Quite a few presenters across multiple sessions and product demonstrations at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive highlighted the importance of providing a multisensory experience to audiences.
In her session “Think Outside the Font: How Typefaces Influence”, graphic designer Sarah Hyndman, focused on how Type can evoke memories and emotions. In an interesting onsite demonstration, Sarah displayed different Typefaces on the screen and then invited the audience to tell her which font they would be willing to date! Based on the response from the audience, it was clear that each of us perceives Typefaces as embodying distinct human characteristics such as being ‘honest’, ‘untrustworthy’ or ‘quirky’. Obviously, when picking a Typeface for their website or printed collateral, designers need to test and analyze their choices.
Dan Machen from HeyHuman talked about “Neuroplasticity and Tech: Why Brands Have to Change” and the importance of combining sound and vision to attract customers’ attention. That makes ample sense, because by engaging multiple senses, various distractions can be made to recede in the background.
In a presentation centered around “Apps that make better people”, David Caygill urged designers to use emotional cues, timely nudges and even psychological tricks to help app users change their behavior for the better, such as eat healthier, consume less calories or walk more.
The emphasis on audience engagement through multisensory perception didn’t limit itself to discussions just about the present. During a thought provoking discussion on “Exploring the Future of Connected Objects”, a panel of experts debated a future where clothes may change their color based on the environment or emotions of the wearer.
Clearly, leaders in product design are moving away from unidimensionality to providing a richer user experience. The evolution of creative marketing and experiential solutions looks set to be an extremely interesting one; and will transform how we interact with technology, perceive experiences and retain memories.
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