The Digitization of Experience

Gorkem Çopuroglu and with contribution of Akgun Tokatli (Designer, PhD, Medipol University)

Experience is a dynamic and a complex concept. The psychological and psychical state of a person is mostly shaped by the feelings and behaviors driven by his cultural and social interactions, which paves the way for new experiences.

To premeditate an experience or to steer it towards a desired outcome would be difficult and sometimes even impossible. However, we can still try predicting the impact of an act, such as digitalization, on how a product or a service is experienced by a person. For example, the usage of ATMs instead of bank branches is an experience change which has been introduced to our lives years ago. Since then, it has been understood, or found out that, hundreds of different factors are impacting the experience of cash withdrawal. As a consequence, the ATM and its various components have been redesigned or improved. The analysis of the focus area of a human eye, designs made considering vision disorders and color blindness, sensors measuring environmental factors and the noise of the surroundings, last but not the least, the technical improvements such as voice guidance enabled ATMs, ATMs that is capable to adjust account levels by utilizing the deposited cash for cash withdrawal requests. All these changes can be considered as an evolution of the experience.

Today, numerous service providers and designers are trying to work out the impact of the technology and digitalization on human experience. In below, you can read about the three main disciplines of those studies.

Cognitive Ergonomics

Imagine numerous reports that are automatically produced in your company’s database, which have been built with a lot of hardship. Do you know how many of these reports are really used?

How many of your mobile applications are you actively using? When you are looking for a new service provider, what comes to your mind first, to visit their shop, to call their customer center or to check for them on the messaging applications? How many days have you spent to learn, and then to teach, how to use a new product or an application?

How much do we actually remember, and how do we learn…

Physical Ergonomics

Most of the bicycle accidents happen when cyclists are checking their navigation devices. However, despite such a serious risk, for cyclists it is still a pleasure to share their exact location on social media. Many smart phone owners, are a walking library with all type of e-books they have on their devices, however it is only a bunch of us who reads a book entirely on our mobile phones. Our eyes are weared out due to reading done without reflected lights. However, we can experience a book thanks to VR glasses.

How do we see, how do we touch, how do we hear….

Social Cultural Factors

One can feel neglected when they realize the delay between the time they send a message until they see the blue ‘message read’ icon via a messaging application. Remote work, brings experts together and enable collective projects but also may lead to an isolation feeling. The watches that measure the blood pressure and monitor heart can prevent health issues while also concerning , especially elder people, due to the close, non-stop auditing.

Or biggest fear is to share the ‘wrong’ picture on social media or to lose our passwords stored on our smart devices. How do we behave, how do we feel…

Let’s deep dive into these disciplines based on a likely scenario.

Imagine a cold beverages company that adds a digital temperature indicator on its every bottle just because it is costless to do so.  The indicator, will digitally show the temperature of the beverage inside the bottle so the company will know the temperature it is consumed. Moreover, the company advises customers to consume this beverage at 5 degrees to get the most flavour out of it. How would this impact customers’ experience.

Some customers may feel happy to always get the same taste at 5 degrees. The same customer may also like to hold the bottle with his two hands and feel the temperature. However, when he holds the bottle, his hands temperature will slowly increase the bottle’s temperature. Would this change the customer’s behaviour? Or can someone, who used to enjoy the same beverage before by only trusting his hands to check its temperature, reject the beverage that a waitress is serving to him just because the bottle indicator does not show 5 degrees? If the company really wants her products to be consumed at 5 degrees, then the digital indicator would be valuable for them.

The digitalization process in this scenario should not be taken either as a positive or a negative change. Now imagine, you are implementing the same change for your own company and think about how your customers’ experience would change in the light of the above three disciplines.

Digitalization, may sometimes provide unpredictable opportunities but may also create unpredictable bottlenecks for your company. It is certain that, every digitalizm journey, will change the customer experience and all you need to do is to understand how…

 

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