“Physical objects identify us, brand us, and send palpable signals to others about who we are. They communicate us to the wider world.”
One could argue it has been ever thus. But in the wide eyed days of the world wide web (aka web 1.0) against a backdrop of chat rooms, MUDs and IRC, there was, for a brief spell, a sense that the new communication platform might usher in an era where people were less bothered about possessing a strong, individualistic identity. But with web 2.0 “the desire to have a personal brand, to be understood, to express yourself, and to communicate to others” returned stronger than ever. But what happens when those objects, those beacons of personality, become bytes streaming from the cloud rather than totemistic touchstones?
Adam Silver of frog argues that our identities will have more currency than ever if current trends continue.
According to Silver, services such as Paper.li and Rdio,who offer more to their users in exchange for gleaning data from their online actions are on the right track when it comes to marrying streaming with personality.
“The challenge for designers is to consider how we can use personal data to humanize the products we make and sell in order to provide the shot of personality that so many cloud-based services are sorely lacking. Smart designers are now creating a raft of sexy, bespoke services that use our data to better reflect our identities in their products, and (if we so choose) share that data with the wider world.”
We know that incorporating personalisation is not an issue of costs but much more an issue of design thinking