We’re creating multichannel, cross-platform, transmedia, physicodigital user experiences that tear down the walls between categories. We can call it ubiquitous computing, the Internet of Objects, Web Cubed, or the Intertwingularity. We can talk about smart things, sensor Webs, product-service systems, and collaborative consumption. But none of these labels begins to describe the extraordinary diversity of the ambient, pervasive, mobile, social, real-time mashups unfolding before our very eyes. No word or phrase can possibly bind together the 21st-century suc- cess stories of iTunes, Nike+, Netflix, Redbox, Zipcar, iRobot, Freecycle, and CouchSurfing with the emergent phenomena of augmented reality, urban informatics, and plants that tweet. But as we wander blindly in this landscape of vernacular chaos, one thing is clear: we need a new map.
That’s why I’m so excited by Pervasive Information Architecture and the heroic efforts of Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati to explore, uncover, and chart the new, new world that’s surrounding us all. This refreshing book about the design of ecosystems for wayfinding and understanding promotes a holistic approach to information architecture and user experience that draws insights from multiple disciplines and historical contexts. And it leads us bravely into the future with an ingenious collection of medium-independent heuristics to guide the complex decisions that lie ahead. In short, Andrea and Luca have sketched a map to the future of cross-channel design that will in turn inspire the next generation of mapmakers to improve usability, findability, and desirability and to make the world/Web a better place.
(Photo credits: UK College of Agriculture, Food & Environment, Flickr).