0
much knowledge
amaze data
wow glasses
such business
@benhuh
BravoTV/LOLwork
Cheezburger’s Business
Happy Moments 

for our Audience.
!
Sharable Stories 

for our Advertisers.
@benhuh
The Medium is the Message
Marshall Mcluhan
The Format is the Message
Ben Huh, Cheezburger
@benhuh
It’s Inside the Computer?
@benhuh
Zoolander
Device
Format
@benhuh
@benhuh
16:9
Explosion of devices =
Competition for attention
!
Using new formats to reach
consumers with thinning
attention-span
!
Pie...
“Devices” of the Past
@benhuh
The Simple Past
TV
Movie Theatre
DVDs
!
Books
Newsprint
!
Radio
CDs
Watch
!
!
!
Read
!
!
Listen
@benhuh
From Vertical...
Read Listen Watch
Books Radio TV
Print CDs Theatre
Device = Format
Activity
@benhuh
Devices of Today
@benhuh
To Horizontal
Books Radio TV
Print CDs Theatre
Computers
Smartphones
eBooks
Smart TV
FormFactor
Read Listen Watch
Activity...
Watch,

Read,

Listen,
and write,
take photos,
and shoot
HD videos.
They’re Everywhere and Do It All
Smartphone
Tablet
Lap...
Humans Use 

the Devices, but…
@benhuh
The Formats Make Up the Network
Facebook
Which
one is
your
favorite
TV?
iMore
168 hours in a week, 112 awake
@benhuh
Opportunity in Challenges
Opportunity
Opportunity
@benhuh
2036: Global Media Apex?
The 112 Limit
@benhuh
Do I Have Your Attention?
We Live in a Thin-Crust World
The Kitten Photo TestTM

The most abundant content in the universe.
The Kitten Photo TestTM

The most abundant content in ...
● Fragmentation
● Competition
● Growth
● Creative freedom

● Visible failure
● Resource constraints
● Lack of experience
W...
Example One
@benhuh
2005
2010
Example Two
@benhuh
You Change TVs, not Room Size
4K Ultra HD
HD
DVD
@benhuh
46” HDTV
Median US HDTV Size
9’ sitting distance
@benhuh
140” 4K Ultra HD
@benhuh
● 4x the resolution
● Same 9’ distance
● 140” optimal size
Did you notice something missing?
@benhuh
Why not put the house on the outer edge?
@benhuh
Peripheral 

Vision
Peripheral 

Vision
Why not put the house on the outer edge?
@benhuh
ON
Formats in Reality
@benhuh
@benhuh
Embracing a Format
@benhuh
What happens to old formats?
@benhuh
Many become specialized.
@benhuh
Old formats die hard. (High-fidelity analog audio.)
@benhuh
New Formats
@benhuh
The Future of Devices
Smart watches
Roku/AppleTV/Chromecast
XBOX One/PS 4
Google Glass
Oculus Rift
Connected In-Car System...
VR won’t just be for gaming.
@benhuh
Even... Back to Analog
Formats don’t produce linear evolution.
Generational Change Required
@benhuh
Not what you were expecting?
1. Copy old format 

(Pre-roll, Mobile banners, games)

2. Creative few embrace the new

(Tweet, Instagram, GIFs, in-game ...
Bad Format?
@benhuh
ben@cheezburger.com
Different Formats
for
Different Environments
@benhuh
Reaching the Real-Time Audience
@benhuh
Stunts
Live sports
Topical trends
@customer_service
1:Viral
1:Channel
1:Group
1:In...
Reaching the Real-Time Audience
@benhuh
Stunts
Live sports
Topical trends
@customer_service
1:Viral
1:Channel
1:Group
1:In...
The Undiscovered Future
@benhuh
Creativity does not
come from absence
of constraint.
!
Constraint is 

the catalyst that
frees us from 

our own restraint...
6-Second Stories?
@benhuh
How We Tell 

Stories Today
@benhuh
Pixar/Up
Assumption of Context
@benhuh
@benhuh
Adapted from History
@benhuh
@benhuh
@benhuh
@benhuh
@benhuh
@benhuh
Triptych
Jacobello Del Fiore/

Triptych of the Madonna della Misericordia

circa 1415
If You Understand This,
You Understand Me
@benhuh
Final Words
@benhuh
Formats are Made 

by Building Products
@benhuh
New devices create new use
cases
!
Old formats don’t fit in this
competitive world
!
New formats to better 

fit new user ...
@benhuh
cheezburger.com
Q&A
!
BTW, @Cheezburger is hiring devs!

http://chzb.gr/L33T
Form Factor is the Message: How the Devices We Use Shape the Messages and Content We Create
Form Factor is the Message: How the Devices We Use Shape the Messages and Content We Create
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Form Factor is the Message: How the Devices We Use Shape the Messages and Content We Create

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Ben Huh's talk from Future Insights Live 2014 in Las Vegas: "The 20th Century was about the dominance of one or two formats per medium (TV for video, radio for audio, etc). Welcome to the new world where everything can do everything, but that doesn't mean everything will be successful for everything."

Miss his talk? Join us at a future show: www.futureofwebdesign.com. Sign up for our newsletter at futureinsights.com and get 15% off your next conference.

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Transcript of "Form Factor is the Message: How the Devices We Use Shape the Messages and Content We Create"

  1. 1. much knowledge amaze data wow glasses such business
  2. 2. @benhuh
  3. 3. BravoTV/LOLwork
  4. 4. Cheezburger’s Business Happy Moments 
 for our Audience. ! Sharable Stories 
 for our Advertisers. @benhuh
  5. 5. The Medium is the Message Marshall Mcluhan
  6. 6. The Format is the Message Ben Huh, Cheezburger @benhuh
  7. 7. It’s Inside the Computer? @benhuh Zoolander
  8. 8. Device Format @benhuh
  9. 9. @benhuh 16:9
  10. 10. Explosion of devices = Competition for attention ! Using new formats to reach consumers with thinning attention-span ! Pie isn’t shrinking. 
 Embrace constraints. 
 Leverage Moments. Devices & Formats 1. Background ! ! 2. Challenges ! ! ! 3. Answers @benhuh
  11. 11. “Devices” of the Past @benhuh
  12. 12. The Simple Past TV Movie Theatre DVDs ! Books Newsprint ! Radio CDs Watch ! ! ! Read ! ! Listen @benhuh
  13. 13. From Vertical... Read Listen Watch Books Radio TV Print CDs Theatre Device = Format Activity @benhuh
  14. 14. Devices of Today @benhuh
  15. 15. To Horizontal Books Radio TV Print CDs Theatre Computers Smartphones eBooks Smart TV FormFactor Read Listen Watch Activity Devices ≠ Format @benhuh
  16. 16. Watch,
 Read,
 Listen, and write, take photos, and shoot HD videos. They’re Everywhere and Do It All Smartphone Tablet Laptop Desktop Google Glass Smart TV ! What’s the difference?
  17. 17. Humans Use 
 the Devices, but… @benhuh
  18. 18. The Formats Make Up the Network Facebook
  19. 19. Which one is your favorite TV? iMore
  20. 20. 168 hours in a week, 112 awake @benhuh
  21. 21. Opportunity in Challenges Opportunity Opportunity @benhuh
  22. 22. 2036: Global Media Apex? The 112 Limit @benhuh
  23. 23. Do I Have Your Attention?
  24. 24. We Live in a Thin-Crust World
  25. 25. The Kitten Photo TestTM
 The most abundant content in the universe. The Kitten Photo TestTM
 The most abundant content in the universe.
  26. 26. ● Fragmentation ● Competition ● Growth ● Creative freedom
 ● Visible failure ● Resource constraints ● Lack of experience What’s Driving This? Push
 
 Pull + - Risk @benhuh
  27. 27. Example One @benhuh
  28. 28. 2005
  29. 29. 2010
  30. 30. Example Two @benhuh
  31. 31. You Change TVs, not Room Size
  32. 32. 4K Ultra HD HD DVD @benhuh
  33. 33. 46” HDTV Median US HDTV Size 9’ sitting distance @benhuh
  34. 34. 140” 4K Ultra HD @benhuh ● 4x the resolution ● Same 9’ distance ● 140” optimal size
  35. 35. Did you notice something missing? @benhuh
  36. 36. Why not put the house on the outer edge? @benhuh
  37. 37. Peripheral 
 Vision Peripheral 
 Vision Why not put the house on the outer edge? @benhuh
  38. 38. ON
  39. 39. Formats in Reality @benhuh
  40. 40. @benhuh
  41. 41. Embracing a Format @benhuh
  42. 42. What happens to old formats? @benhuh
  43. 43. Many become specialized. @benhuh
  44. 44. Old formats die hard. (High-fidelity analog audio.) @benhuh
  45. 45. New Formats @benhuh
  46. 46. The Future of Devices Smart watches Roku/AppleTV/Chromecast XBOX One/PS 4 Google Glass Oculus Rift Connected In-Car Systems Ultra High Definition 3D printing @benhuh
  47. 47. VR won’t just be for gaming. @benhuh
  48. 48. Even... Back to Analog
  49. 49. Formats don’t produce linear evolution. Generational Change Required @benhuh Not what you were expecting?
  50. 50. 1. Copy old format 
 (Pre-roll, Mobile banners, games)
 2. Creative few embrace the new
 (Tweet, Instagram, GIFs, in-game purchase)
 3. Mainstream embrace
 (Vine, FB Fan Pages, Memes) The Stages of Format Innovation @benhuh
  51. 51. Bad Format? @benhuh
  52. 52. ben@cheezburger.com
  53. 53. Different Formats for Different Environments @benhuh
  54. 54. Reaching the Real-Time Audience @benhuh Stunts Live sports Topical trends @customer_service 1:Viral 1:Channel 1:Group 1:Interpersonal
  55. 55. Reaching the Real-Time Audience @benhuh Stunts Live sports Topical trends @customer_service 1:Viral 1:Channel 1:Group 1:Interpersonal Audience Scale Content Volume
  56. 56. The Undiscovered Future @benhuh
  57. 57. Creativity does not come from absence of constraint. ! Constraint is 
 the catalyst that frees us from 
 our own restraints.
  58. 58. 6-Second Stories? @benhuh
  59. 59. How We Tell 
 Stories Today @benhuh
  60. 60. Pixar/Up
  61. 61. Assumption of Context @benhuh
  62. 62. @benhuh
  63. 63. Adapted from History @benhuh
  64. 64. @benhuh
  65. 65. @benhuh
  66. 66. @benhuh
  67. 67. @benhuh
  68. 68. @benhuh Triptych Jacobello Del Fiore/
 Triptych of the Madonna della Misericordia
 circa 1415
  69. 69. If You Understand This, You Understand Me @benhuh
  70. 70. Final Words @benhuh
  71. 71. Formats are Made 
 by Building Products @benhuh
  72. 72. New devices create new use cases ! Old formats don’t fit in this competitive world ! New formats to better 
 fit new user environments New Devices Love New Formats 1. Background ! ! 2. Challenges ! ! 3. Answers @benhuh
  73. 73. @benhuh cheezburger.com
  74. 74. Q&A ! BTW, @Cheezburger is hiring devs!
 http://chzb.gr/L33T
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