Aaron Marshall: User Adoption Strategy

It really changes things when the CEO gets on board with digital literacy. Book by Michael Sampson User Adoption Strategies.

No adoption = no value: you have to plan for adoption. Rogers Bell Curve: perceived utility and ease-of-use matter a lot, which comes back to design. Tip: establish a glossary. “It’s really hard to sit behind someone using your software and not tell them what to do”. “Ideas are cheap, but they still feel like my heart.” “Analytics is the one area I’ve neglected most.” Everything BIG started small. Progressive disclosure: give people a slow introduction to features, don’t overwhelm them up front.

Some interesting sites for augmented reality:

  • stickybits: attach comments to physical objects with barcodes.
  • Greengoose.com: temperature/sound/vibration sensors. Instrumentation of everything.
  • GE smart grid
  • Layar: find people who tweeted nearby, wikipedia articles. You can create your own.

Dynamic Textbooks

New York Times article: “Macmillan … is introducing software called DynamicBooks, which will allow college instructors to edit digital editions of textbooks and customize them for their individual classes.” That includes rewriting and deleting individual paragraphs.The effort is hosted at DynamicBooks.

This is yet another step in what Nicholas Carr has called “the Great Unbundling“, freeing the smaller bits of content embedded in print objects like newspapers and books to live their own independent digital lives.

It raises all kinds of interesting questions, some of which are addressed in the NYT article:

  • who controls the changes? (in Macmillan’s case, they claim to not control it, but also that they will “rely on students, parents and other instructors to help monitor changes” and remove inappropriate changes. And how do they decide exactly who qualifies as an instructor?)
  • how does this affect style? (from the article: “there’s a flow to books, and there’s voice to them”)
  • what about divergent points of view? (from the article: “if an instructor decided to rewrite paragraphs about the origins of the universe from a religious rather than an evolutionary perspective, <an astronomy author> said, “I would absolutely, positively be livid.””)

Macmillan’s choice to really put this out in the open is bold: i’m not sure i’d go that far. But i have no doubt that blurring the line of who owns the content is the direction of the future.