The Engagement Spectrum

Planar attended the Customer Experiences workshop hosted by SEGD at the Digital Signage Expo and several speakers talked about the importance of customer engagement.

Reflecting on presentations from Gensler’s Matthew Calkins and Stimulant’s Darren David, the following model is an interesting one to describe the spectrums that engagements can take.

Passivity: This is the world of static graphics, posters, signs, and offers. The fire escape maps, the room rate notifications on the back of hotel doors, the “this building established in 1901” carved into the façade. They are passive. They are static and only present what they were originally designed to communicate.

Activity: Environmental graphic designers are turning into experiential graphic designers and working to activate the spaces they work. This is the world of image-mapped projection. The world of digital signage, in its most common instance. This is the video replacing the static poster.

Reactivity: Once movement replaces the static, the natural next step is to add in the ability to influence and adapt this activity. Reactivity is where most touchscreen implementations fall, as well as gesture or head-tracking cameras are utilized. Once the spaces are activated, they can react to movement, to touch, to inputs in various forms, to deliver a different experience. Whether it is useful (like a museum exhibit attracting you to approach it) or evocative (like self-generating art triggered by cameras), the addition of reactivity brings a new level of experience.

Interactivity: And when these methods of reactivity are combined at a more intimate and personalized scale, true interactivity can take place. Systems and sensors working together with screens to engage people in new ways. The LAX international terminal totems, are an example. Using both flight information (to change the design of the content) and passenger movement (to trigger the reactions), true interactivity can occur. Crowd-sourced content, like that inherent in Twitter streams and “post your picture on a Times Square billboard”, can push interactivity to new levels of personalization. Even the trusty ATM machine or airport check-in kiosk, can be useful forms of this interactivity.

There are examples of all of these points on the spectrum among Planar’s customer success stories. To read more about what people are doing with displays, see the case studies.