In reference to the book ‘Blink’:
Sometimes having too much information can interfere with the accuracy of a judgment, or a doctor’s diagnosis. This is commonly called “Analysis paralysis.” The challenge is to sift through and focus on only the most critical information to make a decision. The other information may be irrelevant and confusing to the decision maker. Collecting more and more information, in most cases, just reinforces our judgment but does not help to make it more accurate. The collection of information is commonly interpreted as confirming a person’s initial belief or bias. Gladwell explains that better judgments can be executed from simplicity and frugality of information, rather than the more common belief that greater information about a patient is proportional to an improved diagnosis. If the big picture is clear enough to decide, then decide from the big picture without using a magnifying glass.
We’re living in the Information Age. Everything you never needed to know is a key-tap away. The flood of information these days is so overwhelming that many people have taken to the hills of ignorance, trying to block out the ringing of irrelevance and incoherance in their ears. Blaring facebook statuses, twitters, web-blogs, videos-of-the-week, single-source news controversys, public scandals, health fads, food scams, epidemic-of-the-week. We don’t swim in data. We sink in it.
There is an exception to this: coherent data. A pool of water contains only one simple entity: water. It is singular and sensible, easy to interpret. One rarely stands in front of a pool of water and second-guesses what they should do. Water is real, tangible, touchable, sensational, once we dip our toes in its hard to resist launching the rest of our body into a fully immersive experience. My question is: Can we actually form data to be this simple on the outside, and multifaceted and sensational in experience?
Finding a way to represent data to be an effective, simple, and deeply immersive environment would indeed be a creative accomplishment in itself – regardless of content or subject. It involves an intuitive information collection, and the display must be flawless. The user cannot be given a chance to dip into analysis or thought, because that breaks the illusion of an immersive experience – Just like when the fourth wall in theatre is broken, or an airplane can be heard in the background of a film shoot. This is especially important if you are dealing with virtual fabricated experiences.
A big issue to think about:
Water is a common natural entity, people build up their understanding of it from childhood. After a decent amount of exposure you cease questioning that pools are for swimming in, and the pool becomes an immersive, fluid, and freeing environment.
In contrast to that, how much time do you typically spend on each channel when you’re channel surfing? How long do you tolerate a YouTube video for? A picture? 5 seconds, 30 seconds, maybe a few minutes max. The problem with media now is that people’s attention spans are so short. In response to the sudden flood of irrelevant information and cult of instant-gratification, the average mind rarely allows enough time for something digital to become truely immersive.
There seem to be three keys to an immersive environment: Simplicity, recognition, and immediate relevance. This ties in with what we’re learned about successful affordances in Computing for Experience Design – the best ones were obvious, simple, and extremely familiar, requiring no more than an intuitive level of thinking.
This is a point Michelle touched on: “To be in the immersion sequence, the person involved must invest time, effort and attention. And when a person reaches total immersion, participants become so engrossed to a point where the only thing that matters is the game.” Successful immersive environments will put our bombarded minds at ease. When our minds are at ease, nothing else matters, and the immersion is complete!
Book Summary Quotation from: Blink (book) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blink_%28book%29