Life Engagement – how user experience is reaching beyond the digital realm

User Experience is the defining aspect of digital interaction at the beginning of the 21st Century.

The barriers between our everyday analog world and our digital world are becoming more porous and we are finding new and exciting ways to enhance the analog  with the sheer power and potential of the digital.

Coined by UX pioneer Don Norman in the mid ’90’s, the term user experience has been become synonymous with other industry terms such as: web design, user-centered design, graphic design, human factors engineering, user interface (UI) design, Information architecture (IA), interaction design (IxD), usability testing, customer satisfaction, and the ever ubiquitous and cryptic ‘marketing’.

But it is really so much more than any one of those titles or descriptors. As described by Norman himself, user experience is a term that, ” cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual. Since then the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose it’s meaning… user experience, human centered design, usability; all those things, even affordances. They just sort of entered the vocabulary and no longer have any special meaning. People use them often without having any idea why, what the word means, its origin, history, or what it’s about.

Whereas the terms listed above are for the most part individual and isolated, user experience (UX Design) is the whole enchilada. It is taking everything, and I mean everything, in the strategic process of design and development into consideration in order to create a holistic product. To borrow a theme from the Petrula Vrontikis’ quote, Practice safe experiential design, start with a strategy.

User Experience Process

Today, we are going to take a look at some examples of exceptional life engagement, or how the user experience and interaction design are expanding our human experience and leading the charge into a rich and engaged future. Enhancing the Experience – Gallery One @ The Cleveland Museum of Art The Cleveland Museum of Art has recently opened Gallery One, a first-of-its-kind interactive gallery that bridges the gap between our analog world and our digital world.


Enhancing the Experience – Gallery One @ The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art has recently opened Gallery One, a first-of-its-kind interactive gallery that closes the gap between our analog world and our digital world with a number of interactive initiatives.

Enhanced user experience at the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Collection Wall

  • 5″x40″ Interactive Wall Containing 150 Christie MicroTiles (equal to 23 720p HD Televisions) Multiple users – up to 20 simultaneous interfaces
  • Access to 3500 works of art from the permanent collection. Works can be displayed by theme and type, such as time period, materials and techniques, as well as 32 curated views of the collection. 
  • Visitors can connect with Art in a playful and original way, making their visit a more powerful personal experience.


Studio Play

  • Bright and Colorful Interactions for the enjoyment of young and old alike.
  • Ability to create personal Interpretations of modern art and sculputure through the touch screen interface.
  • Engages users experientially and informationally


Strike a Pose

  • Challenges Visitors to Match postures of collection sculptures.
  • Users have the ability to try multiple poses,  share their poses, and view others’ poses.

Make a Face 

  • Facial Recognition Software matches visitors faces with  over 189 works from the musuems collection.
  • Matched faces are displayed photobooth style, can be shared, and are displayed near the gallery’s entrance.


Art Lens

Creatres personalized museum experience through image recognition software and indoor wayfinding technology to enhance the visitors experience.

Creating a lasting Impression – Lexus IS Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Ad

Going beyond the page, this print ad utilized qr codes to engage the audience to interact with the ad. By placing their smartphone at different locations on the page, models who were strategically hidden in the ad come to life in video on the phone.


Making life more convenient – Tesco’s Home Plus (Korea) and Jumbo (Chile) bring grocery shopping to their customers

Pioneered by Korean supermarket Tesco and now being offered by Jumbo, both grocery chains rolled out virtual supermarkets in commuter dense subway stations last year. Now, commuters can shop on their way home from a busy day via QR Code and have their shopping delivered directly to their home the same day.

Making Commuting Easier – New York City “On the Go!” MTA interactive Kiosks

The 46″ touch screen kiosks being unveiled this summer will replace the MTA maps at 19 subway stations. Riders will have instant access to maps, service status, trip planning and other services all at their fingertips.NewYorkMTA-touchscreens

Changing the way we look at the world – Google Glass

With the $1,500 beta/explorer version of the product shipping this month, we are closer than ever to finding out if now is the future of technological life engagement, or if  the early adopters are further out in front of the majority than google hopes.


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