Cross-Channel Strategy

At UserFocus 2011 I'm delivering a keynote (slides here) that features a new illustration I call the cross-channel crystal. The crystal is intended to catalyze conversation around the formulation of cross-channel strategy.

cross-channel crystal

Here is a brief explanation of each facet:

  • Composition. The mix of platforms, devices, and media (and the features of each). Is the service multi-channel or cross-channel?
  • Consistency. Symmetry of brand, features, organization, and interaction must be balanced against platform-specific optimization.
  • Connection. Bridges across channels (e.g., links, tags, addresses, barcodes, signs, maps) must be visible at the point of need.
  • Continuity. Apps should maintain state so users can flow between devices while reading books, watching movies, shopping, etc.
  • Context. How will time, location, device constraints, and personal or social context impact use cases and user psychology and behavior?
  • Conflict. To address channel conflict and free riding, we may need to realign incentives, metrics, the business model, and the org chart.

Of course, this crystal is but a diamond in the rough, so please send your feedback. What's unclear or unnecessary, and what am I missing? Thanks!

Thanks. i will be using this as reference to topics on my blog....very relevant to the kind of stuff i talk about (UXD in telecoms)

I think these are all important elements -- and how fortuitous that they are also alliterative! :-) As a list, it covers a lot of very important ground. I suspect you'll get even more traction as these are explicated with practical examples in your talks.

I don't know what the crystal visual is bringing to the model, though. Is there an implied connection between context and connection, for example? where context is foundational to connection? (I doubt it since connection often drives/changes context...)

I'm particularly interested in context, as you know, but also in composition -- I've been working on what "composition" means for design -- we use it for a lot of different things, depending on the medium. For IA I tend to think of shaping information environments as "composing" information space -- or even composing context itself, more in the sense of composing a narrative, and more akin to the composition of a photograph or painting.

Here you're using composition more like a structural engineer: what ingredients make up the composition of a kind of concrete, for example. I like that usage too! I'll need to keep that in mind as I work on this further.

Thanks for the feedback Andrew! I need to think more about whether there's a useful order to (or set of relationships between) these elements. If so, that may suggest an alternative to the crystal.

But first, I want to test drive it via some of my upcoming talks and workshops, and figure out if I need to change the elements themselves.

Speaking of which, here are the sketchnotes from my keynote last week: