News Roundup: User Experience
Arts presenters, in both the the visual and performing arts, are providers of user experience. Thinking about how people gain positive reinforcement while interacting with your organization will likely pay dividends. From the moment your show peaks their interest until they exit the venue after a show, you have the opportunity to design a user experience that meets their satisfaction and exceeds their expectations.
Here are a few recently published articles that will get you thinking in different ways about user experience:
Is your organization thinking about moving its website into the mobile age? Poorly designed mobile web sites can cause users to flee quickly. For instance, according to Google research, you’ve got 3 seconds to load some content on a mobile screen, or 53% of users will move on. This article provides a great overview of the things your mobile site must do and it’s not overly technical, so it’s a good primer for site owners.
A well-designed user experience can reward people in powerful, cost-free ways. Slot machine manufacturers know that the visual stimuli embedded into their products’ user experience are powerful (read profitable) enough to produce an effect known as “a loss disguised as a win.” The micro-feedback of a flashing light is enough to trigger a dopamine reward for a mouse click in a computer game. It is the “juice” that keeps a user playing (read paying) for hours. Time spent is a common metric for quantifying user experience. These user-reward systems are essentially cost-free.
The Guardian recently published an extract of Irresistible by Adam Alter, Associate Professor of Marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business. It veers into a discussion of behavioral addiction stimulated by user experience techniques. Here, let’s ask a different sort of question: Can your organization learn to leverage principles of user experience (such as micro-feedback) to better engage your audience?
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality can push audience members into deeper relationships with the presented work, illuminating its background or altering its context in remarkable ways… or it can be a distracting gimmick. The conundrum of experimentation is that it will sometimes fail to produce great results, yet in the arts, experimentation is often the point of the exercise. These days, there is an increasing acceptance of – and yes, expectation of – a digital component in the arts, and the digital natives are reaching adulthood with a set of assumptions about user experience that factor directly into how art can be presented.
The user experience is critical to museums, where the challenge is to create experiences that aren’t available elsewhere, in a world where people have a world of information and interactive experience in their pocket. Here is an inspiring overview of some museum installations that rise to the challenge of providing unique experiences by combining installed technology with their visitors’ cell phones.