No matter how rich the information on your website, it's of little value if it isn't delivered with great user experiences. To compound this issue, maintaining consistently high standards is as challenging as ever; between various operating systems, devices, browsers, and user personas, there is no longer a place for the "one size fits all" approach when it comes to the way we engage our audience.
This evolution has already happened and will in fact continue to advance at a blistering pace as state-of-the-art technologies enter the marketplace and quickly become commonplace. For example, it took 25 years for first telephones to reach 10% adoption in the U.S. but just under five for tablets. Keeping up to speed is no easy task, but doing so can certainly be worth the effort.
The Cutting Edge
While most changes tend to be iterative in nature, every now and again a breakthrough comes along that's truly a game-changer. Cue Microsoft's Hololens. Debuting last month at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington headquarters, what at first glance looks like sunglasses with transparent lenses turns out to be so much more. This modest-looking pair of shades has a lot under the hood. While not yet commercially released, the demonstrated product has been portrayed as completely untethered – no wires, phones, or connection to a PC needed. For the wearer, holograms appear to be pinned in the physical environment, complete with spatial sound. By raising and lowering your finger for a "mid-air click," you can manipulate and navigate dynamic 3-D images in what is described as 'augmented reality'.
A Trend, But No Fad
As prices for hardware continue to drop and digital worlds become increasingly immersive, the potential large-scale disruption is clear. Certain projects or strategies once written-off as too impractical or unrealistic may suddenly be not only feasible, but critical to future success. This requires striking a delicate balance of adhering to well-established best practices, while incorporating enhancements to the way key actions are executed. What one day may have been considered a core asset, could wind up being an anachronism of the next. Sometimes even seemingly trivial details, if out-of-sync with the bigger picture, can mar an otherwise modern and efficient process.
Opportunities and Challenges
With augmented reality still in its infancy, it can be tempting to take a "wait-and-see" approach before evaluating how this will impact your business. However, certain underlying principles remain unchanged and can serve to guide your development efforts. Simplicity and intuitiveness will always be valued in design, as will context and consistency in navigation. Taking steps now to work through logistical hurdles inherent with this novel medium will position your company ahead of the curve. With a longer runway to gain insights from employees and customers, costs associated with hasty implementations are reduced, and more informed design choices can be made.
Not sure where to start? Why not download our whitepaper on Flexible Workstyles and Enterprise IT, to see how the ways in which people access information could and should influence be influencing the enterprise.