Coping with Chaos - Digital Services in an Unpredictable Consumer Landscape


Published on

For "We are Museums 2014", Warsaw, Poland

Looks at how rapid change in consumer technology makes service design extremely difficult. Consumer hardware changes, data is being produced by almost any activity we do and this is being communicated in many different ways.
This changes user behaviour and designing for users when you don't know how they live their lives is hard...

Published in: Design, Technology, Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Information scientist with 13 years managing projects and live digital services in museums and public libraries.

    BSc Cybernetics & Control Engineering, MSc Information and Library Studies, chartered librarian, makes stuff…

    Joined the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008. Currently Digital Content Delivery Manager,
    previously Senior Web Content Manager. Previously managed digital and information services in public libraries.

    Projects – large-scale website redesign, content programme management, system migrations, self-issue services,
    automated telephone renewal systems, public access computer services, online information, game development,
    SMART cards, multi-authority procurement and digitisation projects, etc.

    Expertise – digital service delivery: project and change management, people management, digital asset management, structured data and information architecture
    Technical delivery strategy.
  • Hello,
    I am Andrew Lewis.
    I am responsible for the strategy for how digital content is delivered to audiences at the Victoria and Albert Museum

    It is exciting to be here in Warsaw. First time in Poland.
    Today, I am going to be looking at Chaos.

    I will be exploring how digital innovation and rapidly evolving technology has created a increasingly chaotic and diverse technological world.

    This makes that make service development very difficult.
  • Here is a brain
    I expect we will be using this a lot over the next few days.

    In this session, I will be asking you to reflect on what this digital chaos means for how we understand users.
    Specifically what we understand by user needs from our services, when the way they access the world is changing so fast.

    There is a lot of change in consumer device technology, a lot of new data and a lot of new ways it can be communicated

    There’s a lot to think about
  • How we live our lives is mutating. So, while digital is changing the world, it does it in strange and unpredictably evolutions

    No-one here should be planning for a digital future.
    We are living right now in the digital present. It’s here and we must cope with it.

    It is not made any easier by the fact that what our digital world looks and feels like is mutating constantly
  • Designing manageable services in this mutating world is hard to get right.

    But, I am not here to alarm or depress you!

    I will also be offering tools to help you deal with chaos.

    I am not going to just be talking about amazing techy innovations, speculating about flying digital cars and crazy stuff.

  • So, let’s start by stating the obvious!

    Digital Technology changes. In particular, consumer digital technology changes.
    It changes fast. Not only does the hardware change, the way data is produced, and used, and understood changes just as fast.

    This can be a problem for organisations if we cannot change service delivery quickly
  • Once upon a time there were personal computers. These developed over a few decades, but in many ways this has been quite a long and slow development.

    They got faster and cheaper and got nice flat screens and better storage.

    I can remember before there were any personal computers at all, not even calculators…
  • After a while computers became mobile and more portable, the web went wireless and also machines became easily affordable, but remained largely the same thing.

    For a long time the majority of personal computers were like this. It was easy to design services for these. Same as desktops
  • But meanwhile over in the world of phones, the iPhone happened in 2007/8

    It wasn’t that long before every phone was like this.

    In quite a short time, the combination of easily affordable data and easy to operate touch screen phones
    meant that all of a sudden the most popular type of phone was the SMART PHONE

    Actually what really happened is that everyone started carrying a powerful networked computer in their pocket
  • And with Wi-FI and phone data now everywhere phone computers morphed into tablets.

    These have only been around since 2010, but now they are everywhere and there are a number of market niches for them
  • But now these portable carry-able computers are starting to evolving into wearables.

    These are Pebbles which really just take an existing product and make it a bit digital
    They are not that likely to change the world, but some sort of wearable technology is

    And it is not just the hardware, the underlying mass of data we all generate is also game-changing. We live in a digital atmosphere
  • So far, we’ve also only been talking mainly about devices that just use screens,

    But voice recognition technology is starting to take hold.

    Again the first wave of these devices have really just added voice to an existing product.

    It is not yet all that convincing, but that is because it is probably not being applied to the right context.

    The biggest developments in voice may well come in things like cars and other hands free situations
  • Google Glass takes this further. These actually belong to the lovely Mar Dixon, who is in here somewhere. She’s great

    This product may or may not take off, but the concept of an always-on wearable computer will do.

    Once devices like this this become affordable and reliable, people will adopt them

    This will probably only kick off when artificial intelligence develops sufficiently to semi-automate some of the interpretation of the data the device is detecting.
  • SO WHAT? You might ask. It’s just a load of nice new toys.

    Well, the real point is not that the technology changes

    It is that these changes affect how people behave. They do things in new ways and the way they live their life changes and so do their expectations and needs

    All effective services must meet audience needs, so if needs change, so must our services
  • So what does that actually mean?

    Here are some slides from a Google user survey report published about two years ago

    Like all free reports it has an agenda, but it is based on user feedback and statistical data they identify new patterns of multiple channel behaviour.

    People move from device to device based on the context of their needs. They also will use several devices at the same time to multi-task.
  • How we consume data has already changed drastically.

    Google go onto to claim that 90% of media interaction is screen-based.

    This is old data. With smart wearables, this behaviour will get more complex. What we mean by screen is already changing. On Google Glass, it means a tiny prism in front of your eye. On landrover cars, the windscreen of your car is set to add augmented reality, so you can see the road below your bonnet.

  • If you look around you, you can see evidence of how mobile permanently connected computers have changed behaviour

    These people are on a train and could be doing any number of things. They might be looking at news or watching catchup TV

    They might be travelling somewhere and checking the details on the go. The mobile phone is the go-anywhere, solve anything computer communications, information, backup entertainment for boredom, etc
  • Here’s another one. It’s not actually clear what these two are doing.

    It’s probably a selfie. This immediate recording of our activity and sharing is completely normalised in society now

    The guy in the background is demonstrating another type of behaviour. Nosing over people’s shoulders!
  • The way people behave with devices id different.

    With phones the behaviour is to take it everywhere and use it as a digital utility belt

    Tablets are different. The evidence shows that these are the device people use when they are indulging themselves with pleasure or relaxation-related use of digital content

    Tablet characteristics are: they quick to turn on, easy to use and lightweight

    Typical use is on the sofa, watching films indoors
  • And of course. Here we are, at a conference and what is everyone doing?

    Cross-communicating with people here, people elsewhere.

    Note-taking can be replaced by tweeting and blogging. Same effort, but converted into notes and conversations and discussion

    Choices are being made about whether to share in real time or to reflect and edit later. Tablets, mobiles and laptops all get a look in
  • It is not all about devices…

    The very nature of digital is data. We produce it, consume it, manipulate it communicate it

    The digital world we live in is constantly producing data – some of it structured. Some of it incidental, but increasingly we are surrounded by halos of data.

    This changes how we live just as much as hardware devices do…
  • This is a summary of the sensors available in commonplace smart phones…

    It is impressive. This is approaching the complexity of sensory organs than we have as humans plus some powerful computing power to process it…

    In fact the next big step forward will be artificial intelligence to mediate interpreting it
  • When we consume digital services we consume data of course
    and we equally create it.

    What we see is manipulated by what we have done.

    Purchases, favourites and all the choices we make leave patterns of data that are recycled to focus the promotion of services back to us.

    This is digital starting to recreate the way we instinctively assess and judge people socially.

    It is linked to people’s sense of identity – “I like this band because they are cool. I watch this TV series because I’m in the buzz”
  • Here is a symbol of another mature digital data system. The store loyalty card.

    It sees what you buy, It is programmed to tempt you with tailored products and services. The power of data
  • Wearables is a trendy word, but we also are submerged within all sorts of ambient data.

    This is Automatic. It is a Bluetooth Low Energy device that reads the mind of your car and connects it to your phone.
    When I say phone I mean pocket computer with multiple communication functionalities.

    Apparently, almost all cars built in the last two decades have a standard communication port to their on-board computers

    This devices can plug into that data and make it available for reuse
  • Everywhere we go, we are now starting to see City councils talking about becoming SMART cities, that will connect up all this ambient data to create powerful digital services

    This is Milton Keynes in the UK, but it could one of several cities
  • The funniest thing about all this talk of digital data is how old-fashioned the utopian gloss is.

    Here is another typical example of how all this data will save the planet
  • It is striking to look at what is currently the most complex mobile personal computing device – Google Glass (well, consumer device at least)

    And compare with some mid 20th century visions of the future.

    So in 2014, we have a computer, video camera, audio feedback, live first person video, voice control, continuous internet on and head mounted hands-free mounting
  • And here is the same concept from an illustration of short story by Fritz Leiber, published in 1962.

    This is a Tickler. It’s a shoulder-mounted hands free computer and personal organiser, with video camera, audio feedback (and haptic feedback through physical vibration)

    Of course this is classic mid 20th century sci-fi, so what happens??
  • Of course, it’s not Utopia, it’s Dystopia.

    These machines get progressively evolved with ore and more artificial intelligence and sensory capabilities until they take over and it all goes rather badly.

    Being the mid 20th century, this illustration also features questionable representation of women, but lets stick with the point
  • While sales gloss will have us believe all will be just great as long as we keep consuming, there is a genuine fear of moving into the world of another classic 20the century work, 1984

    If we are permanently creating data traces as we live in the digital world and we are permanently connected, are we already living in the world of Big Brother.

    With cases like the whistleblower Snowden and revelations about building in spying backdoors to software operating systems, it is not so outlandish an idea
  • Our audiences are not passive receivers of what we serve them.

    This Aral Balkan. He’s a digital entrepreneur and outspoken critic of free services such as provided by Google, Facebook and many others.

    His point? What we provide to these services when we use them is the data about who we are and what we do.

    We know we are getting something and we know these suppliers are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts

    In the digital now, audiences do have a sense of the fact that their activity data has value, but are not clear about what that means.

    This is fundamentally a trust issue. Do people feel OK about letting go of data in return for personal benefit
  • Facebook is perhaps a fading star, since it attempted to monetise its page reach, but at least that way it is openly a paid for service
  • I presume many people have seen this.
  • So, with rapid and continuous consumer technology change and ubiquitous data, it really is quite chaotic…

  • So what can be done to try to make services that people want, fast enough as their wants change?
  • Well for starters, by this point, it is likely your brain is looking like this…

    Don’t worry. This is tricky for all of us. The sheer scale and speed of how digital has come to dominate our worlds really is staggering.
  • So, is there really any crystal ball?

    How can we possibly predict the various way that that users may start to expect to use our services?
  • One of the ways that smartphones became so popular is by providing apps.

    Here is an early view of what many people hoped apps might do for museums.

    It is interesting that the person who wrote this, chose to publish a book, a centuries old medium, as the way to communicate and commercialise their ideas about digital technology.

    Surely they could have made an app about it?
  • Of course museums are not all about making money and digital technology is often be providing a service.

    The harsh reality though is that creating an app that anyone really cares about or uses regularly is a major challenge.
    For every successful app-based service, there are thousands, if not millions of failures.

    The question is about whether we are starting off by choosing a medium, not with a user need. Users don’t need loads more minor apps on their phone.
  • This is a graph of the sort of thinking that is commonly assumed within what are called “technology projects” (in fact often all projects!)

    I am exaggerating. Most people when asked don’t really believe this will happen, but often people act as tough they do.
    Whether it is money or Facebook like, there is an assumption it will keep on going and keep on growing
  • However, if we assume that we will get indefinite growth, what happens if this happens.

    Again, this is a simplified illustration.

    This one represents what happens when people suddenly stop using a service, or buying a product.

    You can think about Nokia Phones, Yahoo, MySpace even texting is showing signs of this pattern

    So what is happening. Why do things drop off unpredictably?
    And if this can happen to hugely successful products and services, it can happen to museums
  • The answer to this was best
  • Information scientist with 13 years managing projects and live digital services in museums and public libraries.

    BSc Cybernetics & Control Engineering, MSc Information and Library Studies, chartered librarian, makes stuff…

    Joined the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008. Currently Digital Content Delivery Manager,
    previously Senior Web Content Manager.

    Projects – large-scale website redesign, content programme management, self-issue services,
    automated telephone renewal systems,
    public access computer services, online information, game development, SMART cards, multi-authority procurement and digitisation projects, etc.
  • Coping with Chaos - Digital Services in an Unpredictable Consumer Landscape

    1. 1. Andrew Lewis Coping with Chaos We are Museums Victoria and Albert Museum Warsaw, 5 June 2014 Digital Services in an Unpredictable Consumer Landscape
    2. 2. Digital technology changes
    3. 3. As technology changes behaviour changes
    4. 4. Google. The New Multi-Screen World. Understanding cross-platform consumer behaviour (published August 2012)
    5. 5. Google. The New Multi-Screen World. Understanding cross-platform consumer behaviour (published August 2012)
    6. 6. Data is everywhere
    7. 7. 2014
    8. 8. 1962
    9. 9. oops
    10. 10. Free is a lie
    11. 11. How can we design services within digital chaos?
    12. 12. Target Time
    13. 13. Time Usage
    14. 14. Quality of product/service Time Emerging different product/services
    15. 15. Minimum acceptable quality Quality of product/service Time Extra quality irrelevant
    16. 16. mp3
    17. 17. Banner A CB Banner A B E F C D A B C Banner
    18. 18. Fluidity
    19. 19. Width
    20. 20. Modes
    21. 21. Orientation
    22. 22. Zoom
    23. 23. Scaling up
    24. 24. Digital asset-management separated from user-experience design
    25. 25. Search the Collections (STC) Mobile STC Website auto-display module Furniture gallery digital label Digital map One asset - five services
    26. 26. Efficient re-use Collection data fed via web API
    27. 27. Efficient re-use Event data fed via web API
    28. 28. Designing behaviour-data assets
    29. 29. Designing behaviour-data assets
    30. 30. Notification assets
    31. 31. Notification assets
    32. 32. Digital assets from Web content management system Digital assets from Digital assets from Blog database Digital assets from Shop database Digital assets from Collection records Mixed assets
    33. 33. User experience design- Understand how audiences use their technology
    34. 34. Prioritising behaviour design
    35. 35. Mobile behaviour varies by content
    36. 36. Trends versus snapshots
    37. 37. Context and behaviour NOT audience demographics
    38. 38. Hello. My name is Ms Average
    39. 39. (UK Department of Transport. THINK! cycle safety campaign)
    40. 40. Discovery Journey Being hereAwareness Different contexts = different needs
    41. 41. Keep it simple
    42. 42. Banner A CB Banner A B E F C D A B C Banner
    43. 43. Image Image Headings Bulleted list of links
    44. 44. Lots more like this free on V&A Digital Media blog
    45. 45.
    46. 46.
    47. 47.
    48. 48.
    49. 49. Andrew Lewis Thank you… Victoria and Albert Museum @rosemarybeetle