Designing for the Attention Economy

Have you heard about the Experience Economy?

It describe the world we live in, having moved through the agrarian economy back in the day, to the industrial economy and then the service economy. The experience economy is about businesses that orchastrate meaningfull events for their customers. An ‘experience business’ charges for the feeling customers get by engaging with it. The experience becomes the product. Taking it further, that experience should transform the user, benefitting customers that spend time there.

The reason why you want focus on transforming a user with your product, is because you don’t want to be a commodity. A commodity is something that is undifferentiated – which is more and more common due to increasing competition, equal access to technology and increasing expectations of the customer.

A new kind of variation of the current ‘meaning’ economy you might have come across is the ‘Attention economy’. It is an approach to management of information, which treats human attention as a scarce commodity. The idea is that because content has become so abundant and immediately available, attention becomes the limiting factor in the consumption of information. So if your product needs the attention of it’s user, which it most likely does, you need to make sure you don’t take up too much of the user’s attention spam. If it takes to long, the user will find it through another product or service. In a way, the attention economy has a intrinsic, non-monetisable value. So it’s not about a vendor grabbing your attention in order to sell you something, it’s about people spending their personal time attracting others’ attention (ie accumulating ‘likes’)

So think information management, software applications, user interface design and …. product design. Have a look at what Octovo came up with in relation to the attention economy.

One Comment

Leave a Comment