Monday, May 5, 2008

A few words on interaction design.

There are those in the digital end of the advertising industry who believe in a Ptolemaic way that the web universe revolves around interaction design, ie. if things are easy to navigate (why navigate? are we at sea? it's more of the b.s. of the web lexicon) that's all that's important to consumers.

Given that digital agencies are populated by people who don't speak English (they use phrases like interaction design as opposed to 'making it easy to shop') and that clients who buy web advertising usually are digitally-challenged, the technophiles at these web agencies have developed a language that mystifies and seeks to remove common sense and humanity from what they do and reduce it instead to a science. That's how they hold onto their jobs.

I mean, wtf does this mean? (I pulled it from an Adweek column this morning.) "Ubiquity. We are living in a fragmented world with what seems like infinite touch points available to us. Brands and businesses that can distribute value across these endless touch points in effective ways will tap into new markets and solidify existing ones. Because some of us are interacting through multiple social channels, we can now find people just like ourselves who we trust and see what they like and dislike. This influences our decisions, from the stuff we buy to the things we recommend to each other. The best marketing in the world tries to simulate this, but usually ends up coming off as contrived. Meaningful interactions through multiple networks and channels lead to authentic word-of-mouth references and, ultimately, affinity."

If you want to learn about interaction design, walk over to an Apple store. That's all you need to know. It's easy to find what you want, easy to get help, easy to accessorize and upsell your self, easy to pay. And the Apple store does all that while delivering a pre-eminent brand experience.

There are all sorts of ways rattling around out there to rationalize not having an intrusive, service-delivering advertising idea. We can logic our way into the efficacy of nearly anything. But none of this matters if people aren't interested in what your brand or in what you're selling.

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