February 24, 2009

ThinkBalm Storytelling Series Issue #3: How To Give New Users A Good First Experience

One of the most significant barriers to adoption of the Immersive Internet at work is a steep learning curve exacerbated by what is all too often a often a poor first-time experience. Many peoples’ early forays into virtual

Click this image to read or download the report in PDF format.

Click this image to read or download the report in PDF format.

worlds and other immersive environments are tainted by technology and user experience issues. No matter which platform an organization uses, a newcomer training program is required. Training is the key to the success of a newcomer’s early experiences in immersive environments.

Members of the ThinkBalm Innovation Community have been putting our heads together to illuminate challenges and identify solutions to enterprise Immersive Internet problems since the community was launched in August of 2008. We discuss. We experiment. And on January, 9th, 2009, fourteen community members got together for a 90-minute role-playing session to 1) focus on what the newcomer experience is like and how to improve it, and 2) document our collective expertise.

We held the session in an immersive environment that was unfamiliar to most participants: Qwaq Forums, a business-oriented immersive platform for document and process collaboration.  ThinkBalm principals Erica Driver and Sam Driver and ThinkBalm Innovation Community member Cherisa Burk, a technologist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, were already familiar with Qwaq Forums and played the role of “tour guides” (trainers). The tour guides were tasked with giving the rest of the participants, who played the role of newcomers (sometimes called newbies), the best introductory experience possible.

With the help of nine ThinkBalm Innovation Community members who attended this role-playing session — Cherisa Burk, Christopher Bishop, Darius Clarke,  Ehsan Ehsani, Gina Schreck, John Kinsella, Julie Fogg, Leslie Pagel, and Ron Teitelbaum — we wrote ThinkBalm’s third issue in the Immersive Internet Storytelling Series, titled “How To Give New Users A Good First Experience.” For a PDF of the report click this link or click the image of the article’s cover above.

Erica Driver

Erica Driver was a co-founder and principal at ThinkBalm. She is a leading industry analyst and consultant with 15 years of experience in the software industry. She is quoted in mainstream and industry trade press including the Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CIO, and Computerworld. Prior to co-founding ThinkBalm, Erica was a principal analyst at Forrester Research, where she launched the company’s Web3D coverage as part of her enterprise collaboration research. She was also the co-conspirator behind Forrester’s Information Workplace concepts and research. Prior to her tenure at Forrester, she was a Director at Giga Information Group (now part of Forrester) and an analyst at Hurwitz & Associates. She began her career in IT as a system administrator and Lotus Notes developer. Erica is a graduate of Harvard University.