Last week I was asked this question:
What do you consider to be the best digital experience that you’ve seen recently?
To be honest I was stumped. It’s a hard question to answer! Best digital experience in what context? Something I use daily that I can’t live without, a one of mindblowing experience, a digital experience in terms of museums? What? And for that matter what actually constitutes a digital experience?
So I did what I always do when I’m stuck and asked the twitters.
Here are the responses:
@MarDixon: Hard question to answer.
@_annapatrick: Really liked the science museums hunt for Higgs game – fun and informative!!
@timtfj: How do you see an experience? How can it be digital? (Sorry, pedant mode.)
@simon_mahony: my new Samsung HD TV
@Henry_Wellcome: Best digital experience? I long for the golden age of ChatRoulette.
@simonrae: well there was a fine History of Disco prog on digital TV, but do you mean that sort of ‘digital’?
Plumping all of those together, there is such variety in the responses. Is your best experience a TV programme, which are all recorded digitally now? Or is it a brilliant digital resource produced by museums? Or is it something you use every day? (I would have said my iphone, but if I’m honest the poor 3GS is struggling to keep up nowadays). So what is my most recent bestest digital experience? I think I would have to go with a one off digital experience. That of Yvette Mattern‘s stunning laser projection artwork, which opened the Cultural Olympiad year along the North Sea coast. Global Rainbow is a massive, spectacular outdoor laser projection that consists of the seven colours of the rainbow in parallel laser beams stretching 5miles along the coast. Before we saw it, it was very much a point of humour. “oh look give them nice folks up in the North some pretty lights to look at, that’ll do, never mind the actually Olympics down in London”. But when you actually see it, you can only marvel at it. What made it the best digital experience? Because it seamlessly integrated the real with the digital. It transformed the coastline or the expected into something new. For me that is what a digital experience has to do. Transform your experience into something new. Provide a new way of seeing. That is exactly the Global Rainbow did. But this digital experience tapped into who I am, what I believe and what I’m proud of. My Heritage, my regional identity and my liking for pretty lights and visualisations. Can every digital experience do that? And should it? It was so nice to so many people out, experiencing it together. There is something quite magical about outdoor digital experiences, because then it is a shared experience which creates a new and exciting atmosphere. Again transforming an experience into something new, something shared.
I’d love to hear more about what you consider to be the best digital experience that you’ve seen/had/created recently.