Let's Hear It for the Seams

We’re going to spend the next decade trying to figure out how to design cross-channel, multi-device experiences that don’t suck, so it’s probably a good time to come clean and admit that the goal of making those experiences “seamless” is just plain silly.

What have we delivered in decades of digital product development that you could describe as seamless? “Apple’s ‘it just works,’ ” you say? Really. How are you enjoying that Flash movie on your iPad? Or maybe you’re thinking Google’s got it knocked … but then you’re not talking about the gazillion people who stumble through their multiple Google accounts.

If we couldn’t pull off “seamless” for single-channel experiences, what makes us think that we can do it when things get really complicated? It’s finally time to let go of the fantasy of hiding seams and focus instead on crafting them skillfully.

In this interactive session we will take a look at a mix of current and imagineered seams. As a group, we’ll analyze what makes for ragged connections between devices and identify some keys to creating elegant transitions across channels. Nobody’s figured out this stuff yet, so let’s roll up our sleeves and work on it together.

Session Takeaways

  • A starter kit of techniques and standards for elegant seam design
  • A deeper understanding of complex, cross-channel, multi-device experiences and the level of effort required to design them well
  • Hands-on experience with the collaborative design of seams