*This is an update to an article I wrote in 2015, and it could not be even more true today.
NRF 2019: Building a Digitally Differentiated Retail Experience Begins with Zemoga
Today’s retailers and brands are facing an unprecedented amount of pressure to deliver digitally differentiated customer experiences, and that’s an understatement. As consumers continuously demand and expect digital and mobile-first shopping experiences, retail organizations can no longer simply tout that they have a digital offering. The truth of the matter is that the digital experience they do offer has to bring something new to the table, an experience that keeps consumers coming back for more, or retailers risk losing consumer share to the likes of Amazon.
Zemoga’s new Bogota HQ celebrates six months
We’re excited to share that our new headquarters in Bogota has just turned six months old, and we’ve been loving every minute of it! In fact, we’re still in our honeymoon phase and don’t see that slowing down anytime soon.
XPO Logistics Digital Refresh by Zemoga
XPO Logistics had become the world’s leading logistics provider through a series of strategic acquisitions over the past several years. Due to these acquisitions, XPO’s digital presence, even on their own site was fragmented and disjointed.
Zemoga Takes Home Hardware
Exciting news!! Zemoga recently took home both a Connecticut Art Directors Club and a Summit Award for our work with PSFK and Men’s Journal.
Zemoga received a Silver Summit Award for our “Office Mood Check-In” concept. The “Office Mood Check-In” was designed in response to PSFK’s Future of Work report.
As a concept created and submitted by Zemoga, The Office Mood Check-In, would monitor employee sentiment in an office. Employees would check-in with how they’re feeling, and the app would then create graphs and other useful tools based on that data.
Learn more about this concept here.
We were also awarded a Silver Connecticut Art Directors Club Award for the Men’s Journal feature article, Milos Raonic and the Future of Tennis. Zemoga handled the design and front-end development for a feature article on the Men’s Journal website. The result was an interactive and engaging bio piece on one of today’s rising stars in the world of men’s tennis.
See the award-winning article here.
Virtual Reality: Let’s not replace reality… yet
This is part three of a month-long series on VR. Check out parts one and two.
There’s nothing new about Virtual Reality. It’s not that it’s an obscure technology that has been under dark basements all this time. I remember playing Heretic and Doom on VR systems in the 90’s; but now, thanks to many factors, VR tech is (almost) reaching the level of being accessible to the common man.
Currently, there’s a fistful of companies that are trying to push their own tech on the VR dream. Some are even located between the blurred lines of the industry, like Microsoft HoloLens that is more Augmented Reality than Virtual Reality, but follows the momentum of the Not-Real-Reality zeitgeist. Most of these efforts will die, and that’s ok. Everyone’s pitching their own ideas, and at the end, the most convenient and popular will survive, or maybe not (looking at you, VHS and Blu-Ray).
How do we interact with VR?
Whoever wins the arms race, what we really expect to reap are behavior standards. That is what concerns us as experience architects. Right now, all VR efforts have pretty much only one behavior in common: You can turn your head and perceive the virtual-augmented environment around. All the other basic elements of the experience and how you interact (if you can) with this environment vary. We are not talking about some basic button to push here, we are talking about stuff that aims to compete with reality itself.
VR needs an equivalent of Xerox mouse or Apple’s touch gestures on the first iPhone. An easy way to interact with the world that VR is promising, that is easy to use and quick to learn. One will think that because VR aims to involve the entire self, body gestures are an easy way to go on this, after all, finger gestures quickly became a standard, so this should be like the next “step”. But time has proven that it’s not really cool to waste your energy moving your arms around to do a simple action that can also can be done with a simple finger movement, like when we tap or click on a mouse.
Right now there are a lot of options that aim for the title of standard, or at least the better option. From complete stations that let the user feel like he’s walking in a single place to motion sensors and simple hand controls. All of those have been borrowed from the world of videogames; a world that has been dreaming with VR for decades.
Since the Nintendo Wii made popular the revolutionary “Wiimote”, it seemed that it was possible to create a decent body interaction with potential VR systems. But that’s for games, and you can only play boxing like that for some time before you get tired. Some experiences require less physical immersion and more of a sensorial experience.
If VR wants to aim to any kind of public and be a platform for a wide arrange of products, it needs to start simple before it gets complex. I bet somebody will want the complete “Lawnmower Man” battle station at home, but maybe companies need to aim low to hit high for now, stop pretending to replace reality itself.
Still, VR is still a technology with a potential to be as immersive as anything anyone has ever experienced, so simple interactions still need to be on the level of the potential that the device is promising. We don’t want to break immersion using the same Xbox controller we use for games on a flat screen. We want interactions that can go from a jump to the movement of a finger, and compact and precise enough so you don’t have to take the kids out of their room to build a VR place where you can do all that.
Maybe Facebook with the Oculus have another vision of what the market could want more than Valve+HTC, but for now, what we need is to start seeing the results of all those ideas on the public and see how they (and we) react.
In these infant times of an old technology, we can’t demand to have epiphanies of how things are going to be forever. We expect evolution, and as designers, is our duty to give those ideas challengers and opportunities, embrace chaos and don’t be afraid to fail. It’s time to aim for the moon, we will reach for the stars next… from the comfort of our sofas… using our VR headsets.
Let us know what you think about User Experience in VR by tweeting @zemoga!
Virtual Reality: The future’s in your face
Ever since Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter made $2.5 million in 2012, virtual reality (VR) has been “the future.”
Everything you missed at NRF Big Show
The NRF Big Show is a yearly retail innovation supershow, and Zemoga was on the scene to seek out the latest trends in retail tech.
The recurring theme this year was retailers starting to effectively use technology that has already been around for a couple years. Beacons and big data aren’t “new” anymore, but they have yet to be mastered.
The core of it is this: think of new technology as an addition to your ecosystem. Use it to bolster your other efforts instead of forcing it to carry all the weight on its own. No one needs an extra notification that says “buy this!”
Now that these technologies are in the hands of startups and the rest of the retail tech community, we’re benefitting from a wider range of thought.
Chad Rodriguez, Zemoga’s resident Strategy expert, attended all three days of NRF, and came to some interesting conclusions in our daily recaps:
Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more digital thoughts and updates!
Zemoga’s “groundbreaking” collaboration with Rolling Stone
Wenner Media has published the most recent project in a series of team-ups with Zemoga, entitled “The 40 Most Groundbreaking Albums of All Time.”
Zemoga helped Wenner build a fully responsive and visually stunning piece of sponsored content for Indian Motorcycle. Zemoga’s front-end development skills helped Wenner make the most out of Rolling Stone’s dynamic content.
“Groundbreaking Albums” is the latest in a string of collaboration between Zemoga and Wenner Media. Previous projects include other feature articles for Rolling Stone and an article about international tennis player Milos Raonic for Men’s Journal.
zPerspective: Google’s Project Ara
Google announced their ARTOS12 Development Kit for Project Ara, which will allow individual to create their own modules for the modular phone.