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Cross-channel Ecosystems 101 - Part 3

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Part 3 of a series on cross-channel experience design in preparation for the Rapid Cross-channel Prototyping at the ASIS&T IA Summit 2017 in Vancouver.
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Cross-channel Ecosystems 101 - Part 3

  1. 1. PART 3 - ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT. BUT WHAT ARE THEY? CROSS-CHANNEL ECOSYSTEMS 101 Andrea @Resmini January 5 2017
  2. 2. OK. ACTORS FIRST We know actors very well. If we consider human actors, they are the people formerly known as the users (TPFKATU) The name change underlines their agency: they are the ones who effectively shape the ecosystem. No ecosystem exists without actors physically shaping it. Software agents are or can be actors as well, of course
  3. 3. VERY WELL. TASKS THEN Tasks are all the activities actors perform in their pursue of a desired future state Buying a ticket to go see a movie, for example, or logging in to an online system to pay their taxes Tasks are usually coupled with progression through touchpoints
  4. 4. MH. TOUCHPOINTS? Touchpoints are individual points-of-interaction that become part of the ecosystem as actors connect them freely to move on towards their desired future state When buying that ticket to go see a movie, the touchpoint could be a website or a kiosk or a person Touchpoints are medium-specific (digital, physical, biological)
  5. 5. WAIT. IS MY PHONE A TOUCHPOINT THEN? OR THE APP? Both. Working with ecosystems implies adopting an architectural, systemic mindset and a zoom in/out approach The phone level might be ok when investigating mail usage patterns in the workplace, the app better for more specific cases Granularity cannot be discussed or set in abstract, but has to reflect the project’s needs and scope at that moment
  6. 6. FOLLOWING. CHANN ... No, let’s examine seams first. Seams are thresholds, connections If you can move from touchpoint A to touchpoint X, those two are permeable and share a seam Seams transmit or use information circulating in the ecosystem
  7. 7. OK, SEAMS. NOW CHANN ... Seams have a very interesting property: they allow the experience to progress from touchpoint to touchpoint, but since they convey information, which is medium-aspecific, they actually can connect touchpoints residing in different channels (it goes without saying that seams can connect touchpoints in totally different locations, right? We’re talking semantics here)
  8. 8. DIFFER …? OK, CHANNELS. NOW. Channels are a design construct. They do not really exist The best way to imagine them is to think of pipes carrying information around the ecosystem Wherever you have a tap, you have a touchpoint As much as taps live on pipes, touchpoints live on channels
  9. 9. PIPES? TAPS? It’s a metaphor, nothing more. Let’s rephrase Channels are pervasive layers that carry information around the ecosystem, like pipes carry water around The way they are created is a design decision. They could reflect the formal sectioning of an EA model, be the result of the designers’ own biases and interpretation, or anything in between
  10. 10. CHANNELS CONTAIN INFORMATION. AND? That’s the catch. Channels are containers for specific “types” of information. These types can be compared to loose categories For example, a going-to-the-movie ecosystem could have a “movie-related” channel. In there you would find IMDB, a kiosk selling tickets, the website for the cinema, and staff
  11. 11. YES, BUT WHY ARE CHANNELS IMPORTANT? Because we are working with information and our goal is to support better experiences If staff at the movie theater doesn’t know about tickets or a kiosk malfunction (that is, they do not live on the same channel and have no seams between them), we can be pretty sure that lack of connection will result in a bad experience
  12. 12. UH. AND THE ECOSYSTEM? The ecosystem is the product of the ontology, the conceptual boundaries used to organize the experience itself The ecosystem is a spatial structure in blended space, straddling non-continuous digital and physical environments Its boundaries are arbitrary and depend on goals and context
  13. 13. NON-LINEAR ECOSYSTEMS VS LINEAR EXPERIENCE While the ecosystem itself is a non-linear network, actors trying to achieve a future desired state consider themselves moving along a personal, linear path of subsequent steps Even more importantly, their experience is a linear narrative
  14. 14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A PATH THROUGH THE ECOSYSTEM GREEN LINE: ACTOR’S PATH THROUGH AN ECOSYSTEM COMPRISING 3 DIFFERENT SYSTEMS
  15. 15. THE ECOSYSTEM’S BACKBONE IS INFORMATION Actors constantly create, remediate, and use information This information is transferred along the actor’s path and through the ecosystem, increasing its complexity Designing a successful cross-channel experience means optimizing the information flows and increasing resilience
  16. 16. OK, SO WHERE DO YOU START FROM? Pragmatically, from the formulation of an individual, organizational, or social need or pain Conceptually, from an actor’s experience
  17. 17. PART 4 COMING JAN 12 “HEY! THAT’S NOT AN ANSWER” Andrea @Resmini

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