#dmexco17: Web 3.0 and the rise of human interfaces

Written by Coleby Thew, Creative Technologist at Likefriends.

This article was first published in Dutch on Adformatie.nl


If you managed to wade through the glitz and glamour, the free swag, branded pens, stress balls, tote bags or the octogenarians sporting large red umbrellas who were either part of a moving art piece, brilliant guerilla marketing campaign or were just lost on the way to the ‘Kind & Jugend’ conference next door, you would have discovered this year at DMEXCO there were some definite trends.

Although far from new, the biggest topics that seemed to be on a lot of speakers lips this year were Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) and how these connect back to the notion of what is beginning to be coined as web 3.0.

For me this opened the question; what will web 3.0 and these technologies in particular mean for how we connect, interact and engage with users?

As these technologies mature and adoption grows we see that User Interfaces are moving towards more natural human interactions, that are based on connecting with our senses (VR & immersive experiences) and our humanity (AI, chatbots, Voice User Interfaces).

Part of this interface shift can be seen last year as Google reported that 20% of its searches were voice, now that Siri, Alexa and Google assistant are improving, the way we interact with users has to evolve.

For example, if you pose a question to a VUI or even a chatbot you are returned a structured, concise answer often given in context. It’s only when these services don’t know the answer that they send you to the web, it seems as though the web as we know it is starting to become the old way of doing things.

These humanised and natural interfaces are definitely going to help manifest brands, making machines seem more human and bringing brands closer to people.

It is true as said by Bonin Bough, we should “identify trends and execute them”, although as we are all scrambling to implement these technologies it’s becoming more important that we take a step back and humanise the user before humanising the tech.

If we want to connect with people as brands using a more humanised platform or interface, the execution has to be polished. Otherwise there’s a risk of boring, or even worse, frustrating your users to a point where they’ll begin to glaze over and grow tired of these technologies.

As said by David Guttenfelder from National Geographic “We are restless”, it’s hard to engage uses in this fast paced world, where so many things are vying for their attention. We need to reach them where they already are, and reach them in a way that that appeals to their senses and them as humans.