Web design professionals often work to George A Miller’s credo that humans can best manipulate “seven (plus or minus two)” items in their working memory. This 7 +/- 2 guideline isn’t a bad model to follow for keeping things simple on Web sites, where we all know that spewing your visitors with too much information will overwhelm them and could cause them to run away to the next site.
But in his latest column, Web usability expert Jacob Nielsen posits that 7 +/- 2 only goes so far as a guideline. In addition to reducing noise, it’s important to focus on making abstract concepts more concrete and accessible.
There is no question that virtual platforms are extending the value and reach of physical events, but what about extending beyond the laptop? Mobile devices have now reached the level needed to act as a direct connection into the event itself. Within Cisco Live Virtual, we began to see this trend, as attendees looked to the virtual space as well as Twitter, to ask a myriad of event-based questions during the event.
When Microsoft surface first came on the scene I was excited to say the least. It seemed like allowing individuals to touch software interfaces in order to interact with a tradeshow booth demo was an obvious evolution. In some of the research I’ve been doing lately it is clear the evolution continues.
There are some interesting concepts being presented or in use at events that go beyond the obvious uses of augmented reality for registration, navigating the venue, and connecting attendees on-site. For example imagine a kiosk at an event where you can leverage materials (either downloaded beforehand or available at the kiosk) that allow you to instantly create a 3-D model of a product that you can manipulate and control. This doesn’t have to be limited to just a 3-D model of a product it could also be an interactive example of a concept or solution or an artificial intelligence that can engage with the person at the kiosk. Of course this is contingent on the event producer enabling technology on site.
Conference attendees are no strangers to Twitter; it’s used to disseminate information, organize gatherings, and sometimes let out heartfelt emotion. Tapping into that pulse of information is a great way to create a clear and hyper realistic view of your attendee consciousness. The widely used “Twitter Wall” concept, projecting a twitter based feed on a wall or giant screen, has been demonstrated at many different events and conferences. This week, my quest for new and evolving technologies has me thinking about the next stages of the Twitter wall concept.