Blog: Mike Cearley 

Mike Cearley (bio)
SVP, Digital Strategy

Tuesday, 24 January 2012
It is simple – if you want to make a touch screen anything, for it to be successful, the experience must be intuitive. And if you want to make it intuitive, here’s a few suggestions:
1. Look at what Apple has done
2. Look at your mobile device(s)
3. Look at your favorite websites
4. Watch children interact with them
That’s right. Children. The key to making successful touch screen experiences might just lie in the children.

Watch how my daughter (6) works through this experience that we came across at the Dallas Zoo:
And, now, watch how my son (3) works through the same experience:
Both, intuitively know what to do – press a picture or a button. In my daughter’s case (who has had computer training), her first instinct is to look for the pointer and drag it to the button or picture. Im my son’s case (who has only had phone/iPad training), his first instinct is to press the colorful thing(s) on the screen. This particular experience was laid out in a very simple format and flow. Simplicity certainly helps.

I found it interesting that they both instantly wanted to interact with these screens. I did see a few adults interacting with the screens, but the children that I saw just wanted to touch it and play with it. I think they might liken anything touch screen to games, but their curiosity drives their wish to interact.
Isn’t it funny that our curiosity becomes much more selective as we grow older, specifically around new technology? How can we capture the curiosity of a child for an everyday, grown-up experience? We have to continue getting creative, continue pushing. But we also need to get back to basics and create things that are simple and intuitive.
Posted by: Mike Cearley AT 09:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
In order for us to really get to the point of interacting with the places and things around us, two things need to happen:
1. The technology has to be there. We’re getting closer and closer every day where those things that were previously not "on" are so now.
2. People have to be comfortable using it on that scale. On any given regular day, how many times do you see someone interacting with a poster or a billboard or a kiosk? Unless it’s an ATM, I don’t. Despite how far we've come in a short amount of time (read: mobile), we're still uncomfortable with any new technology, particularly when it's out in public spaces.
But we're not far off.
Look no further than this:

McDonalds digital playground 
The digital playground. For the generation growing up right now. Their world is shaped by technology. If they’re not carrying it around by the time they're 8, they have it at their fingertips. In schools. At homes. On playgrounds.
In short order, the technology will be there. Also in short order, the comfort, familiarity, and even more, expectation will be that of a world turned "on" by those who live, work and play in it everyday.
If you have children or just observe, look at what they're doing sometime, especially out in the public. Chances are, you'll see some sort of technology at their fingertips. Like it or not, this is the world they know. Like it or not, this is the world they will expect. And like it or not, this is the world that technology will give them.
Soon. Very soon.
Posted by: Mike Cearley AT 09:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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