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
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.