A Bad Cross-Channel Experience

I had a bad cross-channel experience a few days ago, and believing that we learn from bad examples as well as good, thought you might be interested.

I have a problem with my back, bad enough sometimes that I tend to notice when a possible benefit floats by.  So I was intrigued by a radio ad that said back pain could be caused by postual misalignment causing inflammation, and that rather than just treating the inflammation, work on the postural alignment.  Or something like that.  Enough to make me want to check their website.

So I went to the web site, did the two-second scan, and, whoa, where was the word postural? Nowhere.  I scanned other pages. I checked the url as I remembered it. I googled “posture back pain <my home town>” to see if I’d misremembered the URL – I hadn’t.  I dropped out of their sales funnel.

So what could have been done to help me realise that the radio ad and the web site were part of the same cross-channel experience? Obviously have content somewhere on the site relating to posture.  Or maybe the same spokesperson, Dr. Baxter here. But what about some mention of the radio ad on the web site, a little call out saying As heard on radio station ABCD for example.  Or maybe a chance to listen to the radio ad Listen to our recent radio ad about posture.





Pervasive Information Architecture [Book]

Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross Channel User Experiences Andrea Resmini & Luca Rosati

The jury is still out on whether this is a brilliant book or not, but there is no doubt it is a very different one.  The authors are Italian IA practitioners and academics, trying to give us principles to deal with cross channel experiences.  These are experiences where multiple channels are needed to fulfil  a user`s needs, for example, seeing a TV ad for a product, doing product reviews, checking availability locally, and picking the product up at a store.  How can we design the set of touch points so that they hang together as a recognizable coherent experience.

The authors are trying to give us a vocabulary to do this.  They compare the task with the evolving languages of urban design and film, and the ability of the inhabitants of cities and audiences of films to understand new constructs.

We are not there yet. The authors give hints and concepts from many disciplines, such as placemaking, wayfinding, designing services, and the psychology of creating categorization schemes.  Some of these yielded nuggets upon deep reflection, others not at all.

This is definitely not a how-to book, but if you have an intellectual streak, you might enjoy some of the glimpses of what the discipline might contain.

One other thing.  As far as your reading experience is concerned, be warned.  The book is a mix of stories, theoretical concepts, guest contibutions, lovely illustrations, with the authors not in the background at all, but decidedly mugging for the audience,  with wayfinding sometimes a bit difficult, and relevence often not obvious.

So, brilliant or not? You decide.