniques that I am either using (or trying to).
The results have been surprising. Most recently, the map was referenced on Businessweek's design blog by Bruce Nussbaum.
I have to say, I'm totally shocked (and humbled) that this artifact has been passed around the blogoshpere. It's taught me a thing or two about the power of blogs and how ideas are shared—and connections made. I consider Bruce to be one of my heroes. He embodies design evangelism and is respected by both the business and creative worlds. Not an easy feat to accomplish.
The main purpose of his post was to call attention to Mark Vanderbeeken's Putting People First. Mark is another individual who is doing great things for design and business. If you're into Experience Design, Mark's blog should be on your list of reading material. And he keeps his blog fresh daily. I don't know how he does it.
Back to the Experience Map. I've gotten some really great comments on it, and if I can find some free time in between this blog, the full-time career, and family—I plan to update it. I'm hoping that the Interactive Marketing community will embrace (or at least consider) what Experience Designers (and planners, architects etc.) have to offer. When Brand + Experience come together. Great things happen.
PS. The Experience Map has been referenced on the following blogs:
Putting People First
I'm always looking for a decent case study that blends product innovation with marketing, brand, design and customer experience. Here's a decent one. Method—"for people against dirty".
Let's start here. Eric Ryan, one of Method's co-founders asked this question: "Why do people hide their household products under the sink?" Apparently, he attempted to answer his own question and Method was born. Method creates cleaning products that not only look good displayed in your home—the ultra attractive packaging makes them difficult to ignore on the retail shelf. Just ask my wife. And the hand wash in particular combines a great scent with a rich texture. Method could have just chosen to focus on what was inside the container, but instead they chose to give just as much attention to the shapes and materials holding their formulas.
People against dirty. For Method, it's more than just a catchy tag line. Method products consist of non-toxic materials, and are not tested on animals. In addition to clean consciences, Method believes in "home-love"—walking in the door after a long day or "vexing set of errands and breathing the pure fresh vitality of the place that Dorothy wished for" (as in Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ.) In short, you could say that Method believes in clean body, mind and spirit. Far from just selling cleaning products.
Let's start with the site. Like the products and brand—it's about clean. The visually attractive products get center stage treatment—it's effortless to browse through them and view different fragrances etc. Then, if you decide you want to purchase something on the spot—it's easy to do so.
E-commerce and an attractive Website are not enough. Last year Method launched a viral campaign at come clean.com. The campaign was wildly successful—spread across the Internet and won lots of awards. Why? Because it invited people to anonymously confess their secrets and "come clean" with a quick squirt of Method hand soap and a nice rinse. Using video, and simple but delightful interactivity—the experience draws you in by sampling other people's confessions. And how can anyone resist that?