Using mobile and social media to enrich the visitor experience – VALA 2012

This VALA Boot Camp session was a lesson not only in social and mobile media, but in user design. Here are my notes from the session.

Will Donovan from Will Donovan and Mark Watson from Design Providence.

 Mobile and social media – what’s all the fuss?

 37 million iPhones sold in the last quarter in 2012. More than 15 billion apps downloaded – 11 billion for Android. 3 billion iPad apps downloaded. Android now has about 50-60% of market, Apple around 30%. End of last year, smart phone sales overtook PC sales – 488 million smart phones sold, compared to 415 PCs.

 Showed Socialnomics video – related to the book of the same name.

 Social media is not about technology, its about relationships, commerce, memories and much, much more. Over ½ of world population is under 30. Social media has overtaken porn as the number 1 Internet activity. If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world. 50% of mobile traffic in the UK is for Facebook. 69% of parents are friends with their children in social media. $6 billion spent on virtual goods. Wikipedia in print would be 2.25 million pages long and take over a century to read.

 Social media trends 2012:

  • Convergent emergence – mobile and billboards – bringing your services together and across platforms

  • Cult of influence – Klout – what influence do you have online?

  • Gamification nation – incentivising your users

  • Social sharing – getting your reviews and publications out through social media

  • Social television – Q&A (ABCTv) – panel involvement via Twitter

  • Micro economy – Kickstarter – people funding other people to create new ideas

 Trends for libraries for 2012

  • Mobile friendly websites

  • Using YouTube for marketing and education

  • Using social media to educate

  • Google+ usage will increase, but Facebook will still rule

  • Create mobile apps for various uses – not the website

  • More services via mobile – due to database vendors

  • Goodreads and Library Thing will be used by more libraries as tools, reviews and locating

  • Adapt more open source programs

  • Online gaming for marketing and education

  • More use of Google apps

 86% of people are using their mobile devices whilst watching TV.

 Facebook has become bigger than porn, for the first time ever.

 Three trends that change business – Mobile, Social and Cloud Computing. (Forbes) Its personal and its ubiquitous. Its the new world of services.

 If your site is doing bad, maybe its just not engaging the right way. – social newspaper, for a topic or cause, curated and free flowing. Yammer – private social network (started like Twitter, more like Facebook now). Meetup – social network for groups that have events.

Design process:

Design is messy – no hard and fast way – “This is service design thinking”.

From research (uncertainty) to concept (patterns) and prototype (insights), through to design (clarity/focus).

Designers use inductive thinking – they make observations, find patterns, make tentative hypotheses and create theory – as the process to solve a problem or to create a service.

Discover (design, research, methods) – Define (personas, journeys, maps) – Develop (scenarios, role play, story board) – Deliver (document, concept. (Double diamond design process)

Discover – observe, question (surveys and interviews), map

Define – interpret, establish scope, needs, delineate problems

Develop – work though concepts to establish the appropriate action (journey mapping, story boarding etc)

Deliver – document and build

WORKSHOP – My group decided to work on an actual problem. One of our team has a great store of atmospheric and oceanographic data which is underutilised as it isn’t well known outside the university.  We determined that potential users included scientists, corporations, government, educators, students and researchers. These people all required quick and easy access to such data. Our solution to ‘spread’ the word was to create a Wikipedia article on the repository, which would include snippets of data from the database and a YouTube channel which would show videos of how the data was collected and used.  This would help make it more findable through web searches. We also determined to improve SEO on the website and to offer RSS feeds to the data, to make it more findable and more useful to those who could benefit from it. 

How we did this?

Scoping – define your challenge

Ideation and Concepting



 Phase 1 – explore the problem, the challenges and the conventions that you are currently in

  • what is the problem opportunity

  • who are the users (personas)

  • what are they trying to achieve (scenarios)

  • concept/storyboard/journey

Phase 2 – wireframe – prototype

  • test

  • amend

  • test again

  • deliver

Rules of engagement

  • yes and…. (build on what the other person said)

  • defer judgement (don’t get caught in arguments, move on)

  • go for quantity (share what you do)

  • one conversation at a time

  • encourage wild ideas

  • build on the idea of others

  • stay focused on the topic

  • be visual

Open share what you know:

  • what do you know about social media and mobile

  • what tools have use used and pros and cons

Brainstorm the services and challenges now:

  • what services do you offer

  • who are your users/visitors and their needs

  • Visitor + Need = Insight

Create a “How might we”problem statement

Many ways to approach new projects. It is important to collaborate. You don’t need to be an expert designer to innovate. Have a content strategy – be a content expert.