This is something we’ve been thinking about a lot here at Rubicon CX, especially as we emerge from the pandemic lock down and begin processing the new ways of engaging with content on our own terms that came along with it for better or worse. Not everything was successful, but users began to look to experience new ways of interacting with content, in some ways paralleling our thinking around the future of content in physical spaces and on the go (mobility). With the quarantine, users began to look to bring those richer, immersive experiences home is all sorts of ways—from the obvious (Zoom Calls) to the not so obvious (content with playlists and voice over build around visual and editorial content. In fact, I was lucky enough to have a client last year where some of these began to intersect: voice, natural language, rich online content, automobiles, and navigation. But more on this to come…
For now, the always impressive A List Apart, begins to echo our thoughts:
We’re transitioning to a new world of remote work and digital content. We’re also experimenting with unprecedented content channels that, not too long ago, elicited chuckles at the watercooler, like voice interfaces, digital signage, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
Many factors are responsible. Perhaps it’s because we yearn for immersive spaces that temporarily resurrect the Before Times, or maybe it’s due to the boredom and tedium of our now-cemented stuck-at-home routines. But aural user experiences slinging voice content, and immersive user experiences unlocking new forms of interacting with formerly web-bound content, are no longer figments of science fiction. They’re fast becoming a reality in the here and now.
Preston So, from the article
Of course, he talks about the usual suspects: extended reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality. But what gets really interesting is how we think about content to feed such experiences. Every device, channel, and and context required a different way of thinking about how the user is interacting with content, more now than ever. I even hesitated to use the word “channel” in the previous sentence, because what we’ve witness is the deliberate blurring of lines between “channels” that are identified as devices or locations, or, in fact, tearing down those walls altogether.
This calls not only for what has been variously called before nimble or choreographed content into something even more independent, if the author’s words: “Agnostic Content.” We not usually ones for all the content buzz words du jour (see above, sorry RL), but this one makes a hell of a lot of sense to us. This is going to be further explored in a fortcoming book by the article’s author, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. Or,a as he puts it:
Today, content also has to be ready for contextless situations—not only in truncated form when we struggle to make out tiny text on our smartwatches or scroll through new television series on Roku but also in places it’s never ended up before. As the twenty-first century continues apace, our clients and our teams are beginning to come to terms with the fact that the way copy is consumed in just a few decades will bear no resemblance whatsoever to the prosaic browsers and even smartphones of today.
Preston So from the article
Where this will get really intesting (which we will need think about and explore further) are the implications of this on personalization.
Really, read the whole damn thing. The article even gets into some of the nuts and bolts of how we as content and experience strategists need to retool the tools in our toolbox to account for this, wirh particular guidance on the always starting point, the content audit. While I could pick some nits on some of the details, I think the main thrust is dead on.