Common Threads: A perspective on multi-device continuity


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How can we create seamless product experiences in a multi-device world? Design for continuity is relatively new in the mobile space, but I’ve been inspired by how other disciplines have established approaches to the concept. I cover how healthcare’s continuity of care model (informational, relationship and management continuity) can reveal areas of focus for creating seamless multi-device experiences. With this perspective, I cover areas of device continuity, and best practices for designing supporting elements.

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  • Thanks for coming to hear my talk today. I have a lot I’d like to cover in the next 20 minutes, so I’m just going to jump into it.
  • Let's start with a question: Raise your hand if you work on a product that is used across multiple devices? That's right, I would expect most of you to raise your hand.
  • Because this is the world that we live in--multiple devices and platforms, PCs tablets smartphones TVs Google Glass Wearables. We're challenged with designing experiences that allow people to move seamlessly across this fragmentation of devices: or, designing products that have "multi-device continuity".
  • Recent numbers add urgency to this need for multi-device continuity. 90% of people with multiple devices start a task on one device and finish it on another.
  • At eBay we've discovered that customers who shop across multiple devices purchase more, and are more engaged, than those who stick to a single device.
  • So how do we design experiences that have continuity? There’s some great conversation in the design community about solutions, but it’s hard to find a framework we can use to find a solution for our own unique products. Since I face designing for multiple devices in my daily job, I've been looking to see if there's anything we can learn from other disciplines.
  • The healthcare industry also deals with fragmentation. Patients see many different doctors and providers in their lifetime--an average of 20 in the US--either by choice or because of health or insurance changes. Healthcare specialists have spent many years working on continuity of care, or the more coordinated transition between providers more seamless, to create continuity of care. Good healthcare continuity has been shown to improve clinical outcomes and increase patient satisfaction.
  • I experienced the importance of continuity of care while my mother was receiving treatment for cancer. This is a photo of her calendar, showing the number of people she might interact with in a given week. Despite the number of people involved, no one lost track of her. Her doctor proactively coordinated with specialists; information was shared electronically so she didn’t have to bear the burden of re-explaining her situation, and the transition from treatment to, eventually, hospice, was easier than we’d all thought it would be. This continuity in her care greatly improved the quality of her life throughout the illness. My mother's experience inspired me to look at how the medical community approaches continuity of care, and see if there’s anything we can apply to the multi-device world.
  • As it turns out, there is a p redominant model available for judging healthcare continuity. Created by Professor Jeannie Haggerty and her colleagues, it’s a model that breaks continuity of care down into 3 main segments; informational continuity, management continuity, and relational continuity. I'd like to explore how we can use this model as a starting point to define what continuity means to design, and help think about a framework for multi-device continuity in products. I’ve broken down best practices for each section with some examples.
  • We’ll start with Informational Continuity.
  • What is it in healthcare? Informational continuity deals with all the data around a patient such as their profile, history and preferences. Good informational continuity means that this data is being collected, stored, maintained and made accessible to a patient and their providers. Informational continuity is understood to be the availability of patient information to providers throughout a healthcare system. Extra info: Those from the US recall that there was a mandate in 2010 to meet health record standards in 2016. Recent surveys have estimated that electronic health record adoption by primary care physicians is 69% in the US, greater than 90% in other countries. It's clear that doctors worldwide consider the accessibility of patient data to be of utmost importance in having good continuity of care. Adoption of electronic health records: 69% US PCPs, >90% Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, UK, Norway Patient benefits: - Patients don't repeat themselves - Data is up-to-date - Better health reminders - Prevents adverse reactions
  • So, what if we translated the key principles of healthcare information continuity to design. This means we want to build products in which information is: Synchronized Portable and Accessible
  • In products, the elements that can contribute to informational continuity are Preferences/settings Profile info Recent activity/history Notifications and Shortcuts (like bookmarks or the ability to share)
  • Thinking about this through the lens of design, we can start to construct some best practices. First and most foundational, is to build consumable services. We cannot leverage information if we don’t store and share it using reliable, easily consumable, and synchronized services.
  • Good services are required to provide timely notifications and status updates
  • Once you’ve built this foundation, you then want to allow users to pick up where they left off by exposing recent searches and other histories.
  • Users of Google Chrome can access browser tabs they’ve opened on one device from a different device, as well as recent searches via the browser o mnibox .
  • Ensure that anything the user has explicitly saved on one device is available on another.
  • In the case of eBay, a seller can start listing an item on their phone, save it as a draft, and come back to it on their ipad or desktop.
  • Lastly, for good informational continuity, coordinate with other services or sources of information to increase customer efficiency.
  • Offer login options that leverage a user’s existing profile information, so they don’t have to re-enter info they’ve provided to another source or remember more passwords.
  • Or let a user save or export content to services they already use, such as how the Procreate drawing app lets you save in Photoshop format to dropbox. This not only increases user efficiency, but also keeps you from building technologies outside of your core competency
  • So we’ve talked about informational continuity and what it might mean for design. Now let’s talk about that second pillar, Management continuity.
  • What is this in healthcare? Management continuity of healthcare is how a system of providers collaborates on a shared care plan for a patient (and their illness, if applicable). The goal is to provide treatment in a consistent, complementary manner so that services are not missed, duplicated or poorly timed. A system with management continuity has the flexibility to adapt care based on an individual’s changing needs.
  • Translated to design, a product with good management continuity would be: Contextual Complementary Consistent and Adaptive It’s not about feature parity. As you can see, while continuity can be comprised of consistent elements, it is not only about consistency.
  • The aspects of a product that impact management continuity are... Contexts , such as the type of device, user’s location/environment, time of day, activity I A
  • Conduct user research and data analysis to understand your customer’s primary paths. Determine the role that certain devices play in each scenario.
  • This is an example of one “day in the life” map that my team worked on, showing how different devices are used for different activities throughout the day of our users.
  • Once you understand the customer journey, you can determine how to best build your products so they provide complementary experiences. Just like how there are doctors in different specialties, you might want to focus on the unique specialties of your product ecosystem.
  • Fitbit distributes data and information across their product ecosystem; their wearable trackers focus on single-day activity readouts; the scale allows multiple users and weight tracking, and the mobile app up through the website show a progressively more informative dashboard.
  • Use what you know about the user’s context--time of day, their location, their past history, and more--to adapt the interface to best suit their needs.
  • Google Now’s experience learns from you as you make frequent commutes, so it prioritizes a daily commute card above other content if you view the experience during that time of day. For an experienced user, you might progressively disclose– or progressively reduce –elements of the UI.
  • While you’re building continuity between your product experiences, you also need to maintain continuity between other experiences on the same device. Don’t sacrifice an expected OS/device interaction.
  • For example, don’t frustrate users by disabling pinch-to-zoom on images they view on their smartphone.
  • Whether your experience is a responsively-designed website or built as separate experiences, lay out content by considering the device’s orientation, screen size and display constraints. Don’t force customers to relearn your product’s structure every time they change contexts.
  • Twitter’s desktop site, mobile app, mobile website and tablet app present their navigation and content in ways best suited to the platform, but share the same IA.
  • We’ve talked about informational and management continuity, now I’ll take you some ideas aroudn the third pillar, Relational continuity.
  • What is it in healthcare? In relational continuity, it involves building a relationship between the patient and their provider, with the goal of making the patient feel that they’re recognized as an individual, and setting predictable, positive expectations for future interactions. The resulting patient-provider loyalty can reduce stress on both sides and increases the likelihood that the patient will follow-up with prescribed instructions.
  • What would this mean for design? it has many elements in common with brand continuity. We want customers to form an emotional connection to our product by establishing trust and being a recognizable, familiar face across all platforms. Beyond that, we also want to provide personalized experiences to show customers that we value them
  • Elements in a product that contribute to relational continuity are... Messaging Visual branding Security/Privacy Customer service
  • Create a personality for your product, and be consistent with terminology, messaging and visual design. Apply your strategy to all channels, including emails, phone support and marketing. And while you may choose to embellish visuals based on platform specifics, your palette, iconography and visual style should be recognizable across devices.
  • MailChimp created a detailed Voice and Tone guide to ensure multichannel messaging was consistent with their brand.
  • BBC has their Global Experience Language doc, a living web and PDF collection of design principles, philosophy and guidelines for cross device experiences including TV, web, mobile and tablet
  • Show the customer that you value them by making enhancements that reflect their activity and interests. If you work on a shopping tool, you might tailor deals for a frequent shopper or suggest people to follow with a social product.
  • For example, Netflix provides recommendations to connect people to movies based on what they’ve previously purchased
  • Establish trust with your customers by being upfront and honest about your privacy policies, and give users control over how information is shared. Don't use confusing jargon within privacy settings--make it clear what different settings will do. You can also establish trust by calling out security protocols when dealing with sensitive data.
  • Facebook, long considered the posterchild of bad privacy controls, has made improvements.
  • Don’t hide links to customer service, and make sure your support teams are available via multiple methods such as phone, email and/or chat. Offer the best customer service option for the device.
  • Make sure there is an easily accessible link to customer service across all of your products. Also consider the best contact method for hte device; you might promote chat or email over other methods for desktop or tablets, but promote voice call on TV and smartphone.
  • And, finally, Pay attention to the little things and customers will appreciate the craft of your product–Apple is a great posterchild. This includes scrubbing out as many bugs as possible, so invest in a good bug tracking tool like Jira or Bugzilla.
  • Dan Saffer is even going to speak about how these little things, these microinteractions, differentiate a product users like from a product they love. (Permission granted by author)
  • Common Threads: A perspective on multi-device continuity

    1. 1. COMMON THREADSA perspective onmulti-device continuity
    2. 2. KRYSTAL HIGGINS@kryshiggins
    3. 3. Do you work on aproduct that isused on more thanone device??
    4. 4. Multi-devicecontinuity
    5. 5. 90%start a task on one deviceand finish on another.From “The New Multiscreen World” research by Google & Ipsos
    6. 6. ~2xmore sales per visitorFor registered eBay visitors using multiple devices...compared to the average registered eBay visitor, based on atypical week in 2012
    7. 7. Have you visitedmore than onedoctor in your life??
    8. 8. Continuityof care
    9. 9. “Continuity of Care:A multidisciplinary review”Jeannie L Haggerty et al
    12. 12. @kryshigginsInformational continuitySynchronizedPortableAccessible
    13. 13. @kryshigginsInformational continuity
    14. 14. @kryshigginsInformational continuityBuild consumableservicesBEST PRACTICES
    15. 15. @kryshigginsInformational continuityExpose recentactivityBEST PRACTICES
    16. 16. @kryshigginsInformational continuityHonor savedinformationBEST PRACTICES
    17. 17. @kryshigginsInformational continuityUse shortcutsBEST PRACTICES
    18. 18. VS
    20. 20. Peter van der Sluijs Stevens
    21. 21. @kryshigginsManagement continuityContextualComplementaryConsistentParity
    22. 22. @kryshigginsManagement continuity
    23. 23. @kryshigginsManagement continuityMap thecustomer journeyBEST PRACTICES
    24. 24. Sources:eBay Mobile App Exploratory Research / Video DiariesProject Rodeo, Jan. 2012eMarketer, US Mobile Commerce Forecast, Jan. 2012Start the day withsmartphones inbed: messages,email, socialnetworking, news,weather, calendarUse phones in bed:email, socialnetworking, browse,newsCommute:Car – MapsPublic Trans – text,email (deals!), socialnetworking, news,voice, music, games,personal browsingSpikes during publictrans commuteAt work (discreetly at desk): text,email, social networking, personalbrowsing, voice.Spikes during lunch hour “Me Time”Communicationspikes inafternoontext, socialnetworking, voice,planning for afterwork, (shop, eat,play)Me Time: email,browsing (w/ TV),research, videos,social networkingSpike in browsing
    25. 25. @kryshigginsManagement continuityComplementeach otherBEST PRACTICES
    26. 26. @kryshigginsManagement continuityAdapt to the situationBEST PRACTICES
    27. 27. @kryshigginsManagement continuityLeverage commondevice standardsBEST PRACTICES
    28. 28. @kryshigginsManagement continuityScale layouts for thedevice...BEST PRACTICES
    29. 29. @kryshigginsManagement continuitybut use aconsistent IAScale layouts for thedevice...BEST PRACTICES
    31. 31. Photograph by Rhoda Baer, CC
    32. 32. @kryshigginsRelational continuityFamiliarPersonalizedTrustworthy
    33. 33. @kryshigginsRelational continuity
    34. 34. @kryshigginsRelational continuityCreate a multi-devicebrand strategyBEST PRACTICES
    35. 35. @kryshigginsInformational continuity
    36. 36.
    37. 37. @kryshigginsRelational continuityPersonalizeBEST PRACTICES
    38. 38. @kryshigginsRelational continuityDesign clear, editableprivacy controlsBEST PRACTICES
    39. 39. @kryshigginsRelational continuityPromotecustomer serviceBEST PRACTICES
    41. 41. @kryshigginsRelational continuityPerfect the detailsBEST PRACTICES
    42. 42. RELATIONALINFORMATIONAL MANAGEMENTSynchronizedPortableAccessibleComplementaryContextualConsistentFamiliarPersonalizedTrustworthy
    43. 43. Thanks!@kryshiggins