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MediaPost Blog – SearchInsider

by Gord Hotchkiss

I promised MediaPost a wrap-up (from the programming chair’s perspective) of last week’s Search Insider Summit. Honestly, from the moment that Brett Brewer from Microsoft first fired up Pivot to the final moments of day three, when Jen Milks and Michelle Prieb from Ball State gave us a glimpse into the minds of Gen Next, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my presenters. I’ve programmed a lot of these shows now and have never had as much positive response as I have from this one. Well-done, each and every one of you.
A lot has been said about the new TED-style format. I actually had a few TEDsters reach out to send best wishes prior to the summit. They also wanted feedback about the success of the show. I think it’s fair to say that the adopted TED format was a hit. Attendees loved the pace of the presentations, the varying perspectives presented — and, most of all, the conversations that were catalyzed by the content.
Here are a few of the many highlights from three days of SIS: Read the rest of this entry »

MediaPost Blog – SearchBlog
by Laurie Sullivan

Members of the generation raised on Google wants search engines to know how they think and feel. They want visual search, and for engines to serve them ideas based on personal information stored in social sites across the Web.
For example, when they search for movies after they’ve had a bad break-up, they want search engines to filter out romantic comedies. That might mean processing brain waves and reading physical movements through a PC camera, similar to Microsoft’s Project Natal.
That’s how a handful of Ball State University students would rethink how they find information online and offline, as well as redesign search on a variety of platforms and devices, according to Jen Milks and Michelle Prieb, project managers at Ball State University. The two shared their findings during the closing session Saturday of MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit. Read the rest of this entry »

Center for Media Design Project Managers Michelle Prieb and Jen Milks spoke at Mediapost’s Search Insider Summit Saturday, April 17.  The presentation, Reinventing Search: Through the Eyes of Next-Generation Consumers, explored the outputs of ideation sessions conducted with Ball State students to rethink  how they “want to find stuff”.

The students’ vision for a new search experience is highly personalized, communicative, very social and seamlessly cross-platform. View the presentation and our summary of the research outputs below and enjoy!

Search Insider Summit
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

One predominant emergent themes from our ideation sessions was that students want a personalized search experience. They want search (and thereby marketers) to really get to know them as individuals, rather than as data or statistics.

These next-gen consumers want search to know them holistically within the context of their lives including their location and the times when they tend to search. They also want search to learn from what they do online to understand trends and patterns in their lives, so search knows their routines.

This desire for hyper-personalization provides an opportunity for marketers to understand their audiences in ways that go beyond determining intent and profiling.

Open Communication with Search

Our next gen consumers express the desire for search to be less like typing keywords into a text bar and more like having a conversation with a friend who knows them very well. They want to give and receive feedback via ratings and preferences so search can learn to tailor results and refine the search process for them.

Our students want to reserve the option for search to be targeted when they need something specific or exploratory when they’d like to “be adventurous” and receive results that are a little more open-ended (yet within the bounds of their likes and dislikes). They’d also like recommendations from search that are based on everything search knows about them from their online history, social networks (friends, interests and status updates) and context.

This dialogue with search creates very unique opportunities for marketers to make connections with users that are meaningful based on the personalized experience.

Extending search into the social arena

Echoing the predictions of Summiteers, students want search to draw from their current social networks to provide richer, more contextual results. With the motto “we all get better the more we share,” next-gen students recognize the value of tapping into diverse communities for trusted word-of-mouth recommendations from grounded experts rather than paid or optimized results.

As they hope to garner insight from this rich and varied search pool, they affirm the need contribute to the free-flowing tide of information. The real-time instantaneous access and global reach of social networks uniquely extends the search experience with an improved (perceived) authenticity.

Accessibility and Design:
Robustly cross-platform search designed for users

Our students discussed the importance of instant and constant access to their search process. To facilitate effective and social dialogue, search must be seamlessly cross-platform and it must be optimized for all devices. They see cloud computing as the way that this can be accomplished.

Students want to see augmented reality incorporated into the search process, regardless of device (but again, designed for optimal cross-platform experiences). Students also want search to be designed to interact with them in the way they interact with people – they want visual, voice, tactile, physiological and emotive interaction with search. Essentially, next-gen consumers want search (and marketers) to read their minds.

Indexing Life
: The categorization of everything

This new search experience mimics human behavior and therefore requires developing a new Dewey Decimal System for life. Moreover, indexing all of human behavior necessitates an openness to sharing information to a higher degree than ever before, which ultimately incites abounding privacy implications. Next-gen consumers express a willingness to negotiate the exchange of information, but the option to control their own privacy settings remains paramount.

Characterization of Search

In a move away from the current disconnect they feel between themselves as users and results as pushed advertising content, students want a relationship with search and answers. They describe next-gen search as an intuitive soulmate, a loyal sidekick, a benevolent servant and prognosticating sage.

Moving Forward:
Considerations for search in the near future

Our students recognize that what they created during this ideation process is rather complex and incorporates a multitude of capabilities and technologies that they’ve seen applied in some form or another, all wrapped up into one integrated process. Accordingly, they note a number of considerations for marketers and technologists as we move towards this integration.

First, they express concern for the infrastructure that currently supports search and how it might need to change as we move towards more robust cross-platform functionality and hyper-personalization. Furthermore, they see a need for this infrastructure to move towards sustainability so as to exist in harmony with the environment.

Secondly, our next-gen consumers recognize that preparing for the transition to a seamless search experience will require a lot of work. Most of the capabilities they desire are scattered throughout the industry, siloed on singular platforms, embedded within applications or limited to textual input. There is a great deal of quantitative research to be done within current user databases and qualitative work needed to assess user perceptions and attitudes related to these functions.

As our students created their vision for search, they demanded that it be enjoyable and easy to use. This necessitates user experience and usability research to understand how search can learn from users and optimize their search process for every device.

oDesk news

By Emma Thomas

The Apple iPad is highly desirable, new Ball State University research suggests, but will consumers fall in love enough to warrant a purchase?

That’s the question posed by Ball State researchers in a new white paper, entitled “Touching Consumers?” According to the researchers, consumers found the iPad desirable but seemed ambivalent about its real-world benefits.

Suzanne, a 44-year-old, called the device “more of a luxury at this point.” And 31-year-old Rebecca admitted that it could enhance her life, but said an iPad wasn’t something she would “race out and get.”

One interesting finding, Ball State Center for Media Design project manager Jennifer Milks said, is that consumers said they would be inclined to own an iPad and a basic cell phone, rather than a smartphone. “[The iPad] could save the cell phone,” MediaPost quoted her as saying.

No doubt, the device will be popular. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple will sell every iPad it builds this year, All Things Digital reports. But software developers for the platform – many of whom can be found on oDesk – should keep consumers’ ambivalence in mind and consider building apps that add value.

MediaPostNews – Online Media Daily

by Joe Mandese

When Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, he called the new digital gadget a “third-category” device that would not compete with consumer demand for some of Apple’s core products, especially laptop computers and smart phones. But some new research conducted by a highly regarded academic team suggests some trade-offs are inevitable, and that one unintended consequence could be that some consumers will replace their smart phones with iPads and downgrade to a not-so-smart cell phone.

Needless to say, no one knows exactly how consumers will behave when the iPad finally begins shipping the first version of its new iPads tomorrow, but researchers in the Insight and Research group at Ball State University’s Center for Media Design, conducted a small, qualitative study to at least try and understand how consumer attitudes about the new gadgets might shape their media marketplace behaviors. And the big takeaway is that Apple, for all the research and development it undoubtedly put behind the iPad, may have misjudged the degree to which some consumers use the iPad as a replacement devices for other things. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Are We

Insight and Research at the Center for Media Design (CMD) has begun to receive quite a bit of attention from industry publications and mainstream media outlets in the last several years as a groundbreaking and reputable media research organization. This archive is only for educational purpose, if the content involved any copyright issue, please contact: Michelle Prieb:
March 2021



Insight and research in the News