UX IRL: Syncing the Online and Offline Experience

As technology and real-life interactions converge, the digital-physical blur is transforming how people experience the world. Wearable tech like Nike FuelBand is creating a stir in the consumer market, but embedding technology in everyday products is just one aspect of the increasingly thin line between the web and “IRL” or “In Real Life.” For UX professionals, this trend calls for a fresh look at ideas of trust and authenticity, human motivation, and community building. The digital-physical blur refers to any product or service that either embeds technology into a device beyond the “typical” use case of computers, smartphones, and tablets or that feeds data from real-life interactions back into technology, improving the quality of those interactions as more data enters the system. It’s the latter scenario that interests me most: how can we merge technology and real life to create the best experiences? Many companies are beginning to explore the digital-physical blur. Facebook, for example, now offers a Nearby Friends feature, which enables users to locate Facebook friends offline using geolocation data. In this instance, online “friends” become real-world connections. Such blurring of online and offline interaction hits at what HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah implied when he said, “humans crave a total experience.” Yet to provide a total experience, design and engineering teams must look for areas where technology frequently fails to account for real human interaction patterns. Among these are: Building trust Increasing motivation Creating a sense of camaraderie Luckily, “IRL” experiences excel at all three,which is why many companies are syncing digital tools with real world, offline experiences. Building trust Building trust and assessing personal compatibility are...

Notification Design Strategies

No one designs an email hoping that it'll read like spam. Nevertheless, many notification emails do. In this article, designer Katharine Bierce shares a few ways to ensure that the emails we send avoid the spam folder. The post Notification Design Strategies appeared first on UX...