Creator Economy, Real-Time Web Experience Continuity in Hybrid Events Platforms
You are building a hybrid events platform, such as the Auction Events Platform for Creators I am making. Users will be on and off the website during the event. How do you achieve continuity of the experience for your users?
Define Meaningful Moments
Choose moments when there is some phase change, such as the start of a session or lecture. In my auction platform, this is when an item (lot) comes up for auction during a live auction.
Broadcast these meaningful events to users via email, SMS, etc., so that users that are off the website know about it.
Define Sub Moments
In many event platforms, such moments are spread in time for an hour or more, during which time meaningful things happen.
In my auction events platform, we have timed auctions that run automatically from start time to end time. In a timed auction, all items come up for auction at the start time. An auction can last for days. So a user might bid and then go off to his/her life. You need to tell the user when a competing bid comes up and is on top. So the user can come back and bid again at a higher price.
In a conference session, such sub-moments could be the switch to Q&A at the end of a presentation. In a concert platform, a sub-moment is when the band starts to play a new song. The way Apple Music on a Mac shows a notification when a new song start.
Detect In-Person Presence
In a hybrid event, you want to turn off notifications for users that present IRL (in real life), as these notifications will distract them from what is happening IRL.
In the auction events platform, users present in person will be given a sign with their user number with which to bid. We will use the opportunity to record their presence on the platform and avoid sending notifications to them.
Distinguish Pre-Event and Post-Event Phases
In many event platforms and webinars, there will be interaction before and after the event. Such as chatting with organizers or speakers. In our auction events platform, users can chat with creators before, during, and after the live auction.
In the pre-event and post-event phases, you can expect users to be off the website for extended periods. And messages may come at any time. So we need to forward any message to users with a high probability of not being online in the platform via email or SMS.
During a live auction, such forwarding is not needed and is distracting from the attention on the bidding.
By now, most of us have participated in some virtual or hybrid conference and received a barrage of email messages around it. The snowball effect is jarring and counter-productive.
Micro-designing notifications and messaging from the standpoint of experience continuity promises a much more pleasant user experience and will lead to higher engagement.