Web-based interfaces cover a spectrum between discovery through active intent (search) to more passive intent (browsing). But as we share more real-time passively gathered data, in particular location, through our mobile phones, service providers have a more granular awareness of their users’ real-time situation, opening up a deeper and more fluid understanding of context.
As service providers transform this situational awareness into an understanding of proper timing for certain opportunities, they can offer value that won’t wait for a user to check his feed—new opportunities that are even more passively triggered than traditional discovery and browsing sessions. To deliver this value, we’ll see more emphasis on revealing opportunities serendipitously through push notifications. Balancing contextual signals such as location, availability, proximity, interest relationships, social relationships, and social context is the key to engineering serendipitous delivery to maximize effectiveness and delight.
Through examples culled our two years of experience making real-time mobile introductions between nearby people who share common interests, I’ll share our best practices for wielding this powerful dataset to deliver situationally relevant serendipitous opportunities and orchestrate small-world moments. When availability, location accuracy, and social context must be taken into account, the most challenging factors can be knowing when, in what form, and how often to reach out. Attendees will take away lessons learned from managing multiple location sources, determining user availability, interpreting proximity in different urban densities, and variations in response rates by situation.
Gabe is a game designer and engineer based out of San Francisco. Coming from a background in tech (Google), architecture (Yale), and real-world games (The Go Game), Gabe specializes in integrating real-world data with gameplay and virtual environments. He’s built games and playful technology that have been featured in sources including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Techcrunch, Mashable, and The San Francisco Chronicle. His most recent title is Crazy Boat, a facebook game the New York Times Magazine called “enormously compelling.” He is currently heading up Meet Gatsby, a mobile service that introduces you to nearby people who share your interests and sparks small-world moments wherever you go.
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