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UX & Copywriting for the attention economy.

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A slightly edited version of a presentation I did for Semiofest 2017 that looks at new trends in attention.
Digital Communication is being disrupted by the attention economy. The old rules don't apply. This slide deck looks at new and emerging solutions for communicating effectively in the digital world.
If the slide deck caught your attention and left a positive impact be sure to reach out and connect.

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UX & Copywriting for the attention economy.

  1. 1. Sending Signals That Reassure In the ATTENTION ECONOMY
  2. 2. The next slide likely isn’t reassuring. It also doesn’t make any sense. But it is one of the main takeaways of this presentation.
  3. 3. To get to why that slide is important, we need to start with 3 quotes.
  4. 4. William James (1890) My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind. The Principles of Psychology “ ”
  5. 5. Seth Godin (2011) Every interaction comes with a cost. Not in cash money, but in something worth even more: the attention of the person you are interacting with. Seth Godin, “ ”
  6. 6. Fortune Magazine (2015) Attention has become the most valuable commodity in the media world. The underlying principle is simple: where the attention goes, the money will inevitably follow. Mathew Ingram, Fortune (2015) “ ”
  7. 7. Attention transactions drive the economy.
  8. 8. Attention transactions matter. Now more than ever before. Just ask him.
  9. 9. The average human attention span in 2000 seconds 13
  10. 10. The average human attention span in 2000 seconds 13 The average human attention span in 2013 seconds 8
  11. 11. The average human attention span in 2000 seconds 13 The average human attention span in 2013 seconds 8 The average attention span of a goldfish seconds 9
  12. 12. The average human attention span in 2000 seconds 13 The average human attention span in 2013 seconds 8 The average attention span of a goldfish seconds 9 (according to a study by Microsoft)
  13. 13. 1st problem: Attention. As Bill Gates pointed out, our audiences don’t have any.
  14. 14. We can’t spend more time with media. We don’t have any attention to spare. That is made worse because of...
  15. 15. The curse of knowledge.
  16. 16. We used to get information like this. These are firemen
  17. 17. Now we get it like this:
  18. 18. 2nd problem: We have access to tons of data.
  19. 19. So much data that we don’t have time to figure out what it all means.
  20. 20. Those problems create new values. They interact with New Economies.
  21. 21. Subscription Economy Where people pay for information they can get for free! They value curation. Its organized, relevant, saves people time. And trust is a factor.
  22. 22. Trust is a factor for many reasons. One of those reasons is more and more people are realizing...
  23. 23. With anything free, we are the product. Think Facebook & Google Surveillance Economy
  24. 24. The most profitable harvest that exists is our data and our attention. Surveillance Economy Drives low trust
  25. 25. 3rd Problem: Trust. Our audiences don’t have it.
  26. 26. Fast Company (2005) In our post-scarcity world, distribution is not king and neither is content. Conversation is the kingdom, and trust is king. Jeffrey Jarvis, Fast Company “ ”
  27. 27. So there are a lot of problems with communicating in the attention economy. We will get to how to solve those problems in a moment. First...
  28. 28. Why is ATTENTION a boundary resource?
  29. 29. There are several elements that come together to make attention a boundary resource. We will look at one.
  30. 30. Cognitive load
  31. 31. Thinking is an effort. Its a load. A cognitive load.
  32. 32. Like all loads, when the load gets too heavy, things begin to break. We have the same time in a day our grandparents did when they read 1 newspaper a day. Click the link on the next page to see what we face today.
  33. 33. Same 1,440 minutes in a day
  34. 34. That overwhelming amount of information is a problem because of what happens when we are overwhelmed. Click the link on the next page to see what happens.
  35. 35. Overwhelmed = Impaired Apollo Robbins
  36. 36. When everyone is overwhelmed it means… We are communicating to a nation of drunk people.
  37. 37. When you communicate, expect this. This behavior is the world you need to plan for.
  38. 38. Whoever filled out that form was either drunk or on their smartphone. It is basically the same thing.
  39. 39. There are even studies on it.
  40. 40. An R-D-E look a solutions How to win the battle?
  41. 41. Residual. What we did in the past.
  42. 42. How to get attention? Make quality content! 1,225 pages!
  43. 43. Dominant. What we do today.
  44. 44. • Laugh at truly long- form quality content 1st Backlash. Now we laugh at the residual.
  45. 45. • Can I scan it quickly? 2nd We develop easily skimmable content.
  46. 46. 3rd We rely on Visual Content. Emoji’s, infographics videos.
  47. 47. 4th We use Curse Words. Inappropriate / bad language gets attention
  48. 48. 5th We make things move. ● Cinemagraphs ● Web animations ● Videos ● Gifs
  49. 49. And the low-trust problem? Vintage stuff. Vintage textures. Hipsters! We prime people to think of an earlier time, when trust still existed.
  50. 50. Nostalgia is a trust signal that signals authenticity.
  51. 51. Emergent. Looking ahead to possible futures What will we do in the future?
  52. 52. Content Shock will get worse. Content shock "content output per brand increased 35% in 2015 and content engagement decreased by 17%" We will continue solving the information overload problem by making it worse. 1st
  53. 53. Easy will become the new true. 2nd 1. Make it easy 2. Make it familiar (cognitive fluency) 3. Make the connections = People like you. has their own publication. They called it “3 min read”. Most of the posts on that publication are 7 min or longer. The title isn’t true, but it promises easy.
  54. 54. Curation will become the new creation. 3rd Less creating meaning by creating new things. More creating meaning through curating existing content. TRUST SIGNALS 1. Respect privacy 2. Offer transparency 3. Offer audience agency
  55. 55. Micro Chunking to Text 4th I have a dream Also called Syntactic Cueing or phrase formatting. Information design works. This is Information design done to sentences. Listen to an orator do it. Technology exists that can do this to any website, by inserting 2 lines of code. People spend less time on low value words, more time on high-semantic content words. See for more info.
  56. 56. Conversational Presenting Your Journey Their Journey Let them tell you what they want to pay attention to. Then expand the topics they want, in the order they want. X ✔ 5th You get their attention because they tell you what they want to pay attention to. Genius.
  57. 57. There is also something strange...
  58. 58. The Von Restorff Effect. The quickest way to get attention is to break a pattern. 6th
  59. 59. We blend in to avoid attention. The fish or Zebra that blends in doesn’t get special attention.
  60. 60. So to get attention, stand out.
  61. 61. To sum up: I have 3 Suggestions.
  62. 62. Be very easy to understand. Assume this...
  63. 63. Break patterns. Like this...
  64. 64. Be real. When you exploit trust signals...
  65. 65. People just turn to other trust signals. It doesn’t last.
  66. 66. If you want to be trusted Be Trustworthy.
  67. 67. Thank you Edward Wilson